During the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe. With the Lublin Union of 1569 Poland and Lithuania formed a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union then Nazi Germany. On March 11, 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare its renewed independence. Since Lithuania declared independence on March 11, 1990.
Klaipėdaport is the only port in Lithuania. Vilnius International Airport is the largest airport. It served 1.7 million passengers in 2007.
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is a Soviet-era nuclear station. Unit #1 was closed in December 2004, as a condition of Lithuania's entry into the European Union. The population of Lithuania stands at 3.3662 million, 84.6% of whom are ethnic Lithuanians who speak the Lithuanian language (one of the two surviving members of the Baltic language group), which is the official language of the country. Several sizable minorities exist, such as Poles (6.3%), Russians (5.1%), and Belarusians (1.1%) In 2005 79% of Lithuanians belonged to the Roman Catholic Church.
known by her stage name Jurga, is a Lithuanian singer and songwriter. She is an art rock musician, won the Best Female Act and the Best Album of 2005 in the Lithuanian Bravo Awards and the Best Baltic Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007.
Legend has it that the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Gediminas, was hunting in the sacred forest near the Valley of Šhventaragis. Tired after the successful day's hunt, the Grand Duke settled in nearby for the night. He fell soundly asleep and began to dream. A huge Iron Wolf was standing on top a hill and the sound of hundreds of other wolves inside it filled all of the surrounding fields and woods. Upon awakening, the Duke asked the pagan priest Lizdeika to interpret the meaning of the dream. And the priest told him: "What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus: the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site. This city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of their rulers, and the glory of their deeds shall echo throughout the world.
Almost all styles of architecture can be found in Vilnius, from Gothic to Classical. However, Vilnius is the largest Baroque city, north of the Alps, and is often referred to as “Little Rome”. Owing to its uniqueness, the Old Town of Vilnius was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.
Made by Agneshka Rykman, Vilnius, 2008 y.