Flag of Lithuania

Language: Lithuanian
Currency: Lithuanian litas
Calling Code: 370


Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (LR) is a country in Northern Europe, on the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The area is 65,300 km². Lithuania is one of the Baltic states. It is bordered in the north by Latvia (land border length - 588 km, sea border - 22 km), in the east and south - by Belarus (border length - 677 km), in the southwest - by Poland (border length - 104 km) and Russia (Kaliningrad region; length of land border - 255 km, Curonian Lagoon - 18 km, sea - 22 km). The length of the Baltic Sea coast is 90.66 km. The Lithuanian-Belarusian and Lithuanian-Russian border is also the border of the European Union. Lithuania's economic zone in the Baltic Sea (in the west) reaches Sweden's economic zone. The largest city of the country is the capital Vilnius. Other big cities: Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys.

The state of Lithuania was formed in the 13th century, after 1569. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania of the Union of Lublin became part of the Republic of the Two Peoples. This state existed for more than 200 years, until the neighboring countries Russia, Austria and Prussia in the 18th century. finally shared its territory. At the end of the First World War, in 1918 On February 16, the Council of Lithuania announced the restoration of independence, until 1921. The Republic of Lithuania has been recognized by most countries of the world. After more than 20 years of independence, the country was occupied and annexed by the USSR in World War II, 1941-1945. occupied by Nazi Germany, 1944-1945. once again occupied by the Soviet Union. in 1990 March 11 The Supreme Council announced the restoration of independence.

Since 2004 Lithuania is one of the countries of the European Union that is part of the Schengen area, where there is no border control. Since 2015 the country belongs to the euro zone. Lithuania is a high-income, developed economy that has achieved a high standard of living, and Lithuania's level of civil liberties, media freedom, Internet freedom, and democracy is highly valued. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, NATO, and the OECD.


Travel Destinations in Lithiania






Aukštaitija National Park
Biržai Castle






Hill of Crosses
Panemune Castle
Žemaitija National Park


Dzūkija (Dainava)


Dzūkija National Park


Sūduva (Suvalkija)


Pazaislis Monastery


Lithuania Minor



Kuršių Nerija National Park


Transport around the country

Public transportation
The main public transport is the bus. There is a dense network both in the cities and in the countryside. A helpful portal for finding and booking suitable bus connections between cities within Lithuania and also in neighboring countries is

There are only a few railway lines and many of them are in poor condition. However, the Vilnius-Kaunas railway line is very well developed and it only takes around an hour to travel the route. You can easily search for train connections and buy tickets via the Lithuanian Railways website (not in German, but in English, among other places). There is no rail transport within town (apart from the airport shuttle in Vilnius), but there are trolleybuses.

Be careful with line numbers in city transport: The same number can be used up to three times: for a trolleybus line, a normal bus line and a minibus line. The minibuses (Maršrutinis taksi) run a fixed route but have no fixed stops. You wave them over to get in and tell them to get out. Payment is made there in cash. Other city buses have tickets that you put into a validator. You buy them at the kiosk or (more expensive, but still cheap for Western Europeans) from the driver. For intercity buses you usually pay to the driver, but at the large bus stations you have to buy your ticket at the counter beforehand for some lines. The timetables at the intermediate stops in the countryside are only guidelines; the bus can also leave earlier.

Traveling by car/bike
In terms of population density, Lithuania has a high accident frequency compared to the EU. This means that you have to expect (alcohol) checks by the police at any time of the day or night. The alcohol limit is 0.4 (driver's license held for less than two years: 0.2; drivers of motorcycles, trucks, buses (more than 9 seats): 0.0). A fire extinguisher and a high-visibility vest in the car are mandatory.

Due to the low population/car density, the probability of actually being involved in an accident is rather low.

Drivers (including foreigners) who have had their driving license for less than 2 years must mark their vehicle with a sticker in the shape of a maple leaf on the rear; In contrast to the table above, this group of people has a maximum speed of 90 km/h on motorways and expressways and 70 km/h on country roads. Commercial vehicles (vehicle classes N1-N3) and buses (M2-M3) require an electronic vignette on motorways, which is available for various validity periods online and in points of sale in Lithuania. Cars and mobile homes do not require a vignette. (fee overview)

Smaller towns are usually only accessible via gravel roads; Road maps published in Lithuania also show this. You can get there by car, but not as quickly; they are not suitable for cyclists. Regardless of the actual weather conditions, winter tires are required for all vehicles from November 10th to April 1st. Caution: Branches lying on the street can indicate that a manhole cover is missing!

Helmets are mandatory for motorcyclists. Important note for cyclists: It is mandatory to use high-visibility vests! Children and young people under 18 are required to wear a bicycle helmet.



Lithuanian is a Baltic language that is only closely related to Latvian. In some places there is a significant Russian minority; in places of interest to tourists, especially in Vilnius and Klaipėda. There is also a Polish minority in Vilnius and the region south of it.

With the younger generation as well as in hotels etc. You can usually communicate in English. Among the middle and older generations (born around 1970) English skills are significantly less common. As a rule, these people speak Russian more or less well. It is helpful to ask the question about knowledge of Russian in Lithuanian (Ar Jūs kàlbate rùsiškai?) in order to overcome the aversion to the former occupier language.

Knowledge of German, on the other hand, is much less common, but you can also find German-speaking people. This does not apply to the Curonian Spit and Klaipėda (German Memel). Since this area used to belong to Germany, they are prepared for German tourists.



Lithuania has been part of the Eurozone since January 1, 2015. The supply at the ATM is not a problem. Many shops, even in smaller towns, also accept credit cards.

Alcoholic beverages

In 2018, the minimum alcohol purchasing age was raised to 20 and sales hours were limited to 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. Since 2020, drinking has been banned on beaches and at sporting events.



The Lithuanian national dish is cepelinai, zeppelin-shaped dumplings with meat filling. You can find restaurants with traditional food (which naturally has a connection to neighboring countries) as well as international offerings such as: B. Fast food chains.



There are numerous bars, pubs and discos in the larger cities. It should be noted that discos only fill up from midnight. However, there is no curfew and nightclubs often stay open until 5am or later. Entrance fees are usually between 0 and 5 euros. In the big cities, such as Vilnius and Kaunas, you can find clubs with different genres of music (electronic, pop/mainstream, Latin, ...). In discos, people tend to drink spirits and long drinks rather than beer and cocktails. In bars and pubs, however, beer is often the first choice. Snacks and simple dishes are usually served here.

The practice and use of prostitution, as well as sexual coercion, are punishable. If minors are involved in these crimes, this will have an aggravating effect on the sentence; Police actions and checks must therefore be expected at any time.

Palanga is probably the most popular Baltic Sea destination in Lithuania during the summer months. Many young Lithuanians go here to party hard. Live music is often played in the pubs, ranging from traditional songs to pop music.



March: Kaziuko mugė around St. Casimir's Day, this festival of folk arts and crafts is held in both Kaunas and Vilnius
May: New Baltic Dance Festival, modern dance in various theaters in Kaunas and Vilnius
June: Medieval festival in Trakai
June 21st: Summer Solstice, everywhere
June, last weekend: Folk music in Nidden
July: Galapagai Rock Music Festival on the island of Zaras near Ignalina
July-August: St. Christopher's Cultural Festival in Vilnius
August, last weekend: “Pagan music” in Zarasai
Mid-Sept.-Wed. Oct: Sirenos Theater Days in Vilnius
Mid-November: European Film Forum Scanorama simultaneously in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai



Corruption in the legal system and police remains a problem that can affect tourists in the early 2020s. The special department Specialiųjų tyrimų tarnyba (STT) is there specifically for such cases.



Treatment by statutory health insurance (dentists) is carried out upon presentation of the European health insurance card. Specialists and hospitals may only be visited directly (without referral or referral) in an emergency.

For medication on prescription, a 20% additional charge per pack (max. €4.71) must be paid. For some products it’s also half the price.

At the dentist you have to pay 100% of the material yourself.



Post Lietuvos paštas was taken over by DHL and focuses on parcel shipping.

The Lithuanian mobile network (telephone and internet) is very well developed, and there are rarely dead spots even in rural areas and in the forest. Thanks to EU roaming, you only need a Lithuanian SIM card if your data consumption is high. Prepaid cell phone cards can be purchased at post offices, supermarkets, gas stations and phone shops. Network operators are Telia (brands: Ežys and Extra, the latter only without EU data roaming), Bitė (prepaid: Labas; took over by Mezon) and Tele 2 (prepaid: Pildyk).
Lithuanian comparison site English Prepaid overview.

Telephone area codes
Domestic long distance calls: The telephone number must be preceded by an 8 (not 0!), which is often not written. The switch to = is planned for 2025.

Lithuanian mobile numbers all start with 6.

To foreign countries: The country code must be preceded by 00. In mobile communications, the usual international area code can be, for example: B. +49 can be used for Germany.


Practical tips

The traditional toilet symbols are stylized quite idiosyncratically, especially when it comes to men's toilets. You can now often find the symbols like those in this country, but new signage, such as in the recently renovated train station in Kaunas, sometimes uses the traditional representation.



The origin of the name Lithuania is not exactly known. Since many Baltic ethnonyms are derived from the names of rivers, the name Lithuania is associated with the name of the stream Lietava. Since it is a small stream, this assumption raises objections that such a small stream could not have given its name to a large land and a tribe. Historian Artūras Dubonis derives the name of the state from the word leičii, which was used in the 14th-15th centuries. referred to in the sources as the layer of the duke's officials. They were colonist warriors who established their authority in the lands attached to the grand duke's estates.



Prehistory and early history

The first inhabitants came to the current territory of Lithuania after the last ice age 11-13 thousand years ago. The Palaeolithic inhabitants belonged to the cultural groups of Svidri and Baltic Madlen. Mesolithic inhabitants belonged to the Nemunas and Kunda cultures. The first inhabitants were nomads, they did not create permanent settlements. VIII thousand BC the climate warmed, forests expanded. Residents began to wander less, engaged in local hunting, fishing, gathering. Agriculture reached the current territory of Lithuania in the 3rd thousand. Ave. m. e. The Pamarii culture, which belongs to the group of corded pottery cultures, and is considered Baltic, spread in the Neolithic region. In the first centuries of our era, the ethnic unions of the Balts were already distinguished, among them the Samians and Lithuanians.

The Baltic tribes did not have close cultural or political ties to the Roman Empire, but traded with Rome (see Amber Road). About 97 AD In his Germania, Tacitus described the Aesti, who lived on the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea, and who are usually associated with the Western Whites. Western Balts differentiated into tribes earlier than others, and information about them reached the chroniclers of other countries the earliest. Claudius Ptolemy II c. already knew the Galindu and the Jotvingi, and early medieval annals mention the Prussians, Cursians and Žimgali.

Lithuania was mentioned for the first time in the Quedlinburg annals when describing the death of Bishop Brunos Kverfurtietis on the border between Russia and Lithuania on March 9, 1009. Later annals also mention another date - February 14, but the variety of years is great. The date of Bruno's death in 1009 mentions 9 out of 25 sources. One states that it happened in 1002, five names 1008, one - 1010. The sources indicate at least seven places of death - the Russian-Lithuanian, Prussian-Russian, Prussian-Russian-Lithuanian border, Prussia, Russia, Pecheneg lands and Hungary. X-XI centuries Russian annals mention Lithuania as one of the countries that paid tribute to Kievan Rus, the annals mention Yaroslav the Wise's military campaign to Lithuania. From the 12th century Central Lithuanians start attacking Russian lands. 1183 the lands of Polotsk and Pskov were devastated, even for the mighty Novgorod Republic in the 12th century. At the end of the year, invasions by Lithuanian troops were repeatedly threatened. As the wealth and captives brought back from raiding expeditions increased, the differences in wealth became apparent, and the warring princes stood out from the others and took over power. The unification of several principalities created by different Baltic tribes that existed on the territory of Lithuania into one confederated or federal state of Lithuania probably began in the 1st millennium, but according to the prevailing historiographical concept, the formation of the state ended only in the 13th century. In the II quarter, when the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was created on the basis of the hypothetical land of Lithuania or the Duchy of Lithuania.


Grand Duchy of Lithuania

13th century in the forties, Mindaugas became the first ruler of the Lithuanian state, who accepted baptism and in 1253 was crowned king in July. Later he refused baptism, and in 1263 was killed. Pagan Lithuania was the target of constant Teutonic and Livonian raids. Despite the difficult and constant struggle with the Orders, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania quickly expanded by joining the principalities of Russia. 13th century at the end of the century, the Gediminai dynasty was formed (the first notable rulers of the dynasty were Vytenis and Gediminas).

Duke Gediminas significantly expanded the territory of Lithuania to the east by diplomatic means (mostly by marrying off his daughters). His son Algirdas continued the expansion with military means, and his brother Kęstutis also contributed to this. 1362 Algird achieved an important victory against the Golden Horde in the Battle of the Blue Waters and established himself in southern Russia - Kiev, Podola and sparsely populated Dykra. After capturing Kiev, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania became a direct neighbor and rival of the Grand Duchy of Moscow.

XIV century At the end of the 19th century, Lithuania achieved its greatest territorial expansion - in the south, its borders even reached the Black Sea, the state included the territories of present-day Lithuania, Belarus, part of Ukraine, Russia and Poland. At the same time from the XIII century. The state of Lithuania was constantly at war with the German Order. The geopolitical situation between East and West led to the fact that the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a multicultural and multi-confessional state. The ruling elite maintained religious tolerance, official documents used Latin and the old Slavic clerical language.

1385 Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania married Jadvyga, the heir to the Polish throne, and in 1386 was crowned king of Poland. This is how the personal union of Lithuania and Poland was established. According to the Krėva Act, Jogaila undertook to baptize Lithuania and in 1387 after arriving in Lithuania, he himself participated in the baptism campaigns, the Vilnius Diocese was established.

After two internal wars in 1392 Grand Duke Vytautas established himself in Lithuania. Under the reign of Vytautas, Lithuania achieved the greatest territorial expansion, the state began to be centralized, nobles were included in state politics. 1399 The forces of Vytautas and Horda Khan Tochtamyš were defeated by the forces of the Golden Horde at the Vorskla River. This defeat led to the fact that Vytautas failed to gain a completely independent status. 1410 during the joint military campaign of Lithuania and Poland, the Teutonic Order was defeated in the Battle of Žalgiris. This victory eventually led to the removal of the centuries-old threat of the Teutonic Order.

1429 In January, at the Lutsk Congress, with the support of Holy Roman Emperor Zygmantas, Vytautas received the title of king, but the messengers who brought him the crown in 1430 Polish nobles were stopped in autumn. Another crown was sent, but Vytautas died before receiving the coronation and was buried in Vilnius Cathedral.

Grand Duke Kazimierz of Lithuania, who was also elected king of Poland, expanded the influence of Jogailaičiai in Europe. Prussia became a vassal of Poland, Casimir's son Vladislaus II occupied the Czech and Hungarian thrones. 1492-1526 In Central Europe, there was a system of Yogyakarta states, which included Poland (with its vassals Prussia and Moldavia), Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Hungary.


The Republic of Both Nations

Jogaila did not unite Lithuania and Poland into one state - the relations between these states in the 15th century. - 16th century were not constant at the beginning - Lithuania often had a separate ruler from the Gediminai dynasty, who was elected separately from Poland. 15th century at the end of the 19th century, the Grand Duchy of Moscow grew stronger alongside the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which began to claim all the lands of Russia. Throughout the 15th century the raging conflict with Moscow in the 15th century. turned into a war at the end. Wars lasting several decades exhausted the country, adversely affected its finances, and the state lost a large part of its territory. The Lithuanian army also managed to achieve significant victories. in 1514 September 8 30,000 Lithuanian and Polish troops led by the great hetman Konstantinos Ostrogiškis defeated about 80,000 Muscovite soldiers in the Battle of Orsha, captured their camp and captured their commander and many soldiers, but the LDK did not gain the upper hand in this war.

In the battles against Moscow, and especially after the start of the Livonian War, Lithuanian nobles and nobility expected support from Poland, which sought to gain a foothold in Livonia and demanded the strengthening of the union. In addition, there were fears of the extinction of the Jogailaičiai dynasty and the related uncertainty about a new ruler. In such circumstances, the Union of Lublin was concluded (1569). By its act, the personal union of Lithuania and Poland was transformed into the so-called Republic of Both Nations, which had a common ruler and a common Seimas, but kept separate borders, customs, armies, law, public offices and institutions. The Statute of Lithuania remained in force in Lithuania.

The Livonian War ended with the Truce of Jam Zapole, concluded for ten years in 1582. January 15 According to them, the Republic of the Two Peoples recovered Livonia, Polotsk and Veliza, but returned the Great Luks to the Russian Tsar. Armistice in 1600 was extended for another twenty years during Lev Sapiega's diplomatic mission to Boris Godunov. the truce actually ended in 1605. after the Polish nobles began to support the claims of the impostor Dmitriy to the Russian throne and the beginning of the 1605-1618 for war

16th century avg. - 17th century avg. culture, arts and education flourished under the influence of the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation. After the demise of the Gediminai dynasty, the rulers of Poland and Lithuania began to be chosen from among all willing noble candidates. The elected rulers had to confirm all the rights previously obtained by the nobility. The influence of nobles and nobles in the state greatly strengthened, in principle, no serious decisions could be made without the consent of the nobles in the Seimas. Seimas often ended without making any decisions, favorable conditions for this were created by the right of liberum veto, which theoretically allowed any one representative to reject any decision. The Republic of Both Nations reached its prosperity in the 17th century. at the beginning The Seimas were dominated by nobles who were not inclined to get involved in the Thirty Years' War. Neutrality in this war saved the country from the political and religious conflicts that devastated most of Europe. The Republic of Both Nations fought against Sweden, Russia and the vassals of the Ottoman Empire and even waged expansionary wars against its neighbors. During the great turmoil in Moscow, the troops of the Republic of the Two Peoples entered Russia several times and occupied Moscow, which they held in their hands since 1610. September 27 until 1612 on November 4, when they were pushed out from under the cloak.

17th century at the end of the 18th century at the beginning of the Lithuanian-Polish state passed into its sunset. in 1655 for the first time in the history of Lithuania, its capital, Vilnius, was occupied by Cossack troops. The Russian army ravaged the city, its churches and mansions. 8-10 thousand were killed. inhabitants, the city burned for 17 days. The Russian army considered a large part of Lithuania occupied until 1661. At that time, a lot of historical and cultural heritage was lost, a large part of the state archive Lithuanian Metrica was lost or taken to Moscow. The part of the state that was not occupied by Russia was occupied and devastated by the Swedish army during the "Swedish Flood".

18th century The Northern War at the beginning of the 20th century showed the weakness of the state and greatly exhausted the country, which was constantly terrorized by its own and foreign armies. Since 1717 The Republic of the Two Peoples of the "silent" Seimas has obviously come under the influence of Russia. 18th century At the end of the 20th century, state governance reforms were attempted, but they were not successful, mainly due to Russian opposition. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania maintained a certain autonomy, but according to the 1791 May 3 It was actually abolished by the Constitution.


Russian Empire

After 1795 after the third division of the Republic of Both Nations, most of the present-day Lithuania was annexed by Russia. in 1807 Napoleon Bonaparte created the Duchy of Warsaw from the Polish and Lithuanian lands taken from Prussia, which existed until 1815. In order to restore the state of Poland and Lithuania, the nobility and nobles supported Napoleon. After Napoleon's defeat, the Duchy of Warsaw passed to Russia and was named the Kingdom of Poland. This compound was also called Congress Poland, because its existence was based on the resolutions of the Congress of Vienna. The composition of the Kingdom of Poland also included Lithuania's Užnemunė, which was ruled by Prussia for a while after the partitions. So from 1815 all the Lithuanian lands that belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were included in the Russian Empire, although there were still quite large differences in their status. In Užnemunė, compared to other parts of Lithuania, the peasants were granted personal freedom the earliest, here the policy of Russification was weaker.

After Russia's victory over Napoleon, Russification gradually began to strengthen in Lithuania. in 1830 In November, the uprising in Lithuania started in Poland in 1831. March. The nobility played a key role in it. After his defeat, Vilnius University and many Catholic monasteries were closed, and the participants of the uprising were exiled to Russia. 1863-1864 an uprising supported by the peasantry was also suppressed. After 1863-1864 the press ban introduced by the uprising - the banning of writing in Latin characters, in an attempt to replace them with Cyrillic. Books and printed matter in Latin letters reached Lithuania from the printing houses of Prussia and Lithuania Minor, established also by the efforts of bishop M. Valančiaus and J. Bielinis, from where they were illegally carried across the border to Lithuania and distributed by booksellers, who later gathered in a dozen organizations. The reaction after the uprising also affected other areas of life - all monasteries were closed, the patronage of the Orthodox Church strengthened.

19th century in the first half, the signs of the Lithuanian national revival were evident. The Lithuanian national began to form, i.e. i.e. a culture that has reached the level of civilization.


The First World War and Lithuania

When the First World War started, it quickly covered the territory of Lithuania. During 1914-1915 Germany occupied the entire territory of present-day Lithuania. With the retreating Russian army, the Russian administrative authorities retreated, Jews and some Lithuanians were expelled (accused of spying for the Germans). After leaving, the Lithuanians settled in large colonies in various areas of Russia, mainly in Voronezh, Tambov, Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg, and Moscow.

Lithuania fell into an administrative entity created by the Germans called Oberost. Lithuanians lost all political rights they had won, personal freedom was restricted, Lithuanian periodicals were banned at the beginning. Residents are covered with various taxes. They are forbidden to leave their place of residence. Requisitions of animals and things for war purposes were constantly carried out. Some residents are sent to work in Germany. The Lithuanian intelligentsia tried to take advantage of the geopolitical situation and began to look for opportunities for the restoration of Lithuania's independence. in 1917 September 18-22 A conference of Lithuanians gathered in Vilnius, which established the Council of Lithuania. During the conference, it was decided to restore the state of Lithuania with ethnographic borders and the capital in Vilnius. Antanas Smetona was elected chairman of the Council of Lithuania (only on February 16, 1918, the chairman was Jonas Basanavičius). Following the geopolitical situation in 1917 December 11 The Council of Lithuania signed a resolution announcing the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania with its capital in Vilnius, severing all ties that had ever been established with other states, and advocating an eternal alliance with Germany. Part of the Council members did not agree with the last thesis, so Mykolas Biržiška, Steponas Kairys, Stanislovas Narutavičius and Petras Vileišis left the organization. in 1918 February 16 The Council of Lithuania adopted a resolution which was recognized as the Act of Independence of Lithuania. It restores the independent and democratically organized state of Lithuania with its capital in Vilnius, and the relations of the state with other states were to be determined by the democratically elected Constituent Seimas. Unlike 1917 December 11 declaration, it no longer contains provisions for union with Germany. The state of Lithuania was created within the framework of the postulates of this resolution, which existed in 1918-1940. in 1918 March 3 With the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Soviet Russia renounced its claims to the Baltic countries. After signing the treaty, Germany ignored Lithuania's aspirations for independence, and on February 16 did not recognize the declaration.


The independent state of Lithuania 1918–1940

Opposing the German annexationist plans in 1918. In July, the Council of Lithuania elected Wilhelm von Urach, Duke of Württemberg, as King Mindaugas II of Lithuania. in 1918 November 2 the resolution was annulled, the idea of monarchy was abandoned, and the question of order was left to be decided by the Constituent Seimas. in 1918 November 11 the first Provisional Constitution of Lithuania was drawn up. At the same time, the army was organized, the first government and other state institutions were formed. in 1919 the office of the President was introduced, Antanas Smetona was elected as the state president.

After the withdrawal of the main German forces and the Bolsheviks advancing into Lithuania, the fighting against them began. in 1918 December 16 the Bolsheviks declared the Lithuanian Soviet Republic. The Bolsheviks occupied Vilnius, the Lithuanian government moved to Kaunas, which became the temporary capital. in 1919 February 27 At the joint meeting of the Lithuanian and Belarusian Central Executive Committees in Vilnius, the creation of the Lithuanian and Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic (Litbelas) was announced. In establishing statehood and the desired state borders, we had to fight not only with the Bolsheviks, but also with Bermontians and Poles. The Bermontinians were defeated in 1919. November in the battles of Radviliškis. A peace treaty was signed with Soviet Russia in 1920. July 12 1920 October 7 A peace treaty between Lithuania and Poland was signed in Suvalkai, according to which Vilnius was recognized as a part of Lithuania, but soon the Poles broke this treaty and their advance into the depths of the country was stopped only on November 21-22. in the battles at Širvinti and Giedraičii. Poland occupied and later annexed about 20 percent. The territories of Lithuania, including the capital Vilnius.

1920 May 15 the first democratically elected Constituent Seimas convened. The documents adopted by him began to regulate the life of the state. The temporary (1920) and permanent (1922) constitutions of Lithuania were adopted, land, finance, and education reforms were implemented. Own currency entered - litas. The University of Lithuania was opened. All major government institutions and institutions have been created. After stability was established in the country, it began to be recognized by foreign countries. in 1921 Lithuania was admitted to the League of Nations.

in 1922 the First Seimas was elected in October. He elected Aleksandar Stulginskis as the president. One of the most important achievements of that period was the annexation of Klaipėda region to the territory of Lithuania in 1923. and its international recognition in 1924. The Third Seimas elected Kazi Grinių, a populist, as president, but his leadership did not last long. in 1926 December 17 a coup took place in the state, the military handed over power to the nationalist A. Smetona. Augustin Voldemar is tasked with forming a government. The authoritarian stage of state management began, the influence of one union of nationalists in the country was strengthened. in 1927 released the Seimas, 1928 a new constitution strengthening the powers of the president was adopted. Opposition parties were gradually banned, censorship was tightened, and the rights of national minorities were narrowed.

The situation for the residents was aggravated by the onset of the global economic crisis. The purchase prices of agricultural products fell significantly. in 1935 Farmers' strikes started in Suvalkija and Dzūkija. During them, in addition to economic, political demands were also raised. The government quelled the unrest, in 1936 in the spring, 4 peasants were convicted and shot for the riots.

On the eve of the Second World War, as the geopolitical situation of the region changed, Lithuania was forced to accept the ultimatums of the neighboring states. in 1938 March 17 Poland issued an ultimatum demanding the establishment of diplomatic relations. Although this practically meant the "renunciation" of Vilnius, the ultimatum was accepted. A year later, in 1939 March 20 Lithuania was given an ultimatum by Germany. It was demanded to hand over Klaipėda region to Germany. The Lithuanian government also accepted this ultimatum.

According to the 1939 According to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Lithuania was assigned to the German sphere of influence, later, with additional protocols, Germany gave Lithuania to the Soviet sphere of influence in exchange for a part of Poland. After the fall of Poland, the Soviet Union, without opposition from Germany, offered to conclude an agreement under which Soviet military crews would be stationed in Lithuania. According to the 1939 October 10 in the treaty concluded with the USSR, Lithuania allowed the establishment of Soviet military bases on its territory and regained Vilnius and part of the Vilnius region. in 1940 the Soviets began to create tension and accused Lithuania of kidnapping Red Army soldiers. Although the authorities denied these accusations, the Soviets in 1940 June 14 The USSR gave Lithuania an ultimatum demanding a change of government and the admission of an unlimited contingent of RA units, which meant the occupation of the state.


The Second World War and the occupation of Lithuania in 1940-1990.

After the ultimatum in 1940 June 15 The USSR occupied the territory of the country. In Lithuania, sovietization was immediately started - property nationalization and population deportation were started. The opposition, its press, organizations are also banned, and relations with foreign countries are limited. Forced elections to the People's Diet were organized and their results were falsified. The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was announced, which was incorporated into the Soviet Union. Not all states recognized the annexation of Lithuania. in 1940 July 23 The Declaration of Wales published in the USA warned the Soviet Union that the annexation of Lithuania would not be recognized, and the financial capital of Lithuania, as an occupied state, was ordered to be frozen by Roosevelt's instructions.

Along with the beginning of the war between the USSR and Germany in 1941. June 22 An uprising took place in Lithuania, and the Provisional Government was formed. The latter hoped for German recognition, but the Nazis terminated its activities and included Lithuania in the German Reichskommissariat of Ostland as a general area of Lithuania under civil administration. A new period of occupation has begun. Nationalized property was not returned to residents. Citizens of the Jewish nationality were herded into ghettos and gradually exterminated by shooting or being sent to concentration camps. 1941-1944 80-85% were killed. Lithuanian Jews (130,000–140,000).

in 1944 July-October As the front moved westward, during the "Bagration" operation, the USSR occupied Lithuania again. The second Soviet occupation began. Political repressions were renewed again, mass deportations of the population to Siberia continued until Stalin's death in 1953. Any symbols of nationality are prohibited. People were persecuted for using them. Communist ideology and atheism were forced upon the population.

Under the pretext of restoring the Lithuanian economy, the Moscow authorities encouraged the migration of workers and other residents to Lithuania; it was intended to further integrate Lithuania into the Soviet Union and develop industry. At the same time, able-bodied residents of Lithuania were lured to work in the depths of the USSR, promising all kinds of benefits for settling in a new place.

The second Soviet occupation was accompanied by the armed resistance of the Lithuanian population in 1944-1953. It sought to restore the independent state of Lithuania, consolidate democracy by destroying communism in the country, return national values and freedom of religion. People of various social strata, age groups and education, who were called bandits by the Soviet authorities, became partisans. The desire of some to retreat to the forests and resist with weapons was determined by the occupation, others - their farms and property were taken from them. Armed resistance is divided into three stages. The first started in 1944. summer and lasted until 1946. summer During his time, large groups were formed, but there was no unified organization. There were frequent military clashes with the RA. The second stage included 1946. in the summer of 1948 the end At that time, the organizational structure of the partisans was formed, the squads were reduced to 5-15 people living in bunkers. Underground combat tactics were used, surprise attacks were organized. The third stage - 1949-1953. the end During his time, the Lithuanian Freedom Struggle Movement was founded under the leadership of Jonas Žemaitis-Vytautas. Squads decreased to 3-5 people, open clashes rarely took place, sabotage and terror were mostly used. Despite the fact that the partisan war did not achieve its goal of liberating the state of Lithuania and claimed more than 20,000 lives. victims of partisans, this armed resistance showed the world that Lithuania joined the USSR against its will and legitimized the nation's desire to be independent. Even after suppressing the partisan resistance, the Soviet authorities did not suppress the movement for Lithuanian independence. There were persecuted underground dissident groups that published an underground press and Catholic literature. Vincentas Sladkevičius, Sigitas Tamkevičius, Nijolė Sadūnaitė are considered the most active repressed participants of the movement. in 1972 after the burning of Romo Kalanta, there were several days of unrest in Kaunas. After the international conference in the capital of Finland, where the borders established after the Second World War were recognized, the Helsinki group established in Lithuania announced the demand for independence on foreign radio. The dissident movement raised the spirit of the nation, and the passage of time prevented history and national values from being forgotten. Thanks to their activities, the world was informed about the situation in the USSR, human rights violations, which forced Moscow to soften the regime.


Restoration of independence in 1990. and current Lithuania

in 1986 After the beginning of the policy of publicity (glasnost) in the Soviet Union, public life became freer. in 1988 June 3 Lithuania Persitvarkymos Sąjūdis was founded, people supporting the ideas of Sąjūdis gathered in LPS support groups all over Lithuania. in 1988 August 23 a huge rally took place in Vingios Park in Vilnius. About 250 thousand people participated in it. people. A year later, in 1989 On August 23, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and in order to draw the attention of the whole world to the occupation of the Baltic States, the "Baltic Road" campaign was organized. The "Baltic Road" organized by the Lithuanian Reorganization Association was a chain of people holding hands for about 600 km, stopping to connect the capitals of the three Baltic states - Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. This showed the desire of the people of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to separate from the USSR.

in 1990 March 11 The Restorative Seimas announced the restoration of Lithuania's independence. The Soviet leadership responded to Lithuania's "unilateral" actions with an economic blockade. in 1990 April 18 The USSR stopped the supply of raw materials (primarily oil) to Lithuania. Not only the country's industry, but also the population began to lack fuel, essential goods, even hot water. The economic blockade lasted 76 days, but Lithuania did not give up the declaration of independence. Gradually, economic relations began to be restored. Tensions reached a climax in 1991. In January. At that time, an attempt was made to carry out a coup d'état using the armed forces of the USSR, the internal army of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Committee of the USSR. Due to the bad economic situation, people were expected to support the coup, but people from all over Lithuania flocked to Vilnius to defend the legally elected government and independence. The coup attempt ended with the victims of the peaceful population and caused great material losses. There was not a single case when the weapon was used by peaceful residents and defenders of state institutions, only the Soviet army fired. As a result of the use of the weapon, 14 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Not long after the first Lithuanian independence in 1991. February 11 recognized by Iceland. Lithuania received wide international recognition after the failed August putsch in Moscow. September 17 of the same year. Lithuania was admitted to the United Nations Organization.

in 1992 October 25 The currently valid Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania was adopted in a referendum of the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania. As the first President after the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania, in 1993 February 14 during direct general elections, Algirdas Brazauskas was elected. August 31 of the same year. the last units of the Soviet army were withdrawn. Since 2004 March 29 Lithuania belongs to the NATO bloc, and in 2004 May 1st Lithuania became a full member of the European Union.


Political system

Lithuania is a multi-party parliamentary republic. The main law of the country is by referendum in 1992. October 25 adopted the Constitution, valid since 1992 November 6 Based on it, power is exercised by the Seimas, the President, the Government and the Court.

Judicial power is exercised by courts. Their purpose is to administer justice in criminal, civil and administrative cases. As is characteristic of a democratic republic, the government in the country is elected through elections. In Lithuania, they are of 4 types: the Seimas, the President, municipal councils - mayors and representatives of the European Parliament.

The president is elected by the nation for a 5-year term no more than twice. One of the main functions of the president is the formulation of foreign policy. The president also appoints the Ministers, the Prime Minister and judges, and is the supreme commander of the military forces. The current President of the Republic Gitanas Nausėda was elected in 2019.

The legislative power is a unicameral parliament - the Seimas. It consists of 141 Seimas members elected for a 4-year term by a mixed election system (71 members are elected by absolute majority, and 70 by proportional representation with the possibility of ranking party lists). Everyone over the age of 18 has the right to elect the Seimas. citizens, to be elected as members of the Seimas - from the age of 25.



The Lithuanian army consists of four types of forces: Land Forces, Air Forces, Naval Forces, Special Operations Forces and separate units (separate battalions, boards, units, services, departments, etc.). Since 2004 Lithuania belongs to NATO. in 2017 A combat group of the NATO Forward Forces Battalion is deployed in the Baltic States and Poland. This decision demonstrates the solidarity and unity of the NATO alliance and is an expression of reliable deterrence and preparation for collective defense. Since 1994 Lithuania participates in international operations. Currently, Lithuanian soldiers are in ongoing operations in Mali, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Kosovo. Lithuania's participation in international operations is based on collective defense and security agreements signed by Lithuania. By fulfilling these obligations, Lithuania contributes to the efforts of the international community to strengthen security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, while at the same time Lithuania implements its foreign policy priorities. in 2017 Lithuania has entered the top eight NATO countries with the best defense financing, compared to the size of the economy, according to the data published by the Alliance. Country for national defense in 2017 allocated 1.77 percent. gross domestic product. Lithuania spends slightly more than 31 percent on acquisitions. of the entire defense budget and is therefore ranked third in the Alliance. Lithuania has long lagged behind its NATO allies in terms of defense spending, but in recent years has begun to rapidly increase funding. in 2018 Lithuania plans to allocate 2.06 percent to defense. GDP and reach the funding standard required by NATO.



Lithuania is a Central European country (the United Nations classifies it as Northern Europe). From the geographical center of the territory of Lithuania at Ruoščiai to the North Pole, it is 3870 km, to the equator about 6130 km, to the Greenwich meridian - 1488 km. 26 km north of Vilnius, between the village of Purnuškii and the Bernotai mound, is the geographical center of Europe determined by the French National Geographic Institute (54° 54′ north latitude and 25° 19′ east longitude). The easternmost area of Lithuania is located in the territory of the municipality of Ignalina district near the villages of Rimaldiškii and Vosiūnai (26° 51′ east longitude), to the west - at Nida (20° 56′ east longitude), to the north - in the territory of the municipality of Biržai district near the village of Aspariškii ( 56° 27′ north latitude), to the south – in the territory of the municipality of Varėna district near the village of Musteika (53° 54′ north latitude). At the same geographical latitude to the west of Lithuania are Denmark, Great Britain (the northern part of England), to the east – Belarus and the central regions of Russia, at the same geographical longitude to the north are Latvia, Estonia, Finland, to the south – Eastern Poland, the western part of Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece.

The territory of Lithuania stretches 373 km from east to west, 276 km from north to south. Lithuania's area (65.3 thousand km²) is larger than the Netherlands (41.5 thousand km²), Belgium (30.5 thousand km²), Denmark (43.1 thousand km²), Switzerland (41.2 thousand km²). km²), Estonia (45.2 thousand km²), smaller than Austria (83.9 thousand km²), the Czech Republic (78.9 thousand km²) and almost equal to Latvia (64.6 thousand km²) and Ireland (70.3 thousand km²).

The sun rises in the east of Lithuania for 23 minutes. 20 sec. earlier than in the west. Lithuanian time zone is PL + 2 h (like Helsinki, Riga, Athens, Jerusalem). In Lithuania, a seasonal change of time calculation is used.

From the point of view of natural geography, Lithuania is a country of medium latitudes in the western part of the Eastern European plain, in the geographical zone of the transitional climate from maritime to continental, Eastern European mixed forests.

Fields and meadows occupy 57%, forests and bushes - 30%, swamps - 3%, inland waters - 4%, other lands - 6% of the territory.



The climate of Lithuania is moderately warm in the middle latitudes, changing from maritime to continental. The continental climate is more pronounced in the east of the country. Lithuania is in a cool temperate climate zone, with moderately warm summers and moderately cold winters. The average temperature in July is about 17 °C, and in winter about -5 °C, with an interval between temperatures of about 20 °C. In Lithuania, there are very hot summers, when the air warms up to 30 °C, and also very cold winters, when the air cools down to -20 °C, and at night to -30 °C. Most precipitation falls in summer (up to 50% of annual precipitation). Fall, winter and spring have less precipitation. Spring has the least amount of precipitation, as anticyclones usually prevail.



Lithuanian landscape types:
clay plains - 55.2 percent;
hilly morainic highlands - 21.2 percent;
sandy plains - 17.8 percent;
river valleys - 3.6%;
coastal plains - 2.2 percent.

Rivers and lakes
There are about 3 thousand rivers and lakes in Lithuania. The total length of river and canal beds in Lithuania is 76,800 km. The largest river is the Nemunas, whose source is in Belarus. The Nemunas basin covers about 70 percent. territories of the country. The longest river flowing only in the territory of Lithuania is Šventoji. The main source of river water is precipitation, snow melting after winter often causes river floods. Swamps are widespread in Lithuania, especially in the northern and western parts, although most of them are drained.

The longest rivers in Lithuania:
Nemunas – 937 km (in the territory of Lithuania – 475 km),
Neris - 510 km (234 km),
Venta - 343 km (161 km),
Šešupė – 298 km (209 km),
Mūša (Lielupė) – 284 km (133 km).

The largest lakes in Lithuania:
Drukšiai – 44.8 km²;
Dysnai - 24.0 km²;
Dusia – 23.3 km²;
Sartai - 13.4 km²;
Luodi - 12.9 km².



in 1990 After independence, the transformation of the Soviet economy into a free market economy began.

2000-2008 GDP grew rapidly (record in 2003 +10.3%). For 2007-2008 financial crisis, 2009 GDP fell by 14.8%. Since 2010 the economy started to pick up again. in 2013 The World Bank classified Lithuania among developed countries, and in 2015 The International Monetary Fund granted Lithuania the status of "advanced economy". Lithuania has a very high Human Development Index and is advanced in many areas. Lithuania ranks first in the European Union in terms of competitiveness growth, 28th in the world in terms of gender equality (surpassing countries such as Spain, France, Estonia or Russia), 32nd in terms of press freedom (surpassing countries such as the USA, United Kingdom or Russia), 43rd in the world according to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, surpassing countries such as Italy, Greece and the Czech Republic, leaving far behind countries such as Russia, Mexico or Brazil. in 2015 January 1 Lithuania became a member of the Eurozone, the euro replaced it in 1993. valid national currency litas.

Lithuania is considered a country of low political and economic risk, its GDP growth is one of the highest in Europe. Lithuania is a country with a high standard of living, according to economic development, nominal GDP, GDP per capita and other parameters, it is classified by international organizations as a highly developed country. In terms of GDP per capita, Lithuania surpasses Estonia and Latvia, all post-Soviet countries, Greece and Portugal. Important factors for economic development are macroeconomic stability, international trade relations, geopolitical situation between East and West. Advanced branches of the economy include biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry, and laser production.



in 2020 At the beginning, 2.79 million people lived in Lithuania. population. in 1992 A maximum of 3.7 million was reached in Lithuania. population. After that, the population decreased continuously and only in 2019. a slight increase was recorded. in 2000 population decreased to 3.5 million, and in 2010 - up to 3.32 million in 2012 September 28 According to the statistics of the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, the population no longer reached 3 million.

The main reason for population decline is emigration and higher death rate than birth rate. The majority of Lithuanian residents emigrated to Western countries, where they found better conditions in the labor market. Thus, among the emigrants there are mostly people of working age. The main destinations are Scandinavia, United Kingdom, Ireland. 124,000 emigrants declared their place of residence in the United Kingdom. In Ireland - 40,000, in Norway - 24,000. According to various estimates, about 200,000 Lithuanian citizens live and work in Western countries. In Lithuania itself, 4.3% of the population was born abroad. in 2011 54,000 residents left Lithuania, 16,000 arrived, 39,000 left in 2013, 36,600 the following year, and 2015. – 44,500 in 2016, 51,000 residents emigrated, in 2017 – 57,200. In 2018 12,300 persons arrived in the country, including 5,700 Ukrainians, 26 percent. from Belarus and 6 percent from Russia.

The lowest birth rate was reached in 2002, when 30,000 babies were born (8.6/1000 population), since then this rate has slightly increased: in 2010 35,625 babies were born (10.8/1000 population). The number of children per woman is 1.21. The highest mortality is in the eastern regions of the country, where the aging of the population is most felt. in 2007 In the districts of Ignalina, Švenčioni and Zarasai, 20 deaths per thousand inhabitants were registered (the national average in that year was 13.5 deaths per thousand inhabitants). One of the highest suicide rates in Europe contributes to the high mortality rate.

The majority of the population lives in cities. This rate changed rapidly after the Second World War. in 1959 another three-fifths of the population lived in the countryside in 1970. the ratio leveled off, and in 1990 already two-thirds of the population lived in cities. Currently, more than 1,000,000 inhabitants live in four cities (Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai).

100% of the country's population over the age of 15 is literate. The average life expectancy is 80 years for men and 85 years for women. Compared to the previous year's research data, the duration has increased by about 4 years.



Over the centuries, Lithuanian culture has been influenced by many neighboring nations and religions. Despite this, it retained its originality. The Lithuanian language is one of the two remaining Baltic languages, originating from an Indo-European proto-language through an intermediate Baltic pro-language. 7 Lithuanian heritage objects are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List: the historic Old Town of Vilnius, the Curonian Spit, the Kernavė archaeological site, the geodetic points of the F.G.W. Struvė meridian arc, cross-stitching and the symbolism of crosses in Lithuania, the tradition of song and dance festivals in the Baltic States, and the Intangible World Heritage List. contract - Lithuanian polyphonic songs, to the register of "Pasaulis omnost" - "Catechism" by Martynas Mažvydas and other valuable documents.


Lithuanian ethnic culture

The nation's Baltic past and geographical location meant that Lithuania was the last country in Europe that did not adopt any Abrahamic religion. Its rulers first accepted baptism only in the 13th century. This was determined by the manifestation of old Lithuanian customs in today's life. Lithuanian museums and society funds have accumulated a huge array of various types of heritage, testifying to the ethnic characteristics of the population, businesses, crafts and household. Ancient Lithuanians paid a lot of attention to wooden sculptures of saints. The sculpture of the Carer is unique. Also, authentic folk motifs are revealed in the carving of chapels and chapel pillars, household items, means of transportation, furniture, work tools, peasant clothes, fabrics. Not only the polyphonic folk songs, but also the customs of daisy printing and garden weaving are unique. Also wood carvings, iron and amber works.



The first Lithuanian Art Museum was founded in 1933. in Kaunas. This museum is named after Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, as the latter is considered the most famous Lithuanian artist. In independent Lithuania, the painter Petras Kalpokas, famous for his works "Swiss Landscape", "Roman Pantheon at Night", "Portrait of the Waterspout", painter, collector Antanas Žmuidzinavičius, painters Jonas Šileika, Kajetonas Sklērius, Adams Varnas, Justinas Vienožinskis created. The latter was the initiator of the Lithuanian Art School. Outstanding sculptors Petras Rimša, Juozas Zikars, Vincas Grybas, Bronius Pundzius.



During the Renaissance, a new, free, non-ideologicalized Lithuanian literature began to be created. The first creators were Juozas Erlickas, Ričardas Gavelis, Jurgis Kunčinas, Valdas Papievis, Aidas Marčėnas, Rolandas Rastauskas, Jurga Ivanauskaitė, Marius Ivaškevičius. Literature was enriched by the legacy of exile.



The country has a long, successful tradition of Lithuanian theater. There are dozens of theaters in the country. A few of them are particularly popular, e.g. LNDT, LNOBT, Keistuoliai (all in Vilnius), NKDT (Kaunas), JMDT (Panevėžys).

The most famous Lithuanian directors are Cezaris Graužinis, Oskaras Koršunovas, Rimas Tuminas, Gintaras Varnas, Jonas Vaitkus, Eimuntas Nekrošius (1952–2018).


Traditional cuisine

Lithuanians are proud of their hospitality and culinary heritage. In ancient times, a lot of vegetables, berries and mushrooms were eaten in the summer and canned, fermented products in the winter.

Zeppelins are the national dish. In summer, a pink cold soup is eaten - šaltiborščiai.

Unique Lithuanian products - rye bread, curd cheese, bacon cold-smoked with deciduous wood, occasional skilandis, smoked fish (especially at the seaside), potato dishes (e.g. kugelis, potato pancakes).



The most popular sport in Lithuania is basketball. The Lithuanian men's basketball team won the European basketball championships in 1937, 1939 and 2003. in 2007 The Lithuanian women's basketball team became the European champion. The Lithuanian men's basketball team was also a prize winner at the European and World Basketball Championships and the Olympic Games. Kaunas Žalgiris basketball club in 1986. won the Intercontinental William Jones Cup (the unofficial title of world club basketball team champions), and in 1999 became the Euroleague champion. The country's best basketball players were invited to play in the NBA. Among them are Arvydas Sabonis, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Linas Kleiza, Jonas Valančiūnas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Darius Songaila, Domantas Sabonis.

Since 1992 Lithuanians won 25 Olympic medals (6 gold). Discus thrower Virgilijus Alekna is the country's only two-time Olympic champion (2000 in Sydney and 2004 in Athens). in 1992 Romas Ubartas became the Olympic discus champion in Barcelona. in 2000 At the Sydney Olympics, Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, the current president of the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee, won gold in the target shooting event. in 2012 15-year-old who made her debut at the London Olympics. swimmer Rūta Meilutytė became the Olympic champion. In the same year, pentathlete Laura Asadauskaitė became the Olympic champion.