Trakai (Lithuanian: Trakai), until 1940 Troki (Polish Troki) - a city, regional center in Lithuania. The area is 11.52 km². Parts of the city: old town, uzhutrakis, nauyasodis.
Trakai Island Castle
The city is located 27 km west of the capital of Lithuania Vilnius. It is known for its castle on an island between lakes Galve, Luka and Totoriskes (literally “Tatarskoe”). In total, there are up to 200 lakes in the vicinity of the city. Lake Galve, which has 21 islands, has a depth of 46.7 m. The lake area is 3.88 km².
The name of the city was first recorded in the annals of 1337 in German as Traken and comes from the Lithuanian word “trakas” (lit. trakas), which means “meadow”. Since the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth the city was known as Troki or New Troki.
Old Trakai was founded by Prince
Gediminas at the end of the XIII century and from 1316 to 1323. were
the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. According to the
legend, after a successful hunt, Gediminas found a convenient hill
in the forest and ordered to build a castle there and move the
capital there from Kernov (lit. Kernavė).
XIII and XIV centuries. marked by the struggle with the knights of the Teutonic Order. In the second half of the XIV century, a stone castle was built in Starye Troki, which became the temporary residence of the Grand Duke. In its place in the second half of the 19th century a neo-Gothic church was erected. Next to it are the ruins of a Benedictine monastery.
New Troki, that is, the modern city of Trakai, was first mentioned in sources in 1337. When Prince Gediminas established himself in Vilnius (lit. Vilnius), Old Trakai passed to his eldest son Keistut, under him Old Troki became the capital of the Troki principality. The future ruler of Lithuania was born here in 1350 - the son of Keistut, the Grand Duke Vitovt.
Vitovt made Troki a grand ducal residence, significantly expanded and strengthened both castles. Here Vitovt collected and prepared the army for the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. In 1409, Vitovt granted the New Trakai Magdeburg rights (city government). The city had to pay tribute to the Grand Duke, protect and strengthen castles. In 1413, according to the Gorodelsky union, the Troki principality was transformed into the Troki voivodeship.
Due to its location between the lakes, New Trakai in the Middle Ages faced the problem of expanding the territory for the development of the city and in the 16th century finally lost their political and economic importance. During the invasion of Vilna by Russian troops (1655), the city was plundered and burnt, and the castles were destroyed. In the 19th century, New Troki was an ordinary district town - the administrative center of the Troksky district of the Vilna province. In 1897, 3,240 people lived in the city. After the First World War, Troki found themselves in the Middle Lithuania, then in the Polish Republic, since 1939 - within the Republic of Lithuania.
In 1991, the Trakai Historical National Park was established. In 1996, the current Trakai coat of arms was approved. In 2008 the city was granted the status of a resort zone.