A Short History of Klaipeda
It was always believed that the Curonian lagoon is the delta of the Nemunas river. Western Balts and Germans called the river Nemunas Memel. Because of this, the name of the city founded close to the lagoon became Memel. Lithuanians and Samogitians called it Klaipeda, or Coloypede in Latin.
In 1252 the German Teutonic Order built the castle Memelburg at the mouth of the River Dane, one year later Klaipeda receives the important city rights of Lübeck.
In 1328, the city and surrounding areas went to Prussia. The city suffers from large fires in 1540. Between 1807 and 1808 Klaipeda becomes the temporary capital of the Kingdom of Prussia.
In 1854 the city suffers again because of fire. The peace treaty of Versailles separates Klaipeda from Germany and appoints a provisional French mandate. In 1923 Lithuania annexes the city which, since then, is part of Lithuania.
In 1991 a University was established in Klaipeda, focusing on research in marine science and marine studies. Klaipeda can be reached by the nearby situated airport of Palanga. The ferry to Neringa and Nida is here as well.
Visit The Klaipeda Castle Site
Today, the Klaipeda Caste site hosts the Klaipeda Castle Museum, where you can discover details about the birth and development of the fortified castle. The castle was first mentioned in a document from 1252.
The Germans thought that the lagoon was a branch of the Nemunas (Memel in German), therefore the called the castle "Memelburg".
The castle walls were surrounded by protective ditches, ramparts, and palisades.
Klaipeda Old Town Little Mouse
In the old town of Klaipeda, not far from the famous jazz club "Kurpiai", you'll find a sculpture of a small mouse with rather big ears. The bronze band around the tiny mouse says: "Convert your ideas into words, words will become magic".
It can't hurt sharing some thought with this mouse, but you have to whisper in one of its ears. Funny sculpture and you really have to look for it! (try the intersection of Kurpiu and Kepeju gatve).
Responsible for the sculpture are the artists S. Plotnikovas and S. Jurkus. The mouse is known as "Stebuklingas peliukas" ("The Magical mouse").
Jonas Hill Klaipeda
The Bastion complex in Klaipėda Old Town, better known as Jonas Hill, is a popular site of many Klaipėda community events, including Jūros šventė (Sea Festival), Saint John’s Eve and Užgavėnės (the time before Lent).
The name of the place derives from the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church that stood there from 1706 until its destruction in the Second World War. An elaborate bastion defense system with water trenches protected Klaipėda through the occupations of the Swedish and Russian armies in the 17th and 18th centuries. Subsequently, the fortifications lost their military significance and were pulled down, and nowadays only fragments of their former glory welcome tourists on Jonas Hill.
Wild Man Of Klaipeda
The architect Dainora Abelkiene and the sculptor Svajunas Jurkus created a sculpture of a tall (1,3 m !), wild man near the entrance of Friedrich's Passage.
He has a crown of oak leaves on his head and leans against an anchor. He used to be part of the coat of arms of the no longer existing town of Friedrich, in the 17th century when the city wasn't yet Lithuanian but was known as Memel.
Drama Theater of Klaipeda
The building housing Klaipeda's drama theater was build in 1819 in an old Classicist style. It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1857. Build on top of the old structure, the new theater is larger than the former one.
Ann from Tharau
The sculpture "Taravos Anike" or "Ann from Tharau" is on Theater Square. The sculpture is dedicated to the poet Simon Dach, who was born in this city. He was in love with the already engaged girl Anne.
For her, he created "Ann from Tharau", still a well-known song in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
Dach taught for some time at Königsberg University. The sculpture disappeared during World War II and was only reconstructed in 1990.
Tauralaukio Botanical Garden of Klaipeda
In the old Taralaukis Park, in the northern part of the city, is the Botanical Garden. Established in 1993, the gardens take almost 10 hectares in the valley of the Dane River.
Three different collections of plants are on display; fruit and spice plants, perennial and annual flowers, ad dendrites. There are more than 1,500 plants on display. Regular guided tours are available.
|Address||Kretingos gatve 92, Klaipeda, Lithuania|
|Telephone||+37 46 350 463|
|Opening season||From April 1st to November 1st|
|Monday -Friday||08:00 - 18:00|
|Saturday||10:00 - 15:00|
General Information Klaipeda
Klaipeda is the third largest city in Lithuania. The annual jazz festival and the annual sea festival are both worth visiting.
|Address||Turgaus gatve 7, Klaipeda, Lithuania|
|Telephone||+370 46 412 186|
|Saturday-Sunday||10:00 – 16:00|