Population:                       157 350

Area:                                  98,35 sq. km

Klaipėda - the third largest city of Lithuania – is situated in the Western part of the country.

It is an ice-free port with favorable geographical position (55o 43' North latitude, 21o 07' East longitude) on the coast of the Baltic Sea and Curonian Lagoon, within close distance to other Baltic Sea ports: Kaliningrad (Russia) and Riga (Latvia).

For a long time it was part of Prussia. After World War One, in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles, control of the city was transferred from Germany to France. In 1923, Klaipėda became part of Lithuania.

Because of its old architecture, the seaport is closer to the northern countries. Some of the buildings that have survived in the cosy Old Town have a pronounced Fachwerk style.

During the Soviet period, Klaipėda became a centre for industry and fisheries. After the re-establishment of independence the seaport grew rapidly, specializing in the reloading of dry cargo and in the export of oil products. As a dynamically developing town, it has overtaken Kaunas, the second largest city, according to the quantity of direct investment.

Klaipėda cherishes marine traditions: it hosts the Sea Festival on the last weekend of July every year since 1934. This event includes a number of performances of artistic companies and craftsmen’s fairs. The festival attracts many participants and guests not only from Lithuania but also from abroad. The Kopgalis Fort complex, built in the 19th century, houses the Maritime Museum with an attractive exposition of marine nature and the history of navigation. These unique structures also accommodate a rich Aquarium and a Dolphinarium, hosting shows of trained dolphins and Californian sea lions, which attract many spectators. Another interesting activity of the museum is dolphin therapy for children with disability.

The Lithuania Minor and Castle Museums house exhibits related to the history of the region; Pranas Domšaitis Gallery stores valuable collections of paintings; the Museums of Clocks and Blacksmith also boast interesting collections. A number of original artworks of the best national sculptors are displayed in Klaipėda Park of Contemporary Sculpture. Visitors can listen to the carillon music concerts given in the tower of the Old Post-office at midday on weekends. In summer the seaside enjoys intensive musical life–several festivals of serious and light music and concerts are held here. The International Pilies Jazz Festival held in late June is a real fiesta for music lovers; every year it receives new world-class stars. Žuvėdra dance sport ensemble, the most famous artistic company of Klaipėda, is a repeated European and world champion.

Klaipėda is a city suitable for recreation. Klaipėda, like the entire coast of the Baltic Sea in Lithuania, boasts excellent white sand beaches. The Seaside Regional Park, in close proximity north of the city, is attractive with beautiful landscape and unique nature. The services of accommodation and leisure activities are well developed in the city. Yachtsmen are offered 2 yachting clubs, one of which is located in the very centre of Klaipėda, like the Cruise Ship Terminal. The seaport is on the routes of cruise ships sailing on the Baltic Sea. Palanga, the biggest Lithuanian seaside resort, is located on one side, and the beautiful Curonian Spit–on the other nearby Klaipėda.




Source:     www.lithuania.travel