The city has a complex recorded history, partially due to the combined regional importance of the usually ice-free Port of Klaipėda at the mouth of the Akmena-Danė River. It is the most important Lithuanian transportation hub, connecting sea, land and railway routes from East to West. Klaipėda is a multipurpose, universal, deep-water port. Nineteen big stevedoring companies, ship-repair and shipbuilding yards operate within the port and all marine business and cargo handling services are rendered.
Klaipėda was controlled by successive German states until the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. As a result of the 1923 Klaipėda Revolt it was added to Lithuania and has remained with Lithuania to this day, except for the period between 1939 and 1945 when it returned to Germany following the 1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania.
The city itself had a population of 207,100 in 1992 to 157,350 in 2014, but the city is growing again (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaip%C4%97da.)
Klaipėda’s main attractions are the historic buildings in the city’s centre, dating from the 13th to 18th centuries. Klaipėda’s Old Town is notable among other towns in Lithuania for its abundance of German and Scandinavian architecture. Klaipėda’s Old Town is unique with its fachwerk architectural style and the planned street structure, which is uncharacteristic to any other old town in Lithuania. Its streets are geometrically configured very correctly, and the angle of intersection is always straight.
Places to visit
Klaipeda has a lot of nice places to visit, some of them we would like to recommend. For the more detailed information, you can visit Klaipeda Tourism and Culture Information Centre or their website https://www.klaipedainfo.lt/
- The Theatre Square and Tarawa Anike sculpture
One of most popular places in Klaipėda‘s old town is The Theatre Square hosts a variety of concerts, the Sea Festival, the International Jazz Festival and other events. An important focus of the Theatre Square is the Tarawa Anike sculpture depicting a youthful barefoot girl. The sculpture was erected in the memory of the poet Simonas Dachas and perpetuates one of the poet’s described heroes.The building behind the sculpture is the Drama Theatre. Since the 18th century, the theatre has played an important role in the cultural life of Klaipėda. This building was reconstructed in the 19th century in the neoclassical style.
The remnants of the Klaipėda Castle
The remnants of the Klaipėda Castle, built in the 13th century by the Teutonic Order. It had a massive bulk and a quadrangular tower, surrounded by the ramparts and brick bastions. It lost importance after the Russian occupation from 1756 to 1762, and thenceforth started to decay.
Liepu street developed on the right bank of the Danė river in the 17th century. There are many buildings of different styles (jugend, neo-gothic) showcasing different periods they were built in.
One of the most elegant buildings in Klaipeda is the red-brick Post Office. It also used to be one of the most important institutions, as the city had much traffic (both sea and land) from Russia and Europe and thus, it was often frequented by merchants, tradesmen and sailors who needed to communicate with business associates, friends and family abroad. The Post Office was officially opened on June l, 1864. A carillon of 48 chromatically-tuned bells was installed in the reconstructed tower in 1987. The first bell concert was held on 13 November, 1987. At noon on every Sunday, they play for 30 minutes.
Why should you visit the park? See the gallery of modern Lithuanian sculpture under the open sky (photo). Go for a walk to seek traces of Klaipeda‘s history during the period of 19th and the beginning of 20th century (J. L. Wiener‘s grave, the memorial commemorating the joining of Klaipeda region to Lithuania in 1923, the memorable place to victims of the Second World War, the monument for lost at sea and others).
On the quay of Danės river, at North Horn one can see a girl made out of bronze, standing on her tiptoes and sending a kiss to the sculpture of “Boy with dog” on the other side of Danės river. Thus, the sculpture is named accordingly – “The Kiss”. This sculpture decorates and attracts visitors of Klaipėda quay since the start of 2014 June.
Maritime museum and Dolphinarium
Maritime museum in Fort Wilhelm, built at the end of the 19th century at the spike of the Curonian Spit. The museum with 6 different exhibitions is set in a former nineteenth century fortification of the Spit. In the Maritime Museum there is a huge aquarium, the exhibitions of marine fauna, mammals and seabirds. The aquarium is populated with invertebrates, and freshwater fish of Lithuania – many species, not only from the Baltic Sea, but also from various tropical seas. The museum’s courtyard has a pool filled with seals, sea lions and penguins. The marine fauna exhibition has diverse exhibits: mollusc shells, various fossils, algae and other special exhibits, surviving the prehistoric dinosaur times.
Why should you visit Dolphinariums? Dolphin performances are entertaining educational events intended to let the visitors get to know more about these beautiful animals. The aim of the performances is to encourage people to protect and conserve the natural environment of dolphins – the sea. After the reconstruction of the Dolphinarium of the Lithuanian Sea Museum, which took almost six years, the spaces of dolphins’ home have considerably expanded.
Culture and contemporary life
Annual events include Klaipėda Music Spring, the Klaipėda Castle Jazz Festival, Museum Nights, the International Festival of Street Theatres, the International Short Film Festival, and the Klaipėda Sea Festival, The folk festival Parbėg laivelis is held every two years.
In middle of winter (mid-February) the city is having “Festival of Lights”. The project is only three years old but has been recognized as the most popular event of the winter season. This festival colored Klaipeda Old town with unexpected solutions, forms and shapes.
What a trip would it be without great/delicious food!
Some other attractions and entertainment places
- Forum cinema http://www.forumcinemas.lt/About/Klaipeda/
- Kultūros fabrikas http://www.kulturosfabrikas.lt/
- Klaipėda Musical theatre http://klaipedosmuzikinis.lt/
- Klaipėda Drama theatre http://kldt.lt/
- Klaipėda Puppet theatre http://klaihttps://www.inyourpocket.com/klaipeda/castle-museum_13478vpedosleliuteatras.lt/
- Apeironas theater http://www.apeirontheatre.net/
- Dance theater “PADI DAPI Fish” http://www.padidapifish.lt/
- Klaipėda youth theater “Klaipėdos jaunimo teatras” http://www.kjt.lt/
- “Amber Queen” museum of amber http://www.pgm.lt/gintaro_muziejus/turinys.htm
- Blacksmiths museum https://www.inyourpocket.com/klaipeda/blacksmiths-museum_11908v
- Castle museum https://www.inyourpocket.com/klaipeda/castle-museum_13478v
- Clocks museum https://www.muziejai.lt/Muziejus.en.asp?Db_kodas=2775&meniu=0
- Lithuanian Art Museum Pranas Domšaitis gallery https://www.ldm.lt/pdg/
- Lithuania Minor Historical museum https://www.mlimuziejus.lt/en/
- Maritime museum and Dolphinarium http://muziejus.lt/en
Additional information sources: