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Trakai: where tourists go for a walk? Island Castle

27 kilometres from Vilnius, is the legendary city of Trakai is the “Lithuanian Venice”. Ancient, full-of-history — now there is a reconstructed most of the buildings, guided tours, festivals, jousting tournaments and fairs.

27 kilometres from Vilnius, is the legendary city of Trakai is the “Lithuanian Venice”. Ancient, full-of-history— now there is a reconstructed most of the buildings, guided tours, festivals, jousting tournaments and fairs. Trakai— a town among the lakes. Count I could not say that their 200— all of them in the vicinity of one small town. Stands in the middle of the lakes of Trakai island castle.

If not look in the direction of the castle, that first very difficult to assess the city: simple wooden houses on the background of beautiful nature. But then it’s hard not to see the castle and you go up the street of the Karaites and begin to understand what a great piece of history associated with these places. The history of these places known for the legend Chronicles. In German the Chronicles the city is first time mentioned in 1337. Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas, well pokatilis, decided to build the castle. One, because the Old castle in Troki already existed. Trakai – the birthplace of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas the Great (Vitovt). He was born in the old finally destroyed the castle around 1350. And in the old town was built Bernardine monastery. Vytautas died in the Trakai is also in the Island castle, on 27 October 1430. After the defeat of the Teutonic order in the battle of Grunwald, the town became the residence of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Came to visit the kings, went on fun the backyard, the hunt was started, receptions, banquets, the music played and the singers sang, entertained the honest people jesters. Lived there not only Lithuanians and poles have long lived there and Orthodox trade and craft people – natives of Tver, Novgorod, Kiev. There lived Tatars and Karaites. Preserved traces of pagan beliefs: from the highest point of Peninsular castle Mountain is visible sacrifice which was once offered sacrifices to the local gods of the pagan Pantheon. Trakai was granted the Magdeburg rights, the city was on the government and little dependent on local feudal lords. The castle itself became known as “little Marienburg” (castle in Poland, with similar features, but not the island, and on the shore, was once the residence of the Grand master of the Teutonic order). Lake galvė – one of the biggest lakes of Lithuania, 388 ha, quite deep. The lake has numerous bays, peninsulas and island 21. There are Islands with a heavy history: for example, on the island of Valka once took sentenced to death, and their relatives from afar – from the island Valda – left them. The largest island is Castle island, and on it stands the famous Trakai island castle is a Gothic building of the 14th century. Island castle is a castle with 600 years of history. This is actually the only castle in Eastern Europe built on water. Initially only part of the defences, the castle became the center of princely life. The construction of the entire castle complex was supposed to be a very difficult task: it was built on three Islands between the three lakes – galvė lakes, Lukos and Totoriskiu (Tatar), the Islands were connected by embankments. Our hard work has paid off: Island castle never was captured, although repeatedly besieged. Trakai island castle was an impregnable fortress. First the castle had a strictly defensive military importance, and after the Teutonic order was defeated, the castle became a Palace, where seething life of the nobility, where he received ambassadors, were engaged in political Affairs, had fun, rested, hunted, and feasted. Luxury was time for the princes, and even “the saddle were of gold”. A few horses together with these rich saddles were presented to the Prince of Moscow Vasily I. That, however, is not surprising: Basil D. was married to Sophia Vitovtovna – the only daughter of Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas. Their daughter Anna later became the wife of the Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaeologus. Their son – Vasily II the Dark, was Grand Prince of Moscow. In the castle were, as expected, and the underground tunnels, one of them very well connected the bedroom of the ruler, the Treasury and the internal courtyard. Then Trakai castle became the place of linksand for disagreeable noblemen in prison, then went into decline, it started to collapse. The restoration of the castle has been ongoing for 50 years, and now he has the look that had in the 15th century. Inside the magnificent castle you can see the Treasury, which contains a fairly large collection of old coins, Throne room, the exhibition of objects of history and everyday life. In early June, the town celebrates the Day of the city – and then there are celebrations, festivals, exhibitions, concerts, fireworks, fair “remotely”, international rowing regatta “Amber oars”. And in the castle – jousting tournaments, fire eaters, concerts of medieval music, medieval same culinary feast. In July-August every Friday – jazz festivals, Fiesta lake galvė. In August the international music festival fanfare “We congratulate the town” and Day of Handicrafts in the Island castle. In December the town turns into IU
international capital
Santa clauses with fairs, dances, miracles and fairy tale characters. My April is the most festive time of Trakai, but this walk turned out not less interesting. And now it’s time to look to the Karaites. Yes, an ancient Turkic people living in Lithuania, Trakai. There is a working in Europe Karaite kenesa, which is extremely rare.

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