[A-4] Klaipėda – Nida – Kaliningradas – Sovetsk– Klaipėda
1st day (21.07, Saturday)
Klaipėda – Nida
The length – 50 km (asphalt): Klaipėda –0,5– Old Ferry Port to Smiltynės (ticket for a cyclist – 2 Lt = 0.6 EUR) – Smiltynė –19– Juodkrantė –17– Pervalka –6– Preila –5– Nida (sleeping place in Nida).
The sea festival, the sea, Lithuanian beer!!!
Those who want to get to know the city and its sights closer can get information in the info centre.
Information about Klaipeda and the cultural events you can find in the publications: “Renginiai ir lankytinos vietos. Klaipėda+Neringa. 2001 VI-VII” (in Lithuanian, English, German), “Klaipėda in Your Pocket” (in English and german), Internet www.klaipeda.lt (in Lithuanian)
Curronian Spit national park
It was established to preserve, in natural and cultural sense, the set of Lithuania’s seaside landscape, unique in Europe dune crests, and values of ethno-cultural legacy.
the great crests of the Curonian Spit, the old parabolic dunes across Juodkrantė, the grey dunes on Agila – Nagliai stripe, “blowing” Parnidis and Sklandytojas dunes, the covered old soil, seaside and coastal hair-grass, a protective dune crest, peculiar Curonian Spit’s plant and animal communities, forests and woods, ecosystems of the lagoon and the sea. Birds’ migration path goes through the Spit. Various species of birds fly back every spring and autumn. 30 km away from Klaipėda, there is a birds’ ringing station. Beautiful sights open up from the outlook ground: Garniai hill, Nagliai nature’s reserve, Parnidis and Vecekrugas and the foot of Karvaičiai dunes, Pervalka gulf, and the dune, called the head of a bear.
The cultural heritage:
In the settlements of Nida, Juodkrantė, Preila, Pervalka, and Smiltynė, the seaside cultural heritage is extant: ethnographic fishermen’s farmsteads, the old resting villas, and typical to the wooden architecture buildings. It is interesting to visit Nida’s and Juodkrantė’s Evangelical-Lutheran churches, the old Nida’s places cemetery, memorial places, and some covered with sand villages. There are several museums –a natural museum of the Curonian Spit national park, maritime museums and aquarium in Smiltynė, fishermen’s ethnographical farmsteads, inhabitants’ business exposition, amber gallery museum, and T. Mann’s cultural centre in Nida.
Events and entertainment
Tomas Manas museum, Skruzdynės 11, Nida, tel. (259) 52260;
International Tomas Manas festival in Nida, 2001 07 14-22, tel. (259) 52622;
Neringa etnographical museum, Nagliai str. 4, Nida, tel. (259) 52372;
Kazimieras Mizgiris amber gallery -museum, Pamario str. 20, Nida;
“Ąžuolynas”, L.Rėzos str. 54, Juodkrantė, tel. (259) 53316, 53310;
“Eglių slėnis”, Ievos kalno str. 28, Juodkrantė, tel. (259) 53170;
Guest house, Green road 8, Juodkrantė (near the sea), tel. (298) 54046, 12067;
Prival flats and rooms (ask in TIC);
TIC in Juodkrantė, L.Rėzos str. 54, (259) 53485, 53490;
Nida cultural and tourism information centre “Agila”, Taikos 4, tel. (259) 52345, email@example.com;
Medicine centre (Nida hospital), Taikos str. 11, Nida, tel. 03, (259) 52215;
Medicine centre (Preila medicine centre), Preilos 57, Preila, tel. 03, (259) 55127;
Police, Taikos str. 5, Nida, tel. 02, (259) 52202, 52484;
Nerija town administration, Taikos str. 2, Nida, tel. (259) 52234;
2nd day (22.07, Sunday)
Nida – Zelenogradsk
Route length – 56,5 km (asphalt roads): Nida –10– Morskoje –10– Rybačij (Rasytė) –22– Lesnoj (Šarkuva) –10– Zelenogradsk (Krantas) –3,5– Malinovka –1– sleeping place near the sea.
A town in the Curonian Spit, on the shore of the lagoon, in the gulf of the Black Rock. This is a settlement where Neolithic inhumation was found. In 1372, it was mentioned as Rositen. In 1330, the crusaders built a castle in the attempt to stop the attacks of the Lithuanians. In the 16 cent. in Rasyte, there was a nice brickfield.
O.Glogan wrote about Rasyte in 1869,”…across is a big and wide lagoon gulf. Quite big fishermen’s sailing boats float on its waters, Rasyte is the biggest, nicest and the richest Spit’s settlement. Here, the owner of the lagoon and Spit resides…” The contemporary stone church is built in 1873. To the south from the church, there is a long and covered with tiles house (a present lumber mill).
In 1907, the first Lithuanian ornithology station was established here. In 1922, it moved to a 2-story building built in 1901 (across it is a school built I 1738) that works even up-to-date. The station’s founder is a well-known otnythologist Jonas Tymanas (1863-1983). His important work about Rasyte, published in 1927, made the village and the author himself famous worldwide.
In 1864-1903, the dunes’ inspector Francas Efas 1828-1904) worked in Rasyte and made a lot while struggling with the sand; he was the first one who became worried about Rasyte’s fate because it and other Spit’s villages were threatened by the upcoming dunes.
A former village of the Curonian Spit).The Curonian Spit was inhabited a long time ago. 1-4 cent Graves with the found there Roman empires coins testifies that. Bowls with ashes, amber spindles and metal and iron artifacts were also found. In another place there are 11-13 cent. graves.
Not everyone knows that the old inhabitants of Šarkuva were not Kurshes but the Sembs that lived here before 14 cent. In 1677, the last inhabitant who spoke the Semb language died there.
In 1715, Šarkuva was covered with the sliding dunes and the village moved to another place.
In 1797, O. Glogan Document states, “…the ghost of famine made the people wander. The inhabitants of other villages did not like them. There appeared various rumors about the wanderers, these were called the Lagoon pirates”. The stone church was built in 1901.
Near Šarkuva, in the old Šarkuva, to be precise, the Spit is the narrowest because the sea rips it. Already in 1904, it was started to be reinforced because the danger of loosing an important road from Karaliaučiai to Klaipėda was to be faced. 4500-long sand pier was built here in 1642. But in 1791, the sea water broke through to the lagoon. The last time it happened in the winter of 1982/83. Along from Šarkuva to the south extends the 19 cent. forest-farm-stead, called Šakalinė. Probably, in the 15-18 cent. there were hawk hunting schools with the center in Šarkuva. The hawks were tamed in this school.
Zelenogradsk (Crantz, Krantas)
The resort-city based on the high steep coast of the Baltic Sea. From the old times, it was called Krantas (the shore), or Krants, by the local people. In the first half of the 20 cent., it was also called Pajurkrantis (the sea coast).
When the Lithuanians through the Curonian Spit could not suddenly entered into the stolen by the crusaders land of Semba, the master Konrad had built Noihauz castle in the South from present-time Krantas.
In the 15 cent. Krantas, there was an inn. With time, Krantas grew into a resort (5000 inhabitants) with annual 18000 visitors in the summer. Between the wars, a lot of summers, resting houses and convalescent houses were rebuilt. In 1829, the place was visited by Lithuanian and Polish poet Adamas Mickevičius.
Events and entertainment
Horses rent, Malinovka (60 rubl./hour.)
Bar “Volna”, Lenin str. 36, tel. +7 01150 31746;
Bar “777”, Lenin str. 6, tel. +7 01150 31034;
Cafe “Novyj Vodolej”, Lenin str. 6; “Vodolej 2”, Moskovskaja 12;
Disco club “Karmen”, Moskovskij 3;
Cyclist cal stay in Kuršiai lagoon National park territory, but only in the Morskoje, Rybačis settlements.
Motel “Dosug”, Dachnaya str. 5a, Morskoje, tel. +7 01150 21285, 21109, mob. +7 01298 39950;
Hotel “Postoyaly Dvor”, tel. +7 01150 21296;
“Rossiten”, Gagarino str. 7, tel. +7 01150 21391;
“Usadba Tronnikova”, Pogranichnaya g. 4, tel. +7 01150 21204;
“Darij”, Stroitelej str. 6, tel. +7 01150 21313;
“Usadba Matujnina”, Naberegnaya str. 6, tel. +7 01150 21297;
“Usadba Timokhinoj”, Zarechnaya str. 15, tel. +7 01150 21254;
- Camp site “Duny”, tel. +7 01150 28280;
- Hotel “Kurshskaya Kosa”, Centralnaya str. 17, tel. +7 01150 28242;
Guest house “Gellian”, Vzmorje g. 12, tel. +7 0119 371220;
Turbazė “Baltika”, tel. +7 01150 28286;
“Usadba Mazourenok”, Vzmorje str. 22, tel. +7 01150 28272;
“Usadba Korotkikh”, Pobedy str 34, tel. +7 01150 21300;
“Usadba Loukina”, Tsentralnaya str. 14, tel. +7 01150 28173.
“Sportivnaja”, Pogranichnaja str. 14a, tel. +7 01150 32905;
Hotel “Koroleva Louisa”, Moskovskaja str. 50, tel. +7 01150 32168;
“Baltijskaja Korona”, Volodarskogo str. 8, tel. +7 01150 32 490;
- “Topaz”, Lenino str. 60a, tel. +7 01150 31 200.
Zelenogradsk tourism center, Moskovskaja str. 34, tel. +7 01150 31092;
3rd day (23.07, Monday)
Zelenogradsk – Kaliningrad
Route length – 94 km (asphalt roads): Malinovka –7– Kovrovo (Naucava, Nausava) –8– Romanovo (Dievenis) –6– Pionerskas (Naujieji Kuršiai) –11– Svetlogorskas (Raušiai, Rūšiai) –5– Primorje (Didieji Kuršiai) –3– Orechovo –2– Majskij (Malviškiai) –4– Krasnotorovka (Hailigenkroicas) –6– Ruskoje (Girmava) –6– Dvoriki (Mažasis Dirškaimis) –2– Družba (Alna, Alenburgas) –9– Kumačiovo (Kumėnai) –5– Pereslavskoje (Drugėnai) –9– Cholmogorovka (Lapgarbis) –4– Lermontovo–7– Kaliningrad (Karaliaučius, Tvangystė), overnight at school No.49, Kirov str. 26, tel. (0112) 215945, 210821, 7-8 min walk from the city centre.
It is formed from an estate and several farmsteads. The most important place, the cemetery, is to the west from the settlement. One of the best-examined burial places became a standard monument describing material Prussian culture. The earlier graves are of the 1 cent. From the 5 cent., the burnt dead bodies were buried outside of urns. Not burnt horses’ carcasses were found. 6 Roman coins were also discovered.
The place testifies a history of accommodation.
On Bėtė river, there is Dievenis mound called Pilgar.
This is a cozy resort with 50 m-high rock exposures, seacoast shops. Orthodox Church was built a few decades ago is an interesting place to visit. The Soviet bomb was dropped right on a Kindergarten. Only a pit was left. However, over a night, everything was put into order so that to present a perfect Soviet reality where none of these could happen.
There is a Concert hall in the city, which has a very good organ. One can also use the funicular-way on the promenade, permanent fair of souvenirs and amber goods.
There was an old Prussian castle. In 1255, it got into the hands of the Order. During the Great Prussian riot in 1270, a wooden castle was rebuilt. There are several mounds.
Later, Gimava castle became the Order’s important point of strategic resistance. In the 14 cent., the Order’s stone castle was built in the new place. In 1580, amber storage were moved from the ruined castle, and Girmava became the centre of amber tillage.
In 1610, a part of the castle was rebuilt into a church. The Soviets several times dropped bombs on it. Later, between its remains, amber was found; but then it was completely ruined. In 1992, the fragments of its walls were found.
Kaliningrad (Karaliaučius, Tvangystė)
It is the biggest East Prussian city, a former capital and the cultural centre of the little Lithuania until the mid 19 cent.. It is situated on both sides of Prieglius.
Teutonic chronicler Petras Pusburgietis wrote that the Prussians called this place Tvangstė.
Tvangstė castle stood on a hill, on the right Prieglius river. The crusaders burnt it in 1255 and built their own. The castle was named the Royal Hill to respect the Czech King.
In 16 cent., there lived about 20% of Lithuanians in Karaliaučius.
It has many gravestones. Here the grand dukes were buried in 1572. There is a mausoleum of I.Kant.
On the left from Cathedral there is a university. Together with the cathedral’s school, it forms a closed ensemble with the gates to St. Peter’s square. The university worked until 1861 when it got new rooms. It was founded in 1967. There is an exposition dedicated to I.Kant. The university was opened in 1544, August the 14. 4 departments of Theology, Law, medicine, and Liberal arts were established. A lot of famous people worked here.
During 1721 – 1740, theology professor was Jonas Jokūbas Kvantas. He released “The New Testament”, “Psalms”, “Ageda”, and “Chatechism” and in 1735 – the entire Holy writings.
Professor’s Liudvik Rėza’s merit is important to the university. He established Lithuanian Bible broadening community.
The city is a middle age so-called South Venice turned into a pile of ashes. Now there live about 3 000 Lithuanians in Kaliningrad.
“Baltyskya Zhemchuzhina”, Baltiyskaya str. 15a, tel. +7 01153 33552
“RUS”, Verestshagino str. 10, tel. +7 01153 33705;
“Rauschen-1”, Klainingrado av. 70b, tel. +7 01153 36183;
“Rauschen-2”, Lenino g. 48 sq., tel. +7 01153 33452;
“Baltika”, Vereshagino str. 8, tel. +7 01153 33082;
“Volna”, Kaliningrado av. 68, tel. +7 01153 33 733;
“Lazourny Bereg”, Dinamo str. 1, tel. +7 01153 33108;
“Lazour”, Kaliningrado av. 74, tel. +7 01153 33733;
“Mebelshik”, Lenino str. 1, tel. +7 01153 33793;
“Svetlogorsk”, Gagarino str. 12, tel. +7 01153 33440;
“Yantarnny Bereg”, Kaliningrado av. 79, tel. +7 01153 33040;
“Komandor”, Stchastlivaya strg. 1, tel. +7 0112 341820;
“Deima”, Tolstikovo str. 1, tel. +7 0112 410814;
- “Kaliningard”, Lenino av. 1, tel. +7 0112 350500;
- “Chaika”, Pougachevo str. 13, tel. +7 0112 210729;
- “Baltika”, Maskvos av., tel. +7 0112 437977;
“Zolotaya Boukhta”, Khmelnitzkio str. 53, tel. +7 0112 445878;
“Moskva”, Taikos (Mira) pr. 19, tel. +7 0112 272089;
- “Patriot”, Ozernaya str. 25, tel. +7 0112 275023;
- “Tourist”, Nevskogo str. 53, tel. +7 0112 460801.
Bicycle repair, market and rent services
Bicycle repair, rent – tourist club (Ignatenko Dmitrij), K.Markso str. 14, Svetlogorskas, tel. +7 01153 33214 (II-VII 10:00-18:00, I – don’t work).
“Veloservice”, Moskovsky pr. 123, Kaliningrad 236006, tel. (0112) 339298;
“Velocenter-Skaut”, Azovskaya g. 3, Kaliningrad 236040, tel. (0112) 555491.
4th day (24.07, Tuesday)
Kaliningrad – Sosnovka
Route length – 81 km (asphalt roads): Kaliningrad (Karaliaučius, Tvangystė) –6– Isakovo –3– Zaozerje –2– Prochorovka –6– Dobroje –6– Gribojedovo –4– Zarečje (Kaimas) –9– Osinovka –2– Demidovo –5– Slavinsk (Auksapiai) –8– Nachimovo (Perkūnai) –10– Poleskas (Labguva) –8– Šolochovo –10– Sosnovka (Aukštagiriai) –2–sleeping place in a forest near hotel “FORSTHAUS”.
A very ruined village. It was founded by Helvigas Von Goldbachas, who fought with the resistant spirit of local Prussians. It was a two-street village with more than 40 farmsteads.
Soshovka (Aukštagiriai, Buominė), Lodging
It is mentioned in 1312. When Aukštagiriai got the status of an independent parish, the priest P.Korzitzkijus built a church here. There is 23,8% of Lithuanians here. The services were held in Lithuanian.
Labguva is an old town 3 km from the southern shore of the Curonian spit. Deimana or Laba in older times, flows through the town. In 1697 Deimena was joined by one channel with Nemunas.
In 1258, in Zabguva, there stood Sembės castle and a small Settlement near it. The crusaders burned the castle in 1277 and settled there. In 1288 they built a new stone castle. Before the 16 cent. it was rebuilt and reconstucted several times.
In winter of 1352, ruled by Kęstutis Lithuanians devastated Labguva and its neighborhood. Labguva castle served for the crusaders as an important resistance point in the battles with Prussians and Lithuanians. Now there is a ship building manufactory. In 1656.11.20 the contract with Labguva guaranteed the Prussian independence. During the 1710-1711 plague a lot of local Lithuanians died. Labguva was colonized, however, in the 19 cent., the services were still held in Lithuania.
It is supposed that churches in Labguva near the castle appeared already in 1258. In the end of the 14 century in the west of the castle there was built a gothic church made of field stones. In 1871 it was renewed. During 1562-1587 one of the Lithuanian writing starters, Jonas Bretkūnas, served here as a priest.
There served as a parson Jonas Bretkūnas J.Bretkūnas work made an impact on the evolution of Lithuanian language. He made a lot of innovations. His most important work is “Postilė” (1591). This was the first illustrated Lithuanian book on the topic Holy writings. J. Bretkūnas established a club of the old-times lovers and history researchers. We may call him the first Lithuanian historian.
In around 1890 Jurgis Mikšas moved to Labguva. When “Aušra” (newspaper) started its days, he was the first chairman of “Birutė” committee and published a newspaper “Nemuno sargas” (“the guard of Nemunas”) in small Lithuania. In Labguva J.Mikšas worked as a court translator; he was against the Lithuanian “germanization”. He translated from German S. Markus “Private testament” and “Miserys testament”.
Working during 1851-1886 in Labguva K. F. Veis printing house released 2 Lithuanian books for the small Lithuania.
In the southern Labguvas parish, there were 1 060 Lithuanian in 1897 (30% of the inhabitants).
- “Domik Lesnika” (FORSTHAUS), Sosnovka, tel. +7 011258 23247, 23298
“Usadba Brysozovskogo”, Slavianskoje, tel. +7 01158 24694;
“Forsthause-3”, Zarechje, tel. +7 011258 23122.
5th day (25.07, Wednesday)
Sosnovka – Rambynas
Route length – 87 km (gravel – 4 km, asphalt roads – 83 km): Sosnovka (Aukštagiriai, Buominė) –11– Zalesje (Mielaukiai) –10– Bolšakovo (Skaisgiriai) –6– Ochotnoje (Lydimaičiai) –10– Gastelovo (Metežerynai) –12– Timiriazevo (Naujoji, Joneikiškiai) –8– Slavsk (Gastos) –15– Sovetskas (Tilžė) –1– Panemunė –4– Mikytai –6– Lumpėnai –4– Bitėnai
Turning from Zalesje 10 km to the left, there is Gromovo where there are the “remains of the old German civilization”, according to local bicyclists.
The town in the crossroads of three high-ways, on the shore of Pvitiltė river. This served as a lodging for the crusaders on their way from Karaliaučius to Raganė. In 1698, Sakisgiriai parish was established and a church that worked until the middle of the 18 century was built. The new church raised in 1773 and was rebuilt in 1849 and finally ruined in 1944. Now it has a cinema hall in it.
Lithuanians songs writer and interpretation Motiejus Vilhelmas Meisneris worked in Skaisgiriai. There lived one of the bible translators Adom Fridrich Simelpengis.
In around 1890, the folklorist Vilius Kalvaitis was travelling in Skaisgiriai and its neighborhood and wrote Lithuanian folk songs.
Also, a priest and a member of Lithuanian national union Jonas Pipiras worked here. For 8 years he had studied in Tilžė and during 1855-1858 in Karaliaučius university. In Klaipėda he was publishing a newspaper “Aušros žvaigždelės spinduliai”. He published his set of songs. Standing on a pulpit, he encouraged the congregation not to give up Lithuanian language. He always joined petitioning to the government about the return of the Lithuaniana language to the schools. When he died he was burred in Skaisgiriai churchyard.
Before the war, Skaisgiriai was famous for its market places. People sell pigs, corn, fruit, vegetables, butter and berries. To buy these goods the traders from Raganė, Labguva, Tilžė and even Berlin came.
In 1905, there were 2468 inhabitants in Skaisgiriai. Only 158 of them spoke Lithuanian.
In 1650, the church was started from the 17 cent, the school near the church was working, where in 1821-26 Frydrichas Kuršaitis worked. Around it in the 17-20 cent., there was a setlement. In 1939, it had 1374 inhabitants. During the Soviet times, it was damaged. The church have burnt in 1995.
The town is situated in 13,5 km to the west from Tilžė. At first, it used to be an estate, from which a village grew. The first church and the parish were established in 1686. Later, the church was reconstructed several times.
Until the beginning of the 20 cent.., in the district of Gastos, there lived almost only Lithuanians. In 1870, in the parish, there were 6908 inhabitants, 1700 from them are Lithuanians (24,6%).
Until 1907, in the school, the Lithuanian language was studied. In 1912, there were only 4,8% Lithuanians.
2 km to the east of Gastos in the present village of Noragėliai, Lithuanian linguist Fridrichas Kuršaitis was born in 1806, April the 24th. He studied in the owned by his father school, later in Elbing gymnasium and Karaliaučiai University. In 1865, he became Karaliaučiai University’s professor. He was the first one to explain the accents of the Lithuanian language. F. Kuršaitis’ works are significant even today.
About 40% of the Slavsk’ inhabitants are Lithuanians.
Tilžė is a town on a junction of Nemunas and Tilžė. The name derives from a word to stream, to float.
The town’s eastern coast was called Prussian Tilžė, its southern coast – Kalkapiai, the western one till Smalupė river – Stolbekiai. Near Tilžės’ gapes, there used to be the settlement of Skaluviai, called Spitrė.
During the Lithuanian – Teutonic wars of 1278 – 1422, Spitrė castle was always built and ruined.
In the 19 cent., beautiful neoclassic buildings, the custom – house, the post office, several schools, vinegar plant, sugar, cellulose, beer, soap, candy, oil fabrics, several mills, leather workshops, and dairy were established. Tilžė is famous for cheese. Tilžė grew the most when Karaliaučius – Klaipėda highway was built. In 1853, the first train came from Karaliaučiai to Tilžė.
When the Prussian Catholicism changed the Reformation, its inhabitants were forced to convert from the Catholic to the Evangelical Lutheran religion. Only after the Olyva agreement in 1666, the Prussian citizens regained freedom in faith. In 1851, Catholics built the new church.
The half of the church was damaged in 1944, and the remained pseudo gothic facade was blown in 1983.
Tilžė’s Catholic parish was Lithuanian. 2300 people belonged to it in 1940. When the Lithuanian press was prohibited in 1864 in the Great Lithuania, Žemaitija bishop Motiejus Valančius prompted the release of the Lithuanian books in Tilžė and their shipment to the Great Lithuania.
In 1586, in Tilžė, there is a provincial school established. It prepared the candidates for Karaliaučiai University’s protestant priests. Lithuanian language was studied there. In 1812, the school is reorganized into the classical gymnasium and called the royal one.
Hotel “Renata”, Lermontovo str. 2, Bolšakovo, tel. +7 01163 37265;
“Forsthause-3”, Zarechje, tel. +7 01158 23122
Hotel “Gorodskaja”, Školnaja 7, Slavskas, tel. +7 01163 31031;
Hotel “Rosija”, Lunačarskio str. 2, Sovetskas, tel. +7 01161 75372;
- Hotel “Tilsitsky Dvor”, Iskry str. 15, Sovetskas, tel. +7 01161 71171;