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Make the most of your stay in Klaipeda by exploring the most beautiful nature preserve of the Curonian Spit with its amazing dunes, unique inhabitants, charming wooden houses and tons of fresh air! Afterwards complete an exciting walk though the old town of Klaipeda, find the mysterios mouse, make your wish and get to know this little town better - there's so much history around every corner!
The Curonian Spit is a 98 km long, thin, curved sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast. Its southern portion lies within Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia and its northern within southwestern Lithuania. The spit is famous for its large sand dunes and "dancing trees", twisted by the wind force.
Juodkrantė (Black Shore) is a quiet seaside resort village on the Curonian Spit. It is the second largest settlement on Lithuania's part of the spit. A large collection of wooden sculptures by various artists is displayed on the Hill of Witches. It's a sculpture park that has more than 70 wooden objects. Most of the figures are based on Lithuanian legends or folk tales. Another sculpture park houses 31 stone and metal sculptures created during an international symposium "Land and Water." The sculptures are located on the recently built quay, 2.4 km in length, along the lagoon shore. You shouldn't also miss a Museum of weathercocks, maintained by Daiva and Remigijus Žadeikiai.
The Curonian Spit is famous for its wildlife. There are the large great cormorant (2000 pairs) and grey heron (500 pairs) colonies west of Juodkrantė. It is believed that the herons have nested near Juodkrantė since 17th century, but the cormorants arrived only at the beginning of 19th century. The cormorants were exterminated at the end of the 19th century due to Prussian administration regulations and started to reappear only in the 1970s.
Nida is a largest Curonian Spit town. The town is an upmarket holiday resort with a family focus. Since 2001, a jazz festival has been held every year. There are also interesting places to see nearby, including some of the highest sand dunes in Europe, a large sundial (which has been restored after being damaged by a Baltic gale), fisherman's ethnographic museum, gallery-museum of amber and a German Protestant (Evangelische) Brick Gothic church. The town is known for Nidden Kurenwimpel — German for "Curonian pennants" — ornate carved flags peculiar to local families resident on the Curonian Spit. The flags, replicas of which can be seen around Nida, feature animal and human figures as pictograms reminiscent of a pagan writing tradition.
Since prehistoric times people have lived on this elongated sand dune peninsula which separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Nearly 100 kilometres long and 0.4-4 kilometres wide, it has long been threatened by the natural forces of wind and waves. Its survival to the present day has been made possible only as a result of ceaseless human efforts to combat the erosion of the Spit. The tour begins with a visit to one of the oldest settlements on the Spit, the charming seaside resort of Juodkrante with its Amber Bay and many pleasing stone sculptures.
On your way to the Dunes, you will visit the Cormorants and Herons colony, an unusual bare place that still impresses everybody:)
After taking in the sights of the dead forest, you’ll travel on to the Grey Dunes (sometimes called Dead Dunes), a fascinating area of wind-blown dunes and grassy, vegetation-covered sand hills where you’ll be able to walk and be impressed by the sheer scale of the landscape.
In Nida, you’ll visit some of the highest sand dunes in Europe including the famous 52 metre high Parnidis Dune.
If you’re a literature lover you’ll enjoy the next stop at the Thomas Mann Memorial Museum, the house which the famous German author of Death in Venice and Dr Faustus had constructed in the town which he visited in 1930 and 1931.
After coming back to Klaipėda you’ll make a photo-stop in the heart of Old Town - Theatre Square with "Ann from Tharaw" fountain and drama theatre. Here you will get to know about the old town of Klaipėda, street layout features, architecture and history. Afterwards You will be introduced to the small sculptures which became Klaipėda's Old Town attraction for many years - "The cat with the face of a gentleman", discover "mysterious mouse" and learn what power it has, and why a chimney sweeper is located on the roof of one the Old town houses. You will see the only existing ravelin (a ravelin is a triangular fortification, located in front of the innerworks of a fortress) in Klaipėda located on Jonas Hill and you will hear the story of the city's fortifications and defensive system.
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