Lithuania's History

Lithuania was the last bastion of paganism in Europe but finally yielded to Christianity when Poland offered Lithuania’s Grand Duke Jogaila their crown which he accepted cementing the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1386. At this time the Commonwealth was the biggest and most powerful country in Europe with Lithuania enjoying its Golden Age. During the 1700’s Russia, Austria and Prussia carved up the Commonwealth in stages, and in 1795 Lithuania was finally absorbed into the Russian Empire. In 1918 the collapse of Russia provided Lithuania with its chance to restore independence which lasted until 1940 when the Red Army marched in. A year later the invading Germans where welcomed as liberators but in 1944 the vengeful Bolsheviks returned deporting and murdering tens of thousands. In 1990 as Gorbachev’s reforms loosened the Soviet Union, Lithuania become the first ‘republic’ in the USSR to declare independence and hold free elections. Lithuania joined NATO and the European Union in 2004.

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Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia share cultural bonds and you can enjoy them together with this excellent all inclusive week of discovery through the fairytale Baltic. European Country more info

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Lithuania together with Latvia and Estonia share a strong cultural bond, the Lithuanian and Latvian languages even being mutually comprehensible. After a rocky start after Communism, Lithuania enjoyed rapid economic growth pursuing a pro-business right wing economic agenda in contrast to its Baltic neighbours who favoured more progressive policies. Lithuania’s economy, like its neighbours, ground to a halt in 2008. Visitors are discovering Lithuania in greater numbers finding wonderful Medieval and Gothic towns and city squares and a breathtaking countryside never far from scenic rivers and lakefronts. Lithuanians are rich in culture, friendly and intensely proud of their beautiful country. European Country more info

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