March 5, 2010
Two magnetic bookmarks that I received from Lithuania. They were sent by Vaida. You can read her blog at skirtukai.blogspot.com:
They clip into a page with the magnets they have in between:
The first bookmark (left, in first photo) shows the Trakai Castle.
Trakai, the ancient capital of Lithuania, is 30 km from Vilnius. The unique landscape of Trakai, “the town of lakes” as it often called, is comprised of numerous picturesque lakes and hills.
The main landmark of Trakai is the famous insular Trakai Castle. In the 14 th century, on the shore of the Lake Galve the first castle was erected. Grand Duke Vytautas finished the construction and turned the castle into an unassailable fortress which has never been conquered by the enemies.
The Trakai Castle is an excellent example of Gothic architecture. The center of the architectural ensemble of the castle is the Duke’s palace, surrounded by the thick defensive wall and protected by the fore-castle. There was a secrete passage, leading from the duke’s bedroom to the treasury hall and to the courtyard.
According to the Lithuanian chronicles, fabulous treasures were kept in the castle. Even the saddles on thoroughbred horses were made of gold.
The first attempts to restore practically ruined Trakai castle were made at the end of the 19th century. The main restoration works were conducted during the time of the soviet occupation. From 1962 the castle houses the Trakai History Museum.
The second one shows the Gediminas Castle.
According to the legend, the castle was founded by Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas, who once had a prophetical dream. In his dream he saw an iron wolf standing on this place and howling like a hundred wolves. The pagan priest Lizdeika interpreted this dream as gods’ will. Gediminas should build a castle and a city that would soon become famous and prosperous, and would be unassailablefor enemies.
About 1230 the castle was built and Grand Duke Gediminas proclaimed Vilnius the capital of Lithuanua.
Now the castle houses the museum of the history of Lithuania. From the top of the tower you can enjoy the marvelous panorama of Vilnius.