Palanga: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Palanga
—  City municipality  —
The Tiškevičiai Palace currently houses the Amber Museum

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Vasaros sostinė (Summer Capital)
Palanga is located in Lithuania
Palanga
Location of Palanga
Coordinates: 55°55′N 21°4′E / 55.917°N 21.067°E / 55.917; 21.067Coordinates: 55°55′N 21°4′E / 55.917°N 21.067°E / 55.917; 21.067
Country  Lithuania
Ethnographic region Samogitia
County Klaipėda County
Municipality Palanga city municipality
First mentioned 1161
Granted city rights 1791
Elderships Šventoji eldership
Area
 - Total 79 km2 (30.5 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 - Total 17,600
 - Density 223/km2 (577.6/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Website http://www.palanga.lt

Palanga (About this sound pronunciation , is a seaside resort town in western Lithuania, on the shore of the Baltic Sea. It is the busiest summer resort in Lithuania and has beaches of sand (18 km long and up to 300 m wide) and beautiful sand dunes.[1] Officially Palanga has the status of a city municipality and includes Šventoji, Nemirseta, Būtingė and other settlements, which are considered as part of the city of Palanga.

Contents

Legend

According to a legend, there was a pagan shrine at the foot of a hill in Palanga where a beautiful priestess named Birutė used to tend the ceremonial fires. Having heard of Birutė's beauty, Kęstutis, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, came to make her his wife. It is written in the Lithuanian Bychowiec Chronicle that Birutė "did not consent, and answered that she had promised the gods to remain a virgin as long as she lived. Kęstutis then resorted to take her by force, and with great pomp brought her back to his capital, Trakai, where he invited his kinsmen and celebrated with a lavish wedding..."[2] Kęstutis was later murdered and Birutė returned to Palanga and resumed serving at the shrine until her death. The legend claimed that she was buried in the hill which is now named for her.

History

Not far from Šventoji, archaeologists discovered an encampment which indicates that the area was inhabited some 5,000 years ago. Between the 10th and 11th centuries Palanga had been one of the main settlements of the Mēguvian lands, inhabited by the Curonians. Situated upon the trail of the ancient Amber Road, it became a center of trade and crafts.

In historical documents the name of Palanga was first mentioned in 1161 when the King Valdemar I of Denmark disembarked there with his army and captured the castle of the Curonians.

Between the 13th and 15th centuries, the inhabitants of Palanga had to confront the Teutonic Knights in the south and the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in the north. Their adversaries were unable to achieve their goal of capturing the Lithuanian sea-coast from Klaipėda to Šventoji. Although Klaipėda (Memel) passed into the hands of the German feudal lords under the Treaty of Melno, in 1422, Palanga and Šventoji remained under Lithuanian control. The two towns gradually developed into harbours and even greater centers of trade. British merchants established enterprises in Šventoji in 1685. During the Great Northern War, the Swedish Army ravaged Palanga, destroyed the harbour at Šventoji, and blocked up the entrance with rocks in 1701.

Palanga was purchased in 1824 by Count Michał Tyszkiewicz. His grandson Józef Tyszkiewicz built a pier and engaged ships to transport passengers and bricks to nearby Liepāja. Palanga began to develop as a resort in the early 19th century. The pier has been a favourite spot for taking a stroll and other recreation since 1892. Józef Tyszkiewicz's son, Feliks Tyszkiewicz, built the neo-renaissance Tiškevičiai Palace in 1897. The French landscape architect Édouard André designed a large park around the palace, between 1897 and 1907. The palace became a favourite gathering place for concert performances. Amongst the good friends and associates of Feliks Tyszkiewicz was the notary, Jonas Kentra.

Following the Lithuanian press ban of 1864, Palanga became an important location for the smuggling of Lithuanian publications from the west. The Rev. Marcijonas Jurgaitis, physician Liudas Vaineikis, and notary Jonas Kentra, played significant roles in this activity. After Kentra obtained official permission, a public performance featuring the comedy, Amerika pirtyje (America in the Bath), was performed in the Lithuanian language. This had previously not been permitted. However, later the Tsarist authorities deported Vaineikis and twenty-five other people to Siberia in 1901.[3]

The Tiškevičiai Palace's park was converted into a botanical garden in 1960. Today it contains two hundred different types of trees and shrubs, including an oak tree planted by President Antanas Smetona. The palace, now the Palanga Amber Museum, has an extensive collection of amber jewelry and other artifacts. Symphonic concerts as well as other musical festivals and events take place in the summer, usually in the evening.

Location

Palanga is a resort town through which the Šventoji and Rąžė (Samogitian: Ronžē) Rivers flow into the Baltic Sea. Rąžė was formerly known as Alanga and gave Palanga its name: Palanga which literally means on the Alanga River. The Palanga municipality extends 24 kilometers from Nemirseta in the south to the Latvian border in the north. Palanga is subdivided to Nemirseta, Vanagupė, Kunigiškiai, Manciškiai, and Šventoji – five neighboring fishermen villages which were united into one city following administrative changes to the area. During the time when the Klaipėda Region was part of Germany, Nemirseta was the northernmost village of East Prussia.

Transportation

The municipality is accessed by roads from Klaipėda and Šiauliai. There are no railroads in the municipality (the closest rail connection is in Kretinga, the capital of the Kretinga district municipality). Palanga's International Airport, the third largest in Lithuania, offers connecting flights to Scandinavia and Germany. The airport is located between Palanga and Šventoji, and it handles more flights in the summer due to the resort nature of the municipality.

Places of interest

The pier in Palanga

In the summer, a multitude of tourists descend on Palanga, both for its beaches and to enjoy the maritime atmosphere. There is a carnival centered on Jonas Basanavičius Street, which is a pedestrian only thoroughfare during the high season. There are dozens of restaurants, bars, rides, and other forms of entertainment. The aforementioned Amber Museum is open to the public, as are as the museum's extensive botanical gardens.

Also found in Palanga is one of the oldest operating pharmacies in Lithuania. It was established in the mid-19th century.

The city is also home to a regional radio station, FM Palanga.

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Palanga is a popular seaside resort at the Baltic sea in Lithuania.

Get in

See an updated information about getting there and away at [1]

By plane

Palanga Airport [2] offers regular scheduled flights operated by foreign airlines.

By bus

The buses on route Airport - Palanga - Airport run approximately every hour an every day. For more information phone call (+370 460) 52020.

For bus schedule on route Klaipeda - Palanga - Klaipeda please contact the Klaipeda bus station (+370 6) 411547 or Palanga bus station tel.: (+370 460) 53333.

For bus schedule on route Liepaja (Latvia) - Airport - Palanga - Airport - Liepaja please contact Liepaja bus station tel.: (+371 34) 27552 or Palanga bus station tel.: (+370 460) 53333.

Palanga is one of the stops on the Klaipeda - Riga bus route. This bus also calls at Liepaja. (Note that the buses from Klaipeda to Riga Airport via Siauliai do not call at Palanga or Liepaja.)

By taxi

Taxi is available in front of Airport Terminal. A trip to Palanga city takes 10 min and costs about. 20 Lt (6 EUR) or to Klaipėda takes about 30 min. price about 40 Lt (13 EUR). A trip from/to Liepaja (Latvia) takes about 1 hour 20 min. and costs about 200 Lt (60 EUR). Taxi tel.: (+370 46) 345 345 (Klaipėda), (+371 34) 22222 (Liepaja).

By car

When you come to Palanga Airport by a rented car, you can park it at the Airport and leave the keys with car documents in Airport Cafe on the first floor. For more information please contact Airport Cafe tel./fax (+370 460) 51392.

Passengers comming by own car, can park auto in a paid place for long parking. For more information please contact Airport Cafe on the first floor (+370 460) 51392.

See

Palanga has a beach, but it is very crowded in summer, since all Lithuanians come to their short coastline. Amber museum is also interesting. Please see the local webpage for more information [3]

  • Palanga Pier It is a tradition to visit the pier around sunset. This can easily be included as part of a visit to Basanavicius street (see below).
  • Basanavicius street The focal point of Palanga, and the highlight of any visit to Palanga, is J.Basanavicius street, running between Vytauto street and the pier. Along this street can be found most of the town's bars, restaurants, nightclubs, funfairs and souvenir shops. People-watching is a fashionable, and fascinating pastime here.
  • The beach The beach extends in several kilometres either direction from the pier. Given that Palanga is Lithuania's main tourist resort, expect the beach to be very crowded in summer. The busiest areas are either side of the pier. Though the beach is less crowded further from the pier

Sleep

A large proportion of householders in Palanga offer rooms to let at very cheap rates. Simply look for signs offering accommodation.

  • Apartments "Stora Antis" in Palanga, [4].
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