Grutas Park Lithuania
A communist statue graveyard, Grutas Park is a dark homage to one of the worst periods of Lithuanian history. Eight kilometres east of Druskininkai, a spa town on the Nemunas River in southern Lithuania, Grutas Park is essentially a sculpture garden of over 100 Soviet-era statues and artefacts, providing an unprecedented insight into the Red Terror that was unleashed against Lithuania and the stifling atmosphere of Soviet rule. As well as statues, visitors can see an impressive collection of documents, newspapers, propaganda posters, video footage and audio files from the time.
Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
Just outside the northern city of Siauliai lies a small hill in the middle of farmland that has been crowned with around 100,000 crosses in all different sizes. There are tiny crosses, massive wooden crosses and crosses handcrafted from metal. Known as the Hill of Crosses (Kryziu Kalnas), it is both a pilgrimage site and a testament to Lithuanian strength and defiance under Soviet rule. It has come to represent the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism in the face of so many threats throughout history.
Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania
Trakai Island Castle is like something from a fairy tale - there is nothing quite like admiring the view of the coral-coloured brick towers surrounded by moss-green trees as you cross the wooden bridge, with the castle's reflection glimmering in the surrounding waters of Lake Galve. The Gothic style castle is more than 600 years old and houses the impressive Trakai History Museum, which showcases a range of interesting exhibits including medieval weapons, chainmail, 19th-century embroidery and glassware and religious art. Trakai was one of the main centres of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and with just one glimpse of the castle you can feel the majesty and splendour of this place. Less than an hour from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, this beautiful attraction is a favourite day trip from the city among travellers.
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