Friday 28 July
First stop Trakai island castle, probably one of the most beautiful settings ever.
Weddings and tourists. Boats touring around the island. Outer castle and inner castle.
Our first stop in Lithuania was the Trakai Island Castle on Lake Galvė, probably one of the most beautiful settings ever. It is a perfect setting for weddings and the tourists loved it as well. Boats were sailing around the island, making it an ideal topic for our photography.
Trakai Castle’s origins started in the second half of the 14th century. Various bits were added and then the castle was strengthened with an outer construction in later years.
By the beginning of the 16th century the castle was not used and fell into disrepair.
Under Imperial Russia, in the 19th century, restoration commenced and this continued, with some disruption during World War II, until 1961.
The museum within the castle was interesting, which included a wonderful collection of ancient pipes.
There was also information about the Karaimes, an ethnic Turkij speaking group that had settled in the area since the 14th century. Their language is believed to be nomadic Turkish with Yiddish influences. The small population that remains in Trakai continue to maintain their language.
What surprised me, as we travelled through the Baltic states, is the amount of preservation and reconstruction of monumental sites, including castles and churches, that happened under Soviet rule.