If you come to Vilnius, don't miss
an opportunity to visit a picturesque town Trakai, the ancient
capital of Lithuania situated 30 km from Vilnius. Trakai region
features unique relief: the combination of numerous unbelievably
pure lakes and moraine hills create a breathtaking sight.
There are even ancient legends explaining the exceptional
lucidity of the lakes. According to one of those legends,
the Skaisis Lake ("Lucid") was made from a young
maiden's tears. All her life the beautiful girl was waiting
for her beloved worrier, who had been sent to war against
Teutonic Knights, and never came back. The "town on the
water", as Trakai usually called, is particularly rich
in architectural and cultural monuments; there are more than
300 of them.
The main landmark of the town is the
famous insular Trakai Castle, situated on the island in the
Galve Lake. It should be mentioned that today it is the only
insular castle in Eastern Europe. The construction of the
castle was started in the second half of the 14th century
and completed by Grand Duke Vyatautas at the beginning of
the 15th century. When the capital was moved to Vilnius, Trakai
lost its leading role in the political life of the country
but retained its importance as the residence of the Dukes
and a significant administrative, political and economical
center of Lithuania. At this time both the town and the castle
prospered. By the end of the16th century, the town had gradually
lost its former political importance. It was finally outgrown
by Vilnius. Soon the town became a kind of a place of exile
for disagreeable noblemen and the castle became a political
The Trakai Castle is one of the largest
Lithuanian medieval castles, it occupies the area of 1,8 ha.
The castle comprises of the palace, defensive walls with massive
towers and a fore-castle, that is separated from the walls
by a water canal. To enter the castle, you have to cross an
ancient draw-bridge. The Gothic Palace is situated in the
very center of the castle. A 25-meter high donjon with shooting
apertures dominates the front facade of the Palace. The staterooms
of the palace are decorated with stained-glass and mural paintings,
representing the scenes of the life of Grand Duke and his
family. The interior of the palace was abundantly adorned
with profiled bricks, stained glass and decorative tiles.
The castle was equipped with the unique for that time system
of forced-air heating: the hot air went up pipes and warmed
the cold stonewalls.
The first attempts to restore practically
ruined Trakai Castle were made at the end of the 19th century.
In 1951, full-scale restoration and exploration works were
started in the castle. Now the castle houses the ethnographic
museum, which exposition covers the period from the oldest
time to the middle of the 20th century and displays authentic
furniture, porcelain, crockery, articles made of glass and
bone, seals, hunting trophies and archeological findings discovered
in the Trakai Castle.
All prices are on request.
Please contact us for more information.