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Trakai-Castle on Island
A land area of 120 274 hectares is home to a population of 38.2 thousands. The administrative municipality is located at Trakai (6 142inhabitants), 28 km from Vilnius.The region boasts some 200 lakes of various sizes, including Galvë Lake of 388 hectares, Vilkoksnis Lake of 337 hectares, Skaistis Lake of 296 hectares.Trakai region is famous for its natural, architectural and cultural monuments(over 300). Its territory includes the only in Lithuania Trakai historical national park, Aukstadvaris regional park.Trakai was founded in the 14th c. when the Duke Kestutis moved his residence from Old Trakai to the Peninsular castle built at the istmus of Galvë and Luka lakes. The other castle was built on an island in the center of Galve lake, not far from the first one. In the 15th c. the Island castle seved as residence for the Grand Duke. A settlement grew around the castle. The approuches to the settlement were protected by the Old Trakai, Streva, Brazuole, Daniliskes and other castle hills.In the second half of the 14th c. and later Trakai was a major political and administrative centre of Lithuania. At the end of the 14th c. the Grand Duke Vytautas brought the Karaite and Tartar to Lithuania to serve as guards at the Duke’s castle and as personal guards of the Grand Duke Vytautas himself. In the 16th c. Trakai lost its importance as the political centre. During the war with Russia( 17th c.) the town was robbed and burnt down, the castles destroyed.In the 20th c. the Island castle has been restored. From 1962 the castle houses the Trakai History Museum. Today Trakai is a centre of tourism , wind-surfing and other sports. In Summer at the Island castle go a prestigious music festival “Trakai festival”.

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Additional Photos by Krzysztof Dera (Fis2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5170 W: 157 N: 6947] (82696)
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