The Mayor of Palanga
PLACES TO VISIT
Comfortable relaxation in Palanga cannot be imagined not only without the sea but also without a walk in one of the most beautiful parks in Northern Europe – Birute Park. This resort area called the pearl of Palanga is adorned every year in order to make it even more attractive to holidaymakers. The novelty of this year, an overnight lighting of the park, allows resort visitors watching the sunset to continue their memorable romantic evening in the cosy shelter of nature.
Birute Park was established in the territory of the former sacred Birute Forest and Birute Hill. At the end of 19th century, famous French architect Édouard François André prepared a project for a landscape park at the order of Tiškevičiai.
Brilliantly designed park has a large variety of images and sentiments with artfully arranged pathways and flowerbeds in yards. This swampy area of Tiškevičiai estate was overgrown with hassocks. At the request of the counts, ponds were excavated in this place and the soil was used for the construction of the mansion. The famous Amber Museum is now located in the neo-renaissance style mansion built on this estate in 1897.
Birute Park is a great place for quiet and comfortable family relaxation, therefore, parents and their children, young people as well as senior Palanga residents or visitors enjoy spending their time here.
Traditionally, three times a week on every summer Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. brass music fans gather in park rotunda where professional orchestra of Palanga gives free concerts for the residents and guests of Palanga in the surroundings of nature.
The series of chamber music concerts “Night Serenades” (lt. “Nakties serenados”) is just another traditional event that has been celebrating Palanga, Birute Park and Amber Museum for more than a decade.
The park bursts into colourful blossoms in September when Days of Birute Park are organized. This event is for the enthusiasts preferring quiet and comfortable outdoors relaxation.
Palanga amber museum
Amber Museum belonging to the Lithuanian National Museum of Art was founded on 3 August 1963 in a former estate of Count Feliksas Tiškevičius. The museum situated in the magnificent palace in the centre of Birute Park is one of the most visited museums in the country.
Museum containing one of the most abundant collections of amber inclusions and pieces in the world has about 30 thousand exhibits in total.
You can get acquainted with the amber formation, trade routes, extraction and processing in Amber Museum that was restored this year.
Areas located on the ground floor of the palace charm visitors with updated historical interiors portraying the life of the counts in this palace. Visitors interested in Palanga and the history of Tiškevičiai family may visit and admire authentic spaces: Hall, Events Hall, Red Salon, Grand Salon, Countess Parlour, Blue Salon, Parlour of the Young Count, Small Salon.
Surroundings of the residence of aristocrats is recreated in these representative halls of the palace where art pieces from the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century from the interiors of manors of the nobility from the collections of Counts Tiškevičiai, other Lithuanian noblemen as well as private collections preserved by Lithuanian Art Museum are displayed. Romualdas Budrys is the author of interior expositions.
Unique amber display enriched with archaeological exhibits and renewed inclusion collection is presented on the first floor. Visitors can look at the brand new amber morphology exhibition.
It is impossible to imagine Palanga without the Sea Pier, a place attracting everyone. Beautiful scenery of dunes, yellow beaches and limitless sea open before the eyes of onlooker, the sounds of the sea and shrieks of seagulls fill in the air. Evenings may be comfortably spent on the benches with loved ones watching amazing sunsets.
At the end of the 19th century Palanga was ruled by Counts Tiškevičiai. They decided to build a dock for ships that could be used to transport bricks made in counts’ brickyard. The dock was built in 1884-1888 and vessel “Phoenix” cruised to Klaipeda and Liepaja. Later, when the export of bricks failed, the ship was used for transportation of passengers. Unfortunately, after storms the dock would be covered in sand, therefore, it was realized that the bridge was not suitable for navigation.
Since 1892, the pier became the most popular place for taking walks. Impacts of time, sea waves and wind destroyed this structure, thus, a new pier of 470 meters in length was built on concrete poles in 1998.
The sculpture “Jūratė and Kastytis” (sculptress N. Gaigalaitė) that became another symbol of the resort was built in the nearby square in 1961.
Jonas Basanavičius street
The Jūratė ir Kastytis Square is the beginning of the famous J. Basanavičiaus Street, one of the most popular places of holiday-makers in Lithuania. This street was formerly called Tyshkevich Street or Boulevard. Later it was called after the nation’s patriarch dr. J. Basanavičius. This is a historical part of the city where are a lot of old buildings of traditional architecture, most of them remember almost 200 years history of the resort. These are one of the oldest building complexes “Gražina” and “Aldona”. This complex of resort villas is protected by the state as part of the cultural heritage. Today there are lots of cafes and restaurants, various recreation facilities, the main city events and holidays are held here. Every guest of the resort passes along this street many times.
When walking in Birute Park, one of the most beautiful places in Palanga, be certain to visit Birute Hill. Here, centuries-old sacred Birute pine forest still thrives in the territory of former Tiškevičiai Mansion. It surrounds the legendary Birute Hill standing 21 meters above the sea level and overlooking magnificent view of soughing sea.
You will not only have a good time in the nature but also be able to travel to ancient times – the fact that people lived here a long time ago is proven by discoveries of ceramics on the hill dating back to the first millennium. Settlement complex of Curonians usually consisted of a castle, one or more settlements and an oblation table. A castle and oblation table on the Birute Hill date back to 9th – 13th centuries, a village was established at the foot of the hill. At the end of 14th century – the beginning of 15th century a defensive wall was built on the hill which was probably burnt during fights with Crusaders.
Later, a pagan sanctuary with paleoastronomy observatory was set up here. This sanctuary is linked with the name of the priestess Birutė, the wife of Duke Kęstutis and the mother of Vytautas. Stories tell that she lived here and kept the holy fire burning and was buried here after her death.
In 1898, a neo-gothic chapel designed by architect K. Mayer was built on the top of Birute Hill. In 1976, the chapel was decorated with stained-glass created by the artist L. Pocius.
Palanga resort museum
Palanga Resort Museum is an impressive architectural monument, closely related to the history of the city. The museum holds various archaeological, historical, photographic, numismatic, artistic and other kind of exhibits. It is famous for its various activities: lectures, meetings, concerts, exhibitions, films, conferences, publishing.
The history of kurhaus is closely related to the Counts Tiskeviciai. In 1877 Count Juozapas Tiskevicius built a spacious restaurant which soon was expanded into a first resort hotel. Kurhaus, named following the traditions from neighbour countries, became a popular venue with upper class holidaymakers, because it not only had a restaurant but also a reading room, billiard and games room. Palanga kurhaus hosted dance events, theatre performances, concerts. On the first floor there was an information desk and resort fee collection point.
After World War II kurhaus became the property of Palanga town. On 25th August 2002, the building was completely destroyed by fire and its reconstruction had begun only after ten years on 30th May 2012. The brick part of kurhaus was rebuilt, authentic mouldings restored, oak parquet flooring was laid and walls were decorated with the same wallpapers as they were back in the time of the Tiskeviciai family. Kurhaus concert hall was decorated with a chandelier from the late 18th century.
Since 2015 Palanga Culture and Youth Center has been actively operating in kurhaus. It is a modern space for cultural education that encourages community participation of different age groups and social backgrounds, fosters ethnic culture, and promotes professional art through various events in Palanga town. Each year Culture and Youth Center organizes over 250 various events: high-quality concerts of various genres, calendar holiday celebrations, festivals and others.
Antanas Moncys house – museum
Visit to the house-museum of A. Mončys will leave an impression not only on art lovers but on children as well. Why? At artist’s wish, visitors can touch the sculptures!
Lithuanian artist, modernist sculptor A. Mončys was born in Mončiai village, Kretinga district. Because of WWII, he moved to the West, lived and worked in France. Over 200 sculptures, drawings, graphic works, collages, whistles and masks that were given to Lithuania after the artists’ death are exhibited on the second floor of the museum.
The first floor of the museum is also an exhibition hall with a constantly changing display.
Exile and resistance museum
It is a small museum in the centre of Palanga resort. Here you can find information and visit the exposition of historically tragic but also extremely important period in Lithuania. Vivid stories about difficult but persistent desire to achieve the independence of Lithuania and always maintain the spirit of Lithuania at heart at any cost are told in the museum
Dog museum – is a private V & V Kusas’ souvenir dog collection, containing close to 6000 exhibits from 40 countries of the world and made of 27 different materials. The only one in the Baltic states.
“Discover the Old Villas of Palanga”
The route “Discover the Old Villas of Palanga” will take you on a journey over 100 years in history. This route connects 27 historical villas of the resort in the period between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century and other significant objects representing the architecture of the resort. In the streets of Palanga, you will find unique wooden and brick buildings that comprise the valuable architectural and cultural heritage of Palanga. Historical architecture enriches, as well as represents, the landscape of Palanga, the preservation of which enables the visitor to witness the development of the resort from the end of the 19th century till today. This route can be enjoyed regardless of weather or time of day. Shall we take the trip?
Church of the Iverskaya Icon of the Mother of God in Palanga
The Russian Orthodox parish was founded in Palanga in 1995. First it was located in one of the rooms in the Russian school. In 1999 Palanga city municipality allocated a 2263 m2land plot for construction of the church. The church complex was designed by a Penza architect Dmitry Borunov. Construction of the church was completed in 2001.
Minor consecration was performed by the pastor the the Church of All Russian Saints (Klaipeda) archimandrit Anthony. On June 16, 2002, the major consecration of the new church of Iverskaya icon of the Mother of God with participation of Vilnius and Lithuanian metropolitan Chrisostom was performed by a permanent member of the Russian Orthodox Church Sinode Krutitsk and Kolomna Metropolitan Yuvenaliy. Morning and evening services, sacraments of confession and communion are held in the church, religious holidays are celebrated there. The perish comprises about 100 people. There is a library (about 3000 books), a newspaper «Iverskaya Candle» is published. The newspaper informs about services held in the church, holidays and news of the church life.
In the summer, the new fountain entertains visitors with the dance of music, light and water. One can select a favourite melody from a special playlist for a fountain to dance to by SMS message. The price for a song to be performed by a dancing fountain is 3 euro. Visitors may also enjoy free daily hour-long shows.
The height and direction of water spouts as well as fountain lightening change depending on a selected piece of music. Water spouts are controlled by special computer equipment according to a piece of music selected. The computer equipment of the fountain automatically controls the height and current angle of the water spouts depending on the direction and strength of wind.
260 water nozzles and 48 different colour lights producing full range of colours creates impressive light music effect. Fountain equipment was purchased in Greece and Italy.
Five powerful German pumps ejecting the main spout to the height of eight meters and lifting almost 4.3 tonnes of water into the air per minute are installed under the fountain pool.
Palanga fountain is the largest dancing fountain in Lithuania if measured according to the amount of lifted water.