Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Lithuania

Kernave

Kernavė was a medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and today is a tourist attraction and an archeological site. In 2004 Kernavė Archaeological Site was included into UNESCO world heritage list. The area of Kernavė was sparingly inhabited at the end of the Paleolithic era, with the number of settlements significantly increasing in the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras. It is believed, that first inha ...
Founded: 0 - 300 AD | Location: Kernavė, Lithuania

Ukmerge Hill Fort

Ukmergė was first mentioned as a settlement in 1333. It was essentially a wooden fortress that stood on a hill, near the confluence of the Vilkmergė River and the Šventoji River. Ukmergė was attacked by the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order in 1333, 1365, 1378, 1386, and even in 1391, already after the Christianization of Lithuania in 1387. During the last attack, Ukmergė was burned to the ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Ukmergė, Lithuania

Medvegalis Hill Fort

Medvėgalis was a 14th-century hill fort in Samogitia, located in present-day Šilalė District Municipality. It was first mentioned in 1316 in written texts and was one of the most important and strongest Lithuanian forts in the area. It was attacked by the Teutonic Knights over 20 times throughout history, including the Siege of Medvėgalis in 1329, when it fell to the Teutonic forces and its defenders were converted to ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Šilale, Lithuania

Apuole Historic Village

Apuolė is a historic village is the oldest Lithuanian settlement mentioned in written sources. Apuolė was an important hill fort of the Curonians, one of the Baltic tribes. Archaeologists dated the wooden fortress to the 1st century AD. The hill fort is situated on the confluence of Luoba and its tributary Brukis rivulet. According to archaeological research, a large village was situated near the hill fort. This ...
Founded: 0 - 100 AD | Location: Apuolė, Lithuania

Molavenai Hill Fort

Two hillforts are located in the vicinity of the Molavėnai village. Two nature monuments are protected by the state – an old oak tree near one of the hillfots and a stone called Mokas. Molavėnų I hillfort was first erected in the 1st century AD and consisted of defensive fortifications and a wooden fort. The site is located on a long (350 m), narrow projection into a bend of the river Še&scaron ...
Founded: 0 - 100 AD | Location: Molavėnai, Lithuania

Alytus Castle Mound

Alytus mound is the only preserved witness of the foundation of the town and it dates probaly from the 11th century. It is said that a wooden castle was standing here in the 14th century that was burnt down later by the Teutonic Order. The detailed route to Alytus castle is described in Teutonic “The Description of Lithuanian Roads”, this castle defended the main roads to Trakai and Vilnius from crusaders. A ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Alytus, Lithuania

Sventoji

Šventoji is an important archaeological site as the first artifacts are dated about 3000 BC. A famous cane shaped as moose head was also found in the town. It is a former fishermen village now turned into a tourist town. The town always struggled to develop a port, which had to compete with nearby Klaipėda and Liepāja. Larger port was constructed in the second half of the 17th century, especially when in ...
Founded: 3000 BC | Location: Sventoji, Lithuania

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.