Cross the historical wall, but before that look around. Right in front of you is the land, which had been divided by the cordons between Lithuania and Prussia for centuries. The cordons, which hadn’t been able to defeat people’s desire to trade, to share customs and traditions on both sides. This interchange of customs and traditions gave birth to a new, unique culture of the Klaipėda region. Today’s culture is, primarily, local people. Whether it is a guide or a local elder, they will meet you with a friendly and warm smile. New friends will most likely invite you over. Don’t refuse!
“Migrating Cultures” is a cultural route around the districts of Kretinga, Klaipėda and Šilutė. The picturesque route will allow you to discover the peculiarity of various cultures in Western Lithuania. While travelling along the former border of Lithuania Minor and Lithuania Proper, you will learn about the everyday life of people of that time and character of the region: by means of songs, local lifestyle, customs, holidays, religion, cuisine, and other types of activities.
- The route is based on stories of local residents and cultural knowledge.
- Overall route length: 100 km.
- Total travel time: 4 days (the travel time may change subject to the number of attractions you want to visit).
- The route is suitable for individuals, families, and groups of tourists.
- We recommend travelling independently or with an accompanying guide.
Kretinga Museum and Winter Garden – it is located in the former Counts’ Tyszkiewicz Manor House, built in the 19th century. Explore historical and architectural monuments of Kretinga, amazing architecture of Kretinga Manor house. In the 3-storey Winter Garden – greenhouse, admire the evergreen exotic plants from the Southern countries. Travellers in search of romantic adventures will be able to walk around the oaks of the centuries-old manor park, along the alleys of linden and chestnut, down the shores of the pond, and dream at the Love Stone.
Church of the Annunciation of the St. Virgin Mary and Order of Friars Minor Annunciation Monastery in Kretinga – Kretinga is known as the Lithuanian Vatican because of five monasteries situated there. The establishment of the Franciscan Monastery is closely related to the origins of Kretinga, its historical development, and the expansion of Catholicism in the seaside. Visit the oldest church of Samogitia and see its organs which are the oldest in Lithuania; admire local architecture in the prevailing Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Homestead Complex “Gribžė” – it reveals features of the ancient architecture of the Lithuanian ethnocultural regions: Aukštaitija, Dzūkija, and Sudovia. The farmstead was built simply by using natural and ecological materials, such as wood, reeds, chips, stone, clay, etc. The homestead has a sport and entertainment area (water sports, outdoor tennis, beach volleyball, football, basketball, beach, summer stage) and a children’s camp area.
Gargždai Regional Museum – become familiar with the history of the district of Klaipėda and the town of Gargždai. Learn about the longest-lived European border, the intersection of two ethnographic regions, their differences and similarities, as well as the interwar history, starting with Gargždai and ending with the major events of Lithuania and Europe in 1918-1939 in the museum’s exposition “Interwar’s Gargždai in 1918-1939”.
Kalniškė (Gargždai) Mound – situated 3 km north from Gargždai, on the left bank of the Minija River. The top of the mound has a trapezoidal 100 m long and 13-30 m wide observation platform with natural views of dense oak trees, hollows, streams and the valley of the Minija River.
Dovilai Evangelical Lutheran Church – the Neo-Gothic church in the centre of Dovilai was built in 1862. The famous Prussian royal architect F. A. Stüler developed the sketches of the Dovilai Church in 1857. The construction of the church started in 1961 and lasted for just one year. At the end of the exhausting and complicated historical period, a unit of the Red Army artillery set up horse stables herein; later, it became a grain warehouse, a mill. Finally, the Dovilai Evangelical Lutheran Church was restored and re-sanctified in 1995.
Dovilai Ethnic Culture Centre is rich of valuable historical and ethnographic materials about ancient inhabitants of Dovilai and their customs. The center holds exhibits of early local people’s household articles: furniture, work tools, household utensils, samples and pictures of ancient textiles. Learn about beekeeping in the Klaipėda region.
Ethnographic Cemetery of Kisiniai – the ethnographic cemetery located in the village of Kisiniai as of the 19th-20th centuries are famous for being the resting place of the initiator of the Lithuanian language periodical press, Johann Ferdinand Kelch, and one of the commanders of the uprising against the Tsarist Russia of 1831, Antanas Gelgaudas.
Agluonėnai Ethnographic Farmstead is one of few examples still standing of wooden architecture in Lithuania Minor. The farmstead reflects the particularity of the region, a lifestyle of local population and the surrounding natural environment. Agluonėnai Ethnographic Farmstead is a branch of the Gargždai Regional Museum.
J. Gižas Ethnographic Homestead – there is a museum and tourist information centre established here. The museum has a historical exposition of the shipwright and fisherman of Dreverna, J. Gižas, values of the seaside culture, traditions of fishing and shipwork.
Dreverna Port of Small Ships – a port surrounded by the sea in the old fishermen’s village. Today, the port offers a café, camping (18 8-bed wooden holiday cottages, 22 camping sites with access to water, electricity, sewage), water amusement, ship, boat and water bicycle rental services.
Vydūnas Cultural Centre and Memorial Museum in Kintai – founded in the former Kintai school, where a famous Lithuanian philosopher and writer Wilhelm Storost-Vydūnas used to tutor in 1888–1892. This place educates visitors about Vydūnas’ life and creative work, the history and the ethnocultural heritage of the seaside region.
Minija (Mingė) Village – the village in the picturesque regional park at the Nemunas delta is unique in that the river, which is an assembly place for fishermen, is serving as a street herein, though, it is not easy to cross it, as there is no bridge. The locals reach the opposite side by boat or by water bike. Both for this reason and the beautiful scenery, local inhabitants call Mingė the Minor Venice of Lithuania.
Ventė Cape (Ornithological Station and Lighthouse) is the most distant westernmost point of Šilutė district, the peninsula on the east coast of the Curonian Lagoon. Located at the Ventė Cape is an ornithological station, a museum and a visitor centre. One of the biggest bird migration routes is stretching over the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, thus the Ventė Cape is a perfect geographical location for bird catching and ringing. The first wooden lighthouse in Ventė Cape was erected in 1837. It was illuminated by an oil lamp. The current red-brick lighthouse was built in 1852 and is 11 metres tall. The Ventė Cape lighthouse is one of the few lighthouses in Lithuania with free access for observation.
Leisure Centre “Ventainė” – an oasis of peace on the magnificent peninsula of the Ventė Cape at the Curonian Lagoon. You are welcome to stay in a hotel or a campsite, taste delicious fish and other meals in a restaurant, and move to Nida during the summer season for more entertainment.
Hugo Scheu Manor – Museum in Šilutė. Dr. Hugo Scheu was a famous public and cultural figure of East Prussia and the Klaipėda Region, landlord of Šilutė, and was known as a patron of Šilutė town. The Manor has features of late classicism and decor of the Klaipėda Region. The Hugo Scheu Manor, also known as the pearl of Šilutė, is waiting for you to get closer to the history of Lithuania Minor.
Šilutė Evangelical Lutheran Church is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful Prussian Evangelical Lutheran churches. It was built in 1926 referencing the design of the architect K. Gutknecht.