Lithuania: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Lithuania.

  • Lithuania is one of the three Baltic states, located in the northeast part of Europe.
  • The country covers about 65,000 square km and is bordered by Latvia, Poland and Belarus.

  • Vilnius, the largest city and the capital, has a population of about 540,000 and was European Capital of Culture in 2009. The light show marking that event could be seen from space.
  • Vilnius is also known for its old town, which is a World Heritage Site. At one time it was known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania because of its large Jewish population.
  • The Kingdom of Lithuania was established in 1253, and during the 14th century it was the largest country in Europe.
  • During World War II, Lithuania was occupied by Russia and Germany.
  • The country was the first one to declare independence from the USSR, in 1990. In 1991 Lithuania joined the United Nations and the European Union in 2004.

Flag of Lithuania

  • Lithuania claims to have the geographical centre of Europe, marked by a tall pillar.
  • The country’s highest point is less than 300 metres, and about 33 percent of it is forested.
  • Salt and bread are important to the Lithuanian people. It is customary to welcome a guest with some salt and a loaf of bread.
  • One of the most popular Lithuanian dishes is Cepelinai, made from meat and potatoes and served in an oval shaped dish. It got its name from the zeppelin – a hot air balloon.
  • Lithuania’s national bird is the stork, and the country is sometimes called the Land of Storks. Many Lithuanian children believe that the stork brought them into the world.
  • There are over 2,500 lakes in Lithuania and over 800 rivers.
  • Lithuania has the shortest coastline of all the countries that have a coastline on the Baltic Sea, just 38 km.