"Klaipeda and the Curonian Split" Klaipeda by MikeAtSea
Klaipeda Travel Guide: 235 reviews and 496 photos
Klaipeda is Lithuania’s only gateway to the sea, and the most northerly ice-free port on the Eastern coast of the Baltic Sea as well as one of the oldest cities in Lithuania, established in 1252.
Being the third largest city of the country it is an important centre of transport, industry, commerce and culture.
The city was founded more then 750 years ago. The landmarks of Klaipeda, cranes lined up at the piers of the harbour have been a stable dominant of the city for one century; before that the silhouette was shaped by windmills and church spires.
The beginning of the city was a castle built in 1252 according to the agreement between the Livonian Order and the Curonian Bishop which was called Memelburg. The castle served as strategic function, it allowed controlling he important land route going through the Curonian spit and the mouth of the Curonian lagoon. The name of the castle is derived from the name of the Nemunas River, knights of the order assumed that they were building a castle on the lower reaches of the Nemunas, which is in German the Memel, as they considered the Curonian lagoon its extension. Germans still call the city Memel whereas Lithuanians call it Klaipeda.
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