Information

About Trakai

Trakai Municipality can boast of its recreation, tourism, forestry and collective farming. The location of Trakai District Municipality is very interesting in terms of its conformation – it extends between the elevations of  Trakai and Aukstadvaris, which belong to the Great Baltic Plain, whilst the larger part of the territory lies in the so-called Dzukija Highland (the lowest point being at 55 metres below sea level and the highest at 257 metres). The region is characterized by the particularly picturesque Trakai Lakelands (over 200 lakes and 14 ponds), hills, valleys and pinewoods. The largest lakes undulate at 149 metres above sea level.

Galve Lake, where world junior rowing championships will be held, at its deepest point is 46.75 metres (its area is 361 ha). A wide network of subterranean water channels, mainly flowing with mineralized and very clear water, can be found within the territory of the municipality. Large and small lakes with shallow waterholes have in many places become wetlands with an amazingly diverse flora, younger and older moors and wastelands.

In recent decades 942 higher species of plants have been found and described within the district. This number constitutes the greater part of the Lithuanian flora. As many as 75 plant species are considered to be rare and very rare, whilst 54 species are included in the Lithuanian Red List Book of protected species. Even in the past the Trakai region has attracted botanists from all over the world, as a unique, preserved and pristine treasure of flora.

The pride of Trakai is the Island Castle, the only castle in Eastern Europe built on an island, now a museum on the Galve Lake. The peninsular castle, barrows and cemeteries are unique sites and the church exhibiting the picture of the Holy Mother of God built in the 15th century in the Baroque and Gothic style is considered by historians to be one of the most valuable Lithuanian heritage objects. Persons who are the greatest figures of our history and who have honourably remained important in European history lived in the Uzutrakis Manor and the Old Town of Trakai.

For visitors and tourists alike Trakai always proves to be an unexpected wonder. This may be due to the fact that the city and surrounding areas with their natural beauty are carefully protected by the State. One can find wildlife reserves, landscapes, ornithological and other sanctuaries.

The Trakai historical national park, which covers over 8,000 ha, preserves the regions uniqueness and its nature. It is the only one of this type in Europe.

 

GEOGRAPHY

There are 200 lakes in the region, of which the deepest (46.7 m) is Galvė with its 21 islands. Galvė covers an area of 3.88 km2, Vilkokšnis lake – 3.37 km2, the lake of Skaistis – 2.96 km2. There are Trakai Historical National Park and Aukštadvaris Regional Park founded in the territory of the region.

Trakai Historical National Park was founded on April 23, 1991 to preserve Trakai as a centre of Lithuanian statehood as well as the park’s authentic nature. It is the only historical national park not only in Lithuania but also throughout Europe. The territory of the park covers 82 km2, 34 km2 of which are covered by forests, and 130 km2 are covered by lakes.

Aukštadvaris Regional Park was founded in 1992 to preserve the valuable landscapes of Verknė and Strėva upper reaches. The area of the park is 153.50 km2, most of which is covered by forests. There are 72 lakes here, the biggest of which is Vilkokšnis.

Trakai is a town built on water. The town is surrounded by the lakes of Luka (Bernardinai), Totoriškės, Galvė, Akmena, Gilušis. There are a number of architectural, cultural and historical monuments in Trakai. The history museum in the castle was established in 1962. Festivals and concerts take place in the island castle in summer.

 

NAME

The name of the town was first recorded in 1337 chronicles in German as Tracken (later also used spelling Traken) and is derived from the Lithuanian word trakai (singular: trakas meaning a glade). Since the time of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the city was known as Troki in Polish.

 

DEMOGRAPHIC

The majority of Trakai’s inhabitants (61%) are Lithuanian, although the town also has a substantial Polish minority (21%), as well as Russians. The city has a significant Karaite population.