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Lithuania

 

Located in North Europe, Lithuania is a country of lakes and rivers. There are over 2,500 lakes and roughly 758 rivers with length of more than ten kilometres. A majority of them are impassable with the longest river, Neman running down the middle of the country. Other than that, the country is composed of many forests, rolling hills and agricultural land. Its neighbours include Latvia, Belarus, Poland and Russia with eastern shore on the Baltic Sea.

Environment is one of Lithuania’s biggest problems. They have to deal with water pollution, air pollution and most serious of all nuclear contagion. Water pollution is a result of unregulated dumping of industrial waste and lack of treatment plants. Due to the poor quality of air, close to 70% of Lithuania’s forests have been damaged and wildlife seriously affected. Lithuanians are also very apprehensive about nuclear energy. The Chernobyl disaster contaminated a large portion of Lithuania with radiation.

Lithuania is a country full of natural beauty and rich cultural history. Tourists will find plenty to entertain themselves with. A must see site that opened amid much controversy is Gratus Park/”Stalin World, Druskininkai. The park allows visitors to walk through pathways that resemble prison camps in Siberia. Imposing statues of Lenin and Stalin stare down at the visitors. The barbed wires and fences give the park an eerily authentic look. Hills of Crosses is an amazing site where crosses by the thousands have been planted on a hillock since ancient times. There are also a number of museums, castles and churches that deserve a visit.

Fast Facts:

Government:   Parliamentary democracy.

Capital:   Vilnius

Total area:   25,174 sq mi (65,200 sq km)

Monetary unit:   Litas

Languages:   Lithuanian (official), Russian, Polish

Ethnicity/race:   Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Belarusian

Religions:   Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Protestant

Climate:   Maritime and continental

 

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