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History

Facts:

The earliest inhabitants date to 12 000-14 000 B.C.

Lithuania’s name is 1012 years old.

In 1253, King Mindaugas was crowned.

In 1323, Lithuania’s capital Vilnius was founded.

In 1918, the Lithuania state was re-established.

In 1989, the Baltic Way demonstration was held.

In 1990, Lithuanian independence was restored.

In 2004, the country joined the EU and NATO.

In 2018, Lithuania became an OECD member.

Lithuania’s name has been known to the world for over a thousand years.

A millennium is a long time for a country. Lithuania has survived the vicissitudes of history to become a creative and modern Northern European state and an active and responsible member of NATO and the European Union.

Lithuania’s name was first mentioned in the Annals of Quedlinburg in the year 1009. But the first people to settle in the territory of Lithuania came around 12 000-14 000 B.C. More

A country historically open, inviting and keen to collaborate.

Openness, co-operation and initiative are in our genes. As far back as the 14th century, we realised we can achieve more by working not alone but together with the world.

Grand Duke Gediminas wrote in letters to European rulers in 1323 that “we open our land, our dominions and our kingdom to every person of goodwill.” He invited knights, men-at-arms, merchants and craftsmen to Vilnius to work and create, promising them land and good conditions.

A royal realm uniting diverse peoples and lands

In medieval times, Lithuania built one of the largest states in Europe – the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. It was put on the map of the world when Mindaugas, ruler of a united Lithuania, was crowned king on 6 July 1253. Lithuania then became a major political power in Eastern and Central Europe. The reason for the GDL’s impressive growth was its rulers’ tolerance for other peoples’ religion and traditions.

The singing revolution: a peaceful drive for freedom that sped the Soviet Union’s demise

Lithuania was the first country to declare independence from the Soviet Union and became a beacon of freedom for other nations. Lithuanians’ hunger for freedom and the difficult times they have endured have instilled deeply in us the values of freedom and democracy that we uphold today. In one highly significant event, the Baltic Way, which took place on 23 August 1989, more than a million people joined hands in a living chain linking the three Baltic capitals of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, demanding independence from the Soviet Union. More