Just a small town of Trakai 30 km from Vilnius due to its unique nature, culture, history and architectural monuments has become Lithuanian tourism symbol. According to legend, town’s history started as a whim of a woman. The Grand Duke Kestutis constructed a castle on lake Galve to please his wife Birute who longed for sea waves.
The end of fourteenth century witnessed the transformation of Trakai into multicultural community where such nationalities as Lithuanians, Polish, Jewish, Russians, Tartars as well as Karaims lived. The latter ones were brought back by Vytautas the Great. Some Karaims served as bodyguards and provided castle security, others worked as translators, craft makers and traded goods. Karaims build worshiping houses, traditional wooden houses with three windows facing the street. Their cultural and culinary heritage attract many tourists to Trakai.
Although Karaim legacy is very important, the Trakai castle is the center of attention as the only dream-like castle in Eastern Europe built on an island. Six hundred years of its existence tell the story of the most glorious period of our country when under the ruling of the Grand Duke Vytautas the Grand Duchy of Lithuania expanded from The Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
Feel the Medieval spirit of this town, try the local specialty kibinai (kybyn) prepared by Karaims on your day trip to Paneriai Memorial Park and Trakai Castle.