en.infoglobe.cz » Lithuania, Trakai – A Town with Island Castle

Lithuania, Trakai – A Town with Island Castle

Published: 22.4.2015
Today we go to the southernmost and the largest Baltic country – Lithuania. We will visit the ancient town of Trakai only 28 km away from the capital of Vilnius.

The town of Trakai is a small urban settlement of about 5000 people. However, it is very popular among tourists. Why? Because of its sights which are among the most important in the whole of Lithuania. In the past, the town was the residence to Lithuanian rulers. In 1409, it became a town which started its fast growth. Soon Trakai transformed to a noisy trade center. This lasted until 1569 when the city became to fall due to the unification of Lithuania and Poland to the so called Union of Lublin.

Trakai - okolí
Trakai - socha velkoknížeteOne of Trakai’s most important sights is without any doubt Trakai Island Castle (Trakų Pilis). It was founded by Grand Prince Gediminas in 1321, an unspoken king of Lithuanians and Russians who laid foundations to Lithuania’s power status in northeastern Europe. The original castle of Senieji Trakai was located 3 km to the southeast from the today’s castle. Two years later, Gediminas founded another castle and the new capital city Vilnius. Yet the first verified sources come from 1337. They mention the so called New Trakai (Naujieji Trakai) on the place which have remained the same until the present.
Either way, the castle have gone through some dramatic history. It had to face crusaders who eventually didn’t conquer it. Then there were many invasions so around the castle a system of fortification was built. It consisted of two castles. The first one is built on the peninsula as an advanced fortress. The other castle is built on the island on Galvé lake. While we can see only what remains of the walls of the first castle, Island castle is a true architectonic gem. In the 15th century, it was rebuilt to be a residence to Lithuanian rulers. In the 16th century it was losing its importance and rebuilt into a prison in the 18th century. Several years later it was demolished and only some parts of towers and foritification were left of it.
Ostrovní hrad Trakai

Fortunately, its renovation began in the beginning of the 20th century. It was done according to surviving documents. The castle emerged once again in its 15th century form. The whole renovation was finished only in the 1990s. You can get to the castle across the drawbridge, well, rather a polebridge. On the other end, there is a yard from where you can get to the individual rooms in the castle. There is a museum of history and the present of Trakai.

Trakai - suvenýry

The castle together with dozens of original houses, archeological excavation site, cultural and natural sights, two natural reservations is declared the Trakai Historical National Park s rozlohou 82 km2.
Trakai - karaimský dům

The town of Trakai is set to picturesque nature with many lakes. Except Island castle there is also a catholic and orthodox church, Karaim synagogue, many Karaim houses with three windows (1 for God, 1 for the owner, 1 for Grand Prince Vytautas) built by the Karaims. They were invited by Grand Prince of Vytautas and came into the town in 1397. Their goal was to guard his residence. They settled there and the town became their main cultural hub until the so called uprising of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, i.e. the war between Russia and Poland in 17th century. Many of them died during this war or were expelled. In the present, only couple of dozens of Karaims live there, and also a large Polish community.

Trakai - suvenýry

The city lives its own history. The way it cares for its sights and how it renovated them, or the number of souvenir stands by historical landmarks is only evidence of it. Really don’t miss Trakai on your journeys across the world.

Text: Oskár Mažgút

Photo: Beata Firicová

Discussion at the article (0)

Related Articles

Lithuania: The Hill of Crosses – A Place of Hopes and Memories
Published: 3.4.2013
"Magica locus" - a magic place or a place of hopes of memories too. This fact is testified by thousands of crosses aiming to the sky. It will impress you with its shinning aura and you will feel you are at the right place. At place you will find peace.

Lithuania: Lakes and Crosses
Published: 16.6.2014
Average enthusiast knows that Lithuania exists. And perhaps knows where the country is located. But that’s usually it. Unlike traditional tourist destinations such as Croatia, Italy, or Greece, Lithuania is at the edge of interest of average Western. Well, there is the Baltic Sea. But it is too cold to swim in.

Latvia, Riga – Art Noveau Beauty of the Baltics
Published: 27.5.2015
Our trip to the Baltics region started in Lithuania. There we visited two beautiful cities – Vilnius and Trakai. Today, we move to Latvia, Lithuania’s neighbor. We visit its capital, Riga. The city is truly charming.

Estonia, Tallinn – Old Harbor of the North
Published: 3.6.2015
After a visit in Riga, Latvia we set off to the last of the Baltic countries – Estonia. Northernmost Baltic country has rich history and amazing sights. We traveled to Tallinn to see those.

Finland: Kuopio – Peninsula City
Published: 10.6.2015
Right after we traveled through the capitals of the Baltics, we moved by ship to Finland where we paid a visit to beautiful yet bit expensive Helsinki. Still, it would be a mistake to pass it for there is lots to see.

Lithuania, Vilnius – Gem of the Country
Published: 20.5.2015
After a short while, we are back in Lithuania. Maybe you remember our last visit to the town of Trakai and its wonderful Island Castle. This time we explore the capital and the largest city of this Baltic country - Vilnius.

Related Photogallery

The Baltics – Eastern Shore of the Baltic Sea
Through our photo gallery, we will go to the Baltics, which combine three countries connected by ...


Czech republic


We were awarded the certificate even thanks to you!

Dôveryhodná firma 2017



Important Information:

Information and warnings on travelling abroad is to be found HERE.

Mobile application:

aplikácia Infoglobe

stiahnuť zadarmo pre Androidstiahnuť zadarmo pre iPhone



Today:monday 8. 8. 2022
monday 8.8.
13 °C
tuesday 9.8.
16 °C

TIP: INFOGLOBE app is available for your device, download HERE.


TIP: INFOGLOBE app is available for your device, download HERE.