A New Map of Lithuania

Biggest šakotis

The Lithuanian tourism bureau Travel Lithuania (https://www.lithuania.travel/en/) has created a new map listing 30 record-holding sites in the country that are a must to see.

Marked on it are: the biggest amber sauna, the deepest cave, spaces with the most hammers, the  most swimming pools and many other interesting sites, fun to visit and to see more than once. The Bernardin Garden in Vilnius, for example, is the oldest public park in Lithuania. The TV labyrinth in the Vilnius Region is actually in the Guiness Book of World Records.

This past summer was successful for Lithuanian tourism, with the number of local visitors surpassing prepandemic numbers in 2019.

Some of the other attractions include the 200-hectare (nearly 500-acre) Vilnius University Botanical Gardens, in the Vilnius suburb of Kairėnai, impressive for its size and over 10,000 plants. The Gardens are open to visitors year-round for concerts, instructional sessions, skiing and sledding.

In Kaunas, there is an underground printing house hidden under a greenhouse, which functioned secretly for 10 years under the Soviet occupation, from 1980 to 1990. Visitors can see its secret tunnel, printing press and various publications.

Lithuanian record-keepers at the “Factum“ agency have registered the famous “Holiday Park”, a spa near Palanga as having the greatest number of swimming pools, with 10 indoor therapeutic pools and 6 outdoor pools. The same facility has the largest amber sauna in Lithuania, made of three tons of natural Baltic Sea amber.

Biggest book

The biggest book in Lithuania, about the Salduvės castle hill, can be found at the Vilnius University Šiauliai Academy. It is only 184 pages long, but measures 1.25 metres tall, 90 centimetres wide, and 25 centimetres thick, and weighs over 100 kg. The academy also boasts a library with a room decorated with 157,130 litas’ worth of pennies. It also holds coins of other denominations, donated by Lithuanians. The coins cover the walls and ceiling of the room as well as a “throne”.

Saulius Matusevičius of Suvalkija collected over 500 hammers in three years, and opened a museum in Vilkaviškis region. By 2020 his collection had grown to 1137 hammers, and now includes a 20-kg hammer and a 20-gram vintner’s hammer. The museum is easily identifiable by a giant hammer sculpture at its entrance – measuring 4 metres in height.

With the bear being the symbol of žemaičiai, the Teddy Bear Museum in Telšiai (Žemaitija region) with its 4,683 bears is currently seeking the Lithuanian record.

Familiar to some by its German name “baumkuchen”, one traditional Lithuanian “šakotis” cake (branch cake) has been baked to reach a record height of 3.72 metres (12 feet). It was made in 2015 with 71.5 kg of eggs and 48 kg of flour, and is on display at the Šakotis Museum in the Druskininkai area – and has attained both the Lithuanian and world record. The Museum also displays branch cakes from Hungary, Sweden and Japan.

TV labyrinth