More to Celebrate

Anniversary signage in Palanga

Palanga is 770 Years Old

Such a special year in Lithuania, with Vilnius celebrating it’s 700th birthday! Yet another place to visit is the popular seaside resort of Palanga, one of the oldest towns in Lithuania. This year, the famous resort town by the Baltic Sea celebrates its 770th anniversary. Many competitions, cultural and sports events will be taking place there throughout the year. A new sign at the entrance to the town welcomes everyone to join the celebrations.

Palanga was first mentioned in historical records in 1253, in the act (Acta Curoniae) partitioning Courland (Kuršas) – the historical region of Latvia and Lithuania – between the Livonian Order and the Bishop of Ryga.

April 5 is considered the founding date of Palanga. And just two years ago, on March 30, 2021, Palanga celebrated the 100th anniversary of its return to Lithuania under the Simpson Act of 1920-1921, when an international commission headed by Edinburgh professor J.Y. Simpson arbitrated the division of Lithuanian and Latvian territory by the Baltic Sea.

Since 2014 there is an annual array of various cultural activities during the interval called “Palanga Week” which commemorates the two dates. This year there will be an exhibition of children’s art, a 3D film on Palanga’s history, a program called “If I were Mayor” and other events. Residents, businesses and organizations will decorate their properties with town flags. In addition to the traditional events, a sculptors’ workshop and symposium is being organized, as well as an international workshop with the creative group “Mostas” and artists from Jūrmala.

Over the summer an  outdoor exhibition called Windows of History (Istorijos langai) will be held in Birutės Park, and in the fall – a conference and exhibition on Amber in Modern Lithuania.

This year St. George’s Day (April 23), the usual rite of welcoming spring, will also reflect old times and traditions, as well as the first recorded mention of Palanga. On June 3 residents and visitors will be treated to a star-studded jubilee concert, and the annual resort town’s summer festival will include anniversary-oriented events, as will its international folk festival in the fall.

A perfect year to visit Palanga!