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LITHUANIA 

General information
Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika) is a country in Balticum, in Europe, and is one of the three Baltic states. Situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of the Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Lithuania is a member of NATO and of the European Union (1 of May 2004). 

· Capital and largest city:
Vilnius
· Total population: 3,369,600 (September 2007)
· National day: 16th of February (Independence Day)
· Official language: Lithuanian
· Government: Semi-presidential republic 
· Area: 65,200 km²
· Currency:  Euro

Location and nature
The Republic of Lithuania is located in North-Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia, also borders with Poland and Belarus. The capital city Vilnius is located on the banks of the Neris River, 300 km from the Baltic Sea, at 54''N and 25'' E. Distances: to Helsinki 720 km, to Berlin 850 km, to Moscow 830 km.
Nature has been generous to Lithuania. Although there are no mountains or great forests, the country's beauty lies in the diversity of its landscape. This is a place of rolling hills and gentle plains, of quietly flowing rivers and of lakes which reflect the blueness of the sky. The largest river, the Nemunas carries the waters to the Baltic Sea , wherein lies Lithuania's famous "amber coast". The Lithuanian landscape has been smoothed by glaciers. The highest areas are the moraines in the western uplands and eastern highlands, none of which are higher than 300 metres above sea level, with the maximum elevation being Aukštojas Hill at 294 metres. The terrain features numerous lakes, Lake Vištytis for example, and wetlands; a mixed forest zone covers nearly 33% of the country.

Lithuanian History
Lithuania is a small country located on the Eastern shore of the Baltic sea. It emerged as a state in the early 13th century and became one of the most powerful states in Eastern Europe. A long history of expansion was followed by shrinkage and even disappearance from the world map. After being incorporated in the Soviet Union during the World War II Lithuania was the first republic to break away in the early 90'es. Today, recovering from the past Lithuanians are building a modern and democratic society based on their historic traditions.

Religion
Predominantly Roman Catholic, also Evangelical Lutheran and Russian Orthodox communities. The Church has been the majority denomination since the Christianisation of Lithuania in the end of fourteenth century and beginning of fifteenth century. Some priests actively led the resistance against the Communist regime (symbolised by the Hill of Crosses). Church attendance has increased since the end of the Soviet Union and the country has a high level of religious practice. 

Climate
The climate lies between maritime and continental, with wet, moderate winters and summers. The average annual temperature in Lithuania is 7.5 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in January, the coldest month of the year, is -2.8 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in July, which is considered the warmest month of the year, is 20.5 degrees Celsius.

Current weather in Lithuania

Politics

The Lithuanian head of state is the President, elected directly for a five-year term, serving a maximum of two consecutive terms. The post of president is largely ceremonial; main policy functions however include foreign affairs and national security policy. The president is also the military commander-in-chief. The President, with the approval of the parliamentary body, the Seimas, also appoints the prime minister and on the latter's nomination, appoints the rest of the cabinet, as well as a number of other top civil servants and the judges for all courts. The unicameral Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, has 141 members who are elected to four-year terms.

Counties of Lithuania

The current administrative division was established in 1994 and modified in 2000 to meet the requirements of the European Union. Lithuania has a three-tier administrative division: the country is divided into 10 counties that are further subdivided into 60 municipalities which consist of over 500 elderates.
List of counties: Alytus, Klaipėda, Kaunas, Marijampolė, Panevėžys, Šiauliai, Tauragė, Telšiai, Utena, Vilnius.

Transport

International traffic:
By Air. Vilnius Airport is situated 6 km from the city center. The airport has the capacity to receive large aircrafts.
By Sea. Klaipėda port is the only port in Lithuania. It is the most important Lithuanian transportation hub, connecting sea, land and railway routes from East to West.
By Coach. There are regular international bus connections between Vilnius and other European cities. Long line coaches offer direct services to Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Ukraine and Russia.
By Rail.

Domestic traffic:
By Coach. There is a well-developed bus network in Lithuania between cities and smaller towns. Express coaches connect the bigger cities, while local buses service more out-of-the-way areas.
By Rail. Trains travel between the larger Lithuanian cities.
By Car. Lithuania has a serviceable highway network, and passable roads connect even the smallest of villages. The bigger cities are connected by well-maintained highways with plenty of roadside services for passing tourists – cafes and restaurants, hotels and guesthouses, campsites, garages and petrol stations. Lithuania is crisscrossed by pan-European route- the Via Baltica.

Useful links about Lithuania
 




Last update on 04. August 2015