Lithuania at a glance
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Short description
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Lithuania at a glance
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Contact and information


State name

Lietuvos Respublika
The Latin form „Litua“ of the country name „Lietuva“ appears for the first time in the Quedlinburger annals in 1009; others draw „Lietuva“ from the river „Lietauka“ (today: Lietava), a tributary of the Neris.


3.482 millions
(81.6 % Lithuanians; 8.2 % Russians; 6.9 % Poles;
1.5 % White Russians; 0.1 % Jews; Karaim) (2002)


Vilnius (580'000 inhabitants)
For the Lithuanians, Vilnius is the „historical capital“; for the Poles, the „cradle of the Polish Romanticism“; for the Jews, the „Lithuanian Jerusalem“ and for many, the „Rome of the east“.


65'300 (53 inhabitants/
Ethnographical regions: Aukðtaitija, Dzûkija, Suwalkija and Schemaitija
Almost 3'000 lakes and 29'000 rivers and brooks
Highest mountain: Joseph hill (294 m)
Major river: Nemunas

Special feature

The geographical centre of Europe is located near Vilnius (54° 54’ northern latitude, 25° 19’ eastern longitude).

Neighbouring countries

Latvia, White Russia, Poland, Russia (Kaliningrad)

National flag

yellow-green-red horizontal

National coat of arms

White rider on a red background („Vytis“)

National anthem

„Lithuania, our Fatherland“ (Vincas Kudirka, 1897)

National holidays

February 16th (1918), March 11th (1990),
July 6th (Day of the State)

Oldest university

In 1579 the Jesuits founded the University of Vilnius (Academia et Universitas Vilnensis Societatis Jesu), which is the oldest in the Baltic States.

Lithuanian statute

The First Lithuanian Statute, which is written in Old White Russian, has 13 sections, in which the rights of the Grand Duke; the national defence; personal and other rights of the nobility are defined, and, questions regarding the legal constitution and criminal law are resolved. This statute was put into force by Grand Duke Sigismund the Old and is regarded as the first European constitution (1528/29).

Typical Lithuanian

Widely spread are storks
Amber (Gold of the Baltic Sea)
Beer from Birþai, Utena and Panevëþys
Midus: Sweet honey wine
Wood carvings of the „God- and cross makers“
„Hill of Crosses“ near Ðiauliai
Highest reputation: Media and church


3,4528 Litas = 1 Euro (fixed exchange rate)
1 Litas (LTL) = 100 centai