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History-before-1900

The Kosciusko Nationality Question

By Henry L. Gaidis “What am I if not a Lithuanian, one of your chosen countrymen?… Whom should I defend if not you and myself?… It angers me to be away from Lithuania and serving in Poland…” –Thaddeus Kosciusko I RECENTLY ATTENDED A SEMINAR AT THE U.S. Military Academy in ...

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Ona Grand Duchess of Lithuania

by Alvydas (Al) Karaša WITHOUT DOUBT, THE MOST PROMINENT PERsonality of the 14th-15th centuries Lithuania is Vytautas the Great. He stands as the most astute and powerful ruler, who suppressed enemies and negotiated alliances beyond any his immediate predecessors or followers could manage, and led his nation to become the ...

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Exploring the Kėdainiai Territory

Text and photos by Val Ramonis   KĖDAINIAI IS A CITY I HAD HEARD AND READ MUCH ABOUT, but never had the opportunity to visit during any of my earliertrips to Lithuania. While in Vilnius during the Millennium celebrations at the beginningof July, I wanted to get away from the ...

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The Lithuanian-Italian Connection

By Audrone Kasperaviciene It is a myth that both Rome and Vilnius were established by wolves. But it is no myth that the Italians left an indelible mark on Lithuania. For hundreds of years, the spirit of Rome has played a main role in the development ofVilnius, and to a ...

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Rediscovering a Lost Heritage

By John J. Chernoski (Černiauskas) REDISCOVERING A LOST HERITAGE THE HOLOCAUST HAS NEARLY ERASED FROM OUR collective memory a people who were long a vibrant part of the Lithuanian scene – the Litvaks (Lithuanian Jews.) During the 14th century Grand DukeGediminas encouraged immigrants to assist in the economicgrowth of the ...

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The Battle of Durbė – 13 July, St. Margaret’s Day, 1260

BY AL (ALVYDAS) KARAŠA LESS WELL KNOWN THAN THE crusades in Outremer, crusading wars in the Baltic region were just as bloody and fruitless as those in the Holy Land. Crusading was an ongoing military occupation, supported politically by European rulers, and sanctioned by the Church. Just as Pope Urban ...

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‘Gold of the North’

By Leif Brost Amber, a fossilized tree resin millions of years old, has fascinated civilizations for millennia. This fascination continues to this day. LITHUANIANS REGARD AMBER AS THEIR “GOLD.” Others refer to Baltic amber as the “Gold of the North.” While amber can be found throughout the world, the finest ...

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A Stroll Through the Courtyards of Vilnius University

by Julie Skurdenis EVER SINCE I FIRST VISITED VILNIUS MORE THAN 30 years ago, one of the first places I go to, once I have set my suitcase down in my hotel room, is the University in Old Town. I love to meander through the complex of courtyards comprising the ...

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A Grand Undertaking: the Famous Radvila Map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

The Famous Radvila Map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Some 400 years ago, an enterprising Lithuanian magnate produced the largest and most accurate representation of Lithuanian lands. His map is regarded as one of the greatest cartographic achievements of all time. DUKE MIKALOJUS VIII KRIS- tupas Radvila (1549-1616), nicknamed ...

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Restoring Faith and History

by Val Ramonis photographs by the author Two sanctuaries in Vilnius reflect the nation’s desire to revive its neglected and forgotten religious, cultural, and historic heritage. EVERY TIME I AM IN VILNIUS, I MAKE A POINT I I to revisit some of my favorite sites, or to discover new ones ...

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