Trakai is town situated between three lakes 28 kilometers to the west of Vilnius. Old Trakai in the Middle Ages was the capital of Lithuania. Some three kilometers from it, a new settlement was founded, which later became the modern Trakai. Today, Trakai with its outskirts is the representative territory of Lithuanian history. Three castles that were built here are the evidence of the exceptional importance of this place. Even having lost its military importance, this area stayed the residence of Lithuanian rulers for a very long time. The two castles of Trakai that survived till our days present the most well-known complex of defensive architecture in Lithuania.<!--
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Sights, Recreation Areas
- Trakai insular castle – built in 1409, it was the mightiest and most majestic in whole Lithuania and immediately became the primary residence of Vytautas.
- Trakai semi-insular castle – built by Kestutis in the 70’s of the 14th century. The castle was destroyed during the intestine war of 1382-1383 and rebuilt only in the end of Vytautas’ reign.
- Karaite community – Karaites practice the religion, which is named after them. The word “karaites” came from the word “kara” – to read, recite (Holy Writ). Brought to Trakai in the end of 14th century, Karaites deeply rooted here. It is believed that Karaites and Tatars were brought here by the grand duke Vytautas, after his campaign to the Crimean Peninsula. There is Karaite chapel – “kinesse” built in Trakai, as well as Sunday school. Trakai Karaites preserved their language and writing. Currently, there are about 60 Karaites living in Trakai.
How to reach
It is most convenient to go to Trakai from Vilnius. Considering the small town size, there are no specialized bus routes there, however quite a lot of buses from Vilnius pass through Trakai. Additionally, there are a lot of itinerary taxis from Vilnius to Trakai. You can also go to Trakai by an electric train from Vilnius.
Suburban Train Schedule ( LT, EN, RUS)
Bus Schedule ( LT )
Trakai Tourism Information Center
Vytauto g. 69, Tel./Fax + 370 528 51934
- Trakai Portal ( LT, EN, RU)
Photos used are taken from the website of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Lithuania.