Juodkrante | Lithuania

Juodkrante – black (dark) shore – has already been mentioned in 1429 as one of the few landmarks for seafarers. The history shows, that around 600 years Juodkrantė used to be under Teutonic Order, Prussia, Germany, and was part of the old Baltic lands; a unique of Curonian, Lithuanian and German mentalities is formed, and in the face of harsh natural cataclysms an amazing natural and human creation – Neringa has been created, now it lives a different rhythm already, but cherishes legacy of this land …

Witches Hill – although witches in Juodkrantė, according to the legends, used to gather once a year on Bloksberg Hill (Lapnugario Hill), however, one can meet them every day on John’s mountain, which now is called “Witches hill” (“Raganų kalnas”). Here already for 35 years wooded parabolic dune hosts a sculpture path with nearly 100 folk artists sculptures, telling us entertaining and educational stories.
Mountain is alive with tourist groups, families and especially children with wide opened eyes and laughter. Only here you can pet Lucifer, stand with forest Planter, bow to the faith of Waiting woman, here you will hear the legend of the giantess Neringa …
It will be interesting for everyone: here adult feels equal to a child, and children are just bathing in the sea of emotions. 20 minutes here turn into 2 hours. Withes spell, definitely!

Amber Bay – this lagoon bay is located near the old Griekines village. In the second part of the 19th century we would have found winter port and pier of the amber excavation company “Stantien & Becker” here. Near it there are Juodkrantes ancient forest with pagan lime – tree and amber treasure stories. Miraculous amber miner’s colony epic gave meaning to Juodkrantes birth and development as a resort. It’s been a long time since amber has been excavated here, but every year people gather near the bay for the Balts unitu day and reed sculpture fire extravaganzas during the autumn equinox …

Quay – The attraction of new age – Lagoon area and wonderful sunrises – a true paradise for ones, who like to start a day with a fishing rod. Wonderful walking and biking trails, greenery, forest wall on the dunes, and blue water lagoon attracts everyone. And what about the smell of smoked fish and it’s amazing taste! It is said, the fish is the most delicious here. It is also said, that even squids come for a vacation to Juodkrante, and fishermen catch them because they don’t have a visa … so offenders along with eel , bream and perch get onto our plates. In the quay there is a sculpture park “Land and water”. Each sculpture is an entire world, instructive, funny or sad story, please chech the names of the sculptures and, perhaps, hear out, or create your own stories. Sculptors from all around the world created this park. Have a seat on the bench, turn your face of the refreshing lagoon; here is the shelter from cacophony of the world.

Juodkrante Museums – from the quay, Juodkrante museums and local events places are close at hand. Apart from the lively Fisherman’s festival and folklore festival “Pūsk vėjuži“, there are no more mass events in Juodkrante. But it is always worth listening to classical music concerts in the old Evangelic – Lutheran Church, visiting events at a concert hall, where opera and contemporary music, public actors and filmmakers, various groups, and instrumentalists perform. Visit Liudvikas Reza cultural centre, it’s Juodkrante historical exhibition, exhibition hall, participate in meetings, presentations and educational activities.
Hanor Martin Ludwig Reza in the shade of the oaks – a son of this land, a bright person, Prussian, who has done a lot for Lithuania … Along the quay you will find an interesting and unexpected Miniature museum, which will become a real discovery to you. Juodkrante does not simply accept lying on the beach, when you can see so much more here. Educate yourselves!

Dendrological Path – it starts at the Amber Bay and ends at Juodkrante villas area. The path passes through part of the Juodkrante ancient forest. You are in a lesson under the open sky. Learn about trees and bushes, sit in the shade of the oak trees, listen to the birds, perhaps you will meet a graceful roe – deer and enjoy the view of the forest diversity. This is a great hike for family with children or seniors.

The world of parabolic dunes and the “Royal” forest – the wooden area from Lapnugaris to Avikalnis is still waiting for their discoverers. From Lapnugaris (Bloksberg hill) Juodkrante ancient forest begins. Here, among century – old pine trees till villas area used to be a popular place for walking. This place is surrounded by romantically named promenades: Elf wood, Blonde Eve mountain, the Engaged couple path. There used to be observation decks, arbors, benches. Near present Juodkrante lighthouse there was an awesome observation pavilion overlooking the bay, the sea and the Curonian Spit.
Although heavily overgrown, the path system still remains, there is still a linden tree growing next yo the cut down famous “Grieku” linden tree in the Lapnugaris foothill. This is a true discovery land. In the forest you can walk along the part of a postal road, listen to its stories, see the ruins of the military unit of Soviet invasion times, try not to get lost in parabolic dunes and canyons between Juodkrantes path and the sea; walk along the edge of the “Witches hill” and admire the view of the sea; move along the pine forest and it’s blueberry slopes toward the cormorants colony, discovering deep valleys, steep slopes, wonderful diversity of the forest. Juodkrante landscape reserve – unknown land for a researcher or a friend of nature. Hike routes are still in creation here, and yet you’re the first explorer, and if you get lost, go towards the sea or towards the bay, because our land is a strip between two waters. Just travel!

Beaches – no crowded beaches here. Everyone may find his own tranquil place. If you want more civilized rest in the sun and among the sea waves – central and women beaches are here for you. Tanned beach lifeguards, cafes and drinking water outlets are included. And on the both sides of this beach are wild beaches. Just do not cross the reserve line, do not trash the beach, do not walk on fragile vegetation, especially on protective dune, which is the Curonian Spit guard and savior. Dune’s formation history and present is a wonderful cognitive encyclopedia; it is a monument to human and nature collaboration. Listen to the music of sand, and it will tell you a true symphonic poem. And sunsets will not to be the same any more… Look, listen and be responsible.

Villas area – Juodkrante has been a famous German resort in 19th and 20th centuries, and since 1923 a Lithuanian resort too. Here, at the periphery of fishermen’s village, from deteriorating European postal road station, began an interesting history of the resort. It dates back to the old hotels and villas with sometimes forgotten old names, but they stand out with their interesting architecture or undestroyed inscription. Hotels “Kurische Hof”, “Karl May”, “Luisenbad” spa, “Monbijou”, “Hubertus”, “Rossengarten”, “Liselotte” and other villas stories still waiting for their discoverers. We dream to get at least half of steamships that used to visit the old – new marina. It’s pity, that old resort times ar gone.
Ambiguous history and its strange reflection in Juodkrantes present are exciting. It call for contemplation

Gray herons and cormorants colony – just a kilometer off Juodkrante, toward Nida, in the foothills of Avikalnis one of the most controversial nature’s objects of Lithuania, the colony of grey herons and cormorants is located. It is an example of natural processes, human and nature’s confrontation. However, to birds it doesn’t matter. Noisy colony life boils above the heads of those who chose to visit it. Way to natural and human coexistence is ambiguous and difficult in the land of UNESCO world heritage.

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