Lithuania, Klaipeda region, Curonian spit
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August 14-16, 2009 : morning/day/evening/night

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The Curonian Lagoon (or Bay, Gulf; Russian: Kуршский залив, Lithuanian: Kuršių Marios, Polish: Zalew Kuroński, German: Kurisches Haff) is separated from the Baltic Sea by the Curonian Spit.


In the 13th century, the area around the lagoon was part of the ancestral lands of the Curonians and Old Prussian people. Later it bordered the historical region of Lithuania Minor. At the northern end of the Spit, there is a passage to the Baltic Sea, and the place was chosen by the Teutonic Knights in 1252 to found Memelburg castle and the city of Memel. The town is officially called Klaipėda since 1923 when the Memel Territory was separated from the German Empire.
As the new Interwar border, the river that flows into the Curonian Lagoon near Rusnė (German: Ruß) was chosen. The river’s lower 120km in Germany were called die Memel by Germans, while the upper part located in Lithuania was known as Nemunas River. The border also separated the peninsula near the small holiday resort of Nida, Lithuania (German: Nidden); the southern part of the Spit and the Lagoon remained in Germany until 1945.
This border remains today, as after World War II, the southern end of the Spit and the German area south of the river, the part of East Prussia with the town Königsberg located in Sambia, became part an exclave of Russia called Kaliningrad Oblast.

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curonian, klaipeda, lagoon, lithuania, red, sea, seagull, sunrise, water, yellow

Comments

  • Gary L   Suddath
    Gary L Suddathabout 5 years ago

    beautiful shot

  • According to Baltic mythology, the Curonian Spit was formed by a giantess, Neringa, who was playing on the seashore. This child also appears in other myths (in some of which she is shown as a young strong woman, similar to a female version of the Greek Heracles).
    The Curonian Spit was formed about 5,000 years ago. From ca. 800 to 1016, it was the location of Kaup, a major pagan trading centre which has not been excavated yet. The Teutonic Knights occupied the area in the 13th century, building their castles at Memel (1252), Neuhausen (1283), and at Rossitten (1372).
    In the 16th century, a new period of dune formation began. Deforestation of the spit due to overgrazing, timber harvesting, and building of boats for the siege of Königsberg in 1757 led to the dunes taking over the spit and burying entire villages. Alarmed by these problems, the Prussian government sponsored large-scale revegetation and reforestation efforts, which started in 1825. Owing to these efforts, much of the spit is now covered with forests. In the 19th century the Curonian Spit was inhabited primarily by Curonians (Kursenieki) with a significant German minority in the south and a Lithuanian minority in the north. The population of Curonians eventually dwindled due to assimilation and other reasons; it is close to non-existent these days and even before 1945, when the spit had become totally ethnic German.[citation needed] Until the 20th century, most people in the area made their living by fishing. The German population was expelled after World War II.
    After the breakup of the Soviet Union, tourism flourished; many Germans, mostly the descendants of the inhabitants of the area, choose the Curonian Spit (especially Nida, as no visas are needed for Germans in Lithuania) as their holiday destination.
    From 2002-2005 local environmentalists in both Kaliningrad Oblast 1 and Lithuania 2 protested against Lukoil’s plans to exploit the D6 oilfield, which is in the territorial waters of Russia 22.5 km from the Curonian Spit, due to the possible great damage to the environment and tourism (a vital source of income in the area) in case of oil leakage. These concerns did not engender support in the government of Russia. They were, however, supported by the government of Lithuania, as the oilfield is just about four km from the boundary of Lithuanian territorial waters and the prevailing northward currents means that the Lithuanian coastlines would receive a large part of potential damage in case of leakage. However, the opposition to the exploitation of D6 oilfield met little international support and the oil platform was opened in 2005.
    Reforestation may have been ‘sponsored’ at some point by the Prussian government, but most reports state in the late 1800’s George David Kuwert, the owner of a post station in Nida, began the spit’s reforestation.

    – Antanas

  • Clive
    Cliveabout 5 years ago

    Such a stunning shot Antanas, so beautifully captured my friend

  • brirose55
    brirose55about 5 years ago

    stunning shot

  • midzing
    midzingabout 5 years ago

    beautiful shot Antanas, well done

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1about 5 years ago

    Stunning capture!!

  • Sean Jansen
    Sean Jansenabout 5 years ago

    Gorgeous capture and lighting….Awesome job Antanas !!

  • Marvin Collins
    Marvin Collinsabout 5 years ago

    Awesome!!

  • Robin Webster
    Robin Websterabout 5 years ago

    Wonderful shot Antanas! The glow is perfection and the sky is amazing!

  • Antanas
    Antanasabout 5 years ago

    many thanks

  • katarina86
    katarina86about 5 years ago

    wow,excelent shot

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