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Trakai. Karaite history of Lithuania

Location: N54° 38` 20.0", E24° 56` 9.99"

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Trakai is the old capital of Lithuania, famous not only for historical past, but also a wonderful nature. Trakai as the capital of Lithuania was founded by the Lithuanian Grand Dukes, and the Trakai castle on the island of the lake was built by Duke Vytautas in the 14th – 15th century. It was Vytautas the Great who brought Karaites to Trakai. They were his bodyguards. To this day there is Karaites Street in Trakai, where their descendants still live. They have retained the old traditions of Karaites. One of the most valuable heritage is kibinai (rolls with meat). You can taste them in local bakeries. 

The Karaites street is eye-catching because of its unique architecture: wooden houses due to lack of space were built with the narrow wall with three windows overlooking the street. The Karaites shrine - Kenesa is preserved in this street. This is a small stucco building with a wooden tower. 

Information about the Karaites history can be found in S.Shapshal Karaites’ museum. It is in 22 Karaimų St, LT-21104 Trakai. Tel. (8 528) 55 286. Email v.alvikas@trakaimuziejus.lt Working hours: Wednesday - Sunday 10 am – 6 pm.
Ticket prices: adults – 1.16 €; pupils and students – 0.58 €. Guide services (group up to 30 people): tour in the Lithuanian language – 5.79 €, guided tour in the Lithuanian language for pupils - 2.90 €, guided tour in a foreign language - 8.69 €.
Trakai tourist information centre. Address: 41 Karaimų St, LT-21104 Trakai, Tel./fax. (8 528) 51 934 Mob. 8 672 09 476, email: trakaiTIC@is.lt
Opening hours October - April: Monday - Friday: 8 am – 5 pm. Saturday and Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm.
Opening hours: May - September: 9 am – 6 pm.
From October to April it is closed on holidays and on the eves of holidays the tourist information centre is closed 1 hour earlier.