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Trakai Castle

Location: N54° 38` 20.0", E24° 56` 9.99" | Website: trakaimuziejus.lt

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Trakai is the old capital of Lithuania, famous not only for its historical past, but also a wonderful nature. Lithuanian Grand Dukes founded the capital of Lithuania in Trakai, and the Trakai castle was built by the Duke Vytautas on the island of the lake Galvė in the 14th – 15th century. 

In the Lithuanian Chronicle it is written that the Grand Duke Gediminas "went out of the capital Kernavė to hunt five miles away, across the Neris, and found a beautiful mountain in the forest, surrounded by oak forests and plains. He greatly enjoyed it and settled there, founded the city and gave it the name Trakai” - there was the Old Trakai. Next we read that "having ridden his horse a mile from Trakai, Duke Kestutis liked the location between the lakes. He settled there and founded the city that was called the New Trakai. 

The island castle was not built on a simple island but on translucent rocks, inside of which there is a huge hall. Rimgaudas who was the high priest of the Balts lived there in the hall. He was attended by the red-eyed fish of the Lake Galvė who would bring the ones that had sunk, in order to tell him about the world of the living. Meanwhile, the name of the lake Galvė suggests that it does not freeze in the autumn and in spring the ice does not melt until it gets "the victims' heads" (galvų). Interestingly, the museum's collections include two unique, having no analogues, stone heads, which were found in 1923 in Galvė Lake near the Bathhouse Island. 

Duke Kestutis’ chest with jewels lies in the depth of the lake. It is said that there had been the lucky ones who managed to grab the treasure, but while being pulled the chest, as if it was cursed, slipped out again and disappeared in the depths of the lake. It is believed that the treasure will be inherited by a very good man without any sins.  

In the 15th century Trakai Island Castle was the residence of the Grand Dukes. The main exhibits of the museum are installed there now. Trakai town with its castles is an exclusive Lithuanian monument.  

Educational programmes in Trakai Island Castle Historical Museum: "A Tale in Trakai Castle“. It is about Trakai legends. Duration - 1 hour. The cost - 1Eur for a student, Eur 1.50 per adult. 

Trakai tourist information center. Address: 41 Karaimų St, LT-21104 Trakai, Tel./fax. (8 528) 51 934 Mob. 8 672 09 476, email: info@trakaimuziejus.lt

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