|Native Name:||Lietuvos Respublika|
|Conventional Long Name:||Republic of Lithuania|
|National Motto:||"Tautos jėga vienybėje"|
"The strength of the nation lies in unity"
|National Anthem:||Tautiška giesmė|
|Leader Name1:||Valdas Adamkus|
|Leader Title2:||Prime Minister|
|Leader Name2:||Andrius Kubilius|
|Leader Title3:||Seimas Speaker|
|Leader Name3:||Arūnas Valinskas|
|Sovereignty Note:||from the Russian Empire (1918)|
|Established Event1:||Lithuania mentioned|
|Established Date1:||February 14, 1009|
|Established Date2:||July 6, 1253|
|Established Event3:||Personal union with Poland|
|Established Date3:||February 2, 1386|
|Established Event4:||Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth declared|
|Established Event5:||Russian/Prussian occupation|
|Established Event6:||Independence declared|
|Established Date6:||February 16, 1918|
|Established Event7:||1st Soviet occupation|
|Established Date7:||June 15, 1940|
|Established Event10:||Nazi occupation|
|Established Event8:||2nd Soviet occupation|
|Established Event9:||Independence restored|
|Established Date9:||March 11, 1990|
|Accessioneudate:||1 May 2004|
|Area Magnitude:||1 E10|
|Area Sq Mi:||25,173|
|Population Estimate Rank:||130th|
|Population Estimate Year:||2009|
|Population Density Km2:||52|
|Population Density Sq Mi:||134|
|Population Density Rank:||120th|
|Gdp Ppp Rank:||75th|
|Gdp Ppp Year:||2008 IMF October|
|Gdp Ppp Per Capita:||$18,854|
|Gdp Ppp Per Capita Rank:||46th|
|Gdp Nominal:||$48.747 billion http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2008/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2008&ey=2008&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=946&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC&grp=0&a=&pr1.x=73&pr1.y=9|
|Gdp Nominal Rank:||75th|
|Gdp Nominal Year:||2008 IMF October|
|Gdp Nominal Per Capita:||$14,456|
|Gdp Nominal Per Capita Rank:||39th|
|Currency:||Lithuanian litas (Lt)|
|Time Zone Dst:||EEST|
|Utc Offset Dst:||+3|
|Date Format:||yyyy.mm.dd (CE)|
|Footnote1:||Also .eu, shared with other European Union member states.|
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika) is a country in Northern Europe, the southernmost of the three Baltic states. Situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the southwest. Lithuania is a member of NATO and of the European Union.Its population is 3.4 million. Its capital and the largest city is Vilnius. This year (2009) Capital of Lithuania (Vilnius) is European Capital of Culture.
During the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe: present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. With the Lublin Union of 1569 Poland and Lithuania formed a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory. In the wake of the First World War, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on February 16, 1918, declaring the re-establishment of a sovereign state. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union then Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Nazis retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On March 11, 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare its renewed independence.
Present-day Lithuania has one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. Lithuania became a full member of the Schengen Agreement on 21 December 2007. In 2009, Lithuania will celebrate the millennium of its name.
See main article: History of Lithuania.
The first written mention of Lithuania is found in a medieval German manuscript, the Quedlinburg Chronicle, on 14 February 1009. The Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas in 1236, and neighbouring countries referred to it as "the state of Lithuania." The official coronation of Mindaugas as King of Lithuania was on July 6, 1253, and the official recognition of Lithuanian statehood as the Kingdom of Lithuania.
During the early period of Vytautas the Great (1316–1430), the state occupied the territories of present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia. By the end of the fourteenth century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe, and was also the only remaining pagan state. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania stretched across a substantial part of Europe, from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Lithuanian nobility, city dwellers and peasants accepted Christianity in 1386, following Poland's offer of its crown to Jogaila, the Grand Duke of Lithuania. Grand Duke Jogaila was crowned King of Poland on February 2, 1386. Lithuania and Poland were joined into a personal union, as both countries were ruled by the same House of Gediminas branch, the Jagiellon dynasty.
In 1401, the formal union was dissolved as a result of disputes over legal terminology, and Vytautas, the cousin of Jogaila, became the Grand Duke of Lithuania. Thanks to close cooperation, the armies of Poland and Lithuania achieved a great victory over the Teutonic Knights in 1410 at the Battle of Grunwald, one of the largest battles of medieval Europe.  
A royal crown had been bestowed upon Vytautas in 1429 by Sigismund, the Holy Roman Emperor, but Polish magnates prevented his coronation by seizing the crown as it was being brought to him. New attempts were made to send a crown, but a month later Vytautas died as the result of an accident.
As a result of the growing centralised power of the Grand Principality of Moscow, in 1569, Lithuania and Poland formally united into a single state called the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. As a member of the Commonwealth, Lithuania retained its institutions, including a separate army, currency and statutory law which was digested in three Statutes of Lithuania. In 1795, the joint state was dissolved by the third Partition of the Commonwealth, which forfeited its lands to Russia, Prussia and Austria, under duress. Over ninety percent of Lithuania was incorporated into the Russian Empire and the remainder into Prussia. Between 1868 and 1914, approximately 635,000 people, almost 20% of the population, left Lithuania.
After a century of occupation, Lithuania re-established its independence on February 16, 1918. The official government from July through November 1918 was quickly replaced by a republican government. From the outset, the newly independent Lithuania's foreign policy was dominated by territorial disputes with Poland (over the Vilnius region and the Suvalkai region) and with Germany (over the Klaipėda region or Memelland). The Lithuanian constitution (first draft presented on November 2, 1918) designated Vilnius as the nation's capital, even though the city itself lay within Polish occupied territory as a result of a general election. In 1931, according to polish census, Poles and Jews made up a majority of the population of Vilnius, with a small Lithuanian minority of only 0.8% (citation needed). In the Klaipėda Region census of 1925, over 41% of the population declared themselves German. In 1920 the capital was relocated to Kaunas, which was officially designated the provisional capital of Lithuania. (See History of Vilnius for more details.) In March 1939 the city of Klaipėda (German: Memel) was ceded back to Germany by Lithuanian authorities, after German ultimatum and international pressure (citation needed).
In June 1940, Stalin's Soviet Union occupied and annexed Lithuania in accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.  A year later it was occupied, after the implementation of Operation Barbarossa, by Germany. During the German occupation groups of Lithuanian men served in the Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force and other Lithuanian self-defence units, in conjuction with the German occupation authorities. These Lithuanian pro-German units fought Soviet partisans as well as the Armia Krajowa Polish resistance forces. After the retreat of the German armed forces, Lithuania was once again occupied by the Soviet Union in 1944. On 1948 May 22-23 the NKVD launched a huge roundup named "Operation spring", in which 36,932 men, women, and children were arrested and deported, in thirty two convoys, within a 48 hour period.
From 1944 to 1952 approximately 100,000 Lithuanians participated in partisan fights against the Soviet system, and against the Red Army. More than twenty thousand partisans (Lithuanian partisans (1944–1953)) were killed in those battles and many more were arrested and deported to Siberian GULAGs. Lithuanian historians view this period as a war of independence against the Soviet Union.
During the Soviet and Nazi occupations between 1940 and 1944, Lithuania lost over 780,000 residents. Among them were around 190,000 Lithuanian Jews (91% of the pre-war Jewish community), one of the highest total mortality rates of the Holocaust. An estimated 120,000 to 300,000 were killed by Soviets or exiled to Siberia, while others had been sent to German forced labour camps or chose to emigrate to western countries.
Forty-six years of Soviet occupation ended with the advent of perestroika and glasnost in the late 1980s. Lithuania, led by Sąjūdis, an anti-communist and anti-Soviet independence movement, proclaimed its renewed independence on March 11, 1990. Lithuania was the first Soviet republic to do so, though Soviet forces unsuccessfully tried to suppress this secession. The Red Army attacked the Vilnius TV Tower on the night of January 13, 1991, an act that resulted in the death of 13 Lithuanian civilians. The last Red Army troops left Lithuania on August 31, 1993 — even earlier than they departed from East Germany.
On February 4, 1991, Iceland became the first country to recognize Lithuanian independence. Sweden was the first to open an embassy in the country. The United States of America never recognized the Soviet claim to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.Russia currently refuses to recognize the occupation of Lithuania, claiming that Lithuanians decided to join the Soviet Union voluntarily, although Russia signed a treaty with Lithuania before the disintegration of the USSR which acknowledged Lithuania's forced loss of sovereignty at the hands of the Soviets, thereby recognizing the occupation.
Lithuania joined the United Nations on September 17, 1991, and on May 31, 2001, it became the 141st member of the World Trade Organization. Since 1988, Lithuania has sought closer ties with the West, and so on January 4, 1994, it became the first of the Baltic states to apply for NATO membership. On March 29, 2004, it became a NATO member, and on May 1, 2004, Lithuania joined the European Union.
See main article: Politics of Lithuania.
See main article: Elections in Lithuania.
Since Lithuania declared independence on March 11, 1990, it has maintained strong democratic traditions. In the first general elections after the independence on October 25, 1992, 56.75% of the total number of voters supported the new constitution. There were heavy debates concerning the constitution, especially the role of the president. Drawing from the interwar experiences, many different proposals were made ranging from a strong parliamentary government to a presidential system similar to the one in the United States. A separate referendum was held on May 23, 1992 to gauge public opinion on the matter and 41% of all the eligible voters supported the restoration of the President of Lithuania. Eventually a semi-presidential system was agreed upon.
The Lithuanian head of state is the President, elected directly for a five-year term, serving a maximum of two consecutive terms. The post of president is largely ceremonial; main policy functions however include foreign affairs and national security policy. The president is also the military commander-in-chief. The President, with the approval of the parliamentary body, the Seimas, also appoints the prime minister and on the latter's nomination, appoints the rest of the cabinet, as well as a number of other top civil servants and the judges for all courts. The judges of the Constitutional Court (Konstitucinis Teismas), who serve nine-year terms, are appointed by the President (three judges), the Chairman of the Seimas (three judges) and the Chairman of the Supreme Court (three judges). The unicameral Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, has 141 members who are elected to four-year terms. 71 of the members of this legislative body are elected in single constituencies, and the other 70 are elected in a nationwide vote by proportional representation. A party must receive at least 5% of the national vote to be represented in the Seimas.
See main article: Geography of Lithuania. Lithuania is situated in Northern Europe. It has around 99 kilometres (61.5 mi) of sandy coastline, of which only about 38 kilometres (24 mi) face the open Baltic Sea and which is the shortest among the Baltic Sea countries; the rest of the coast is sheltered by the Curonian sand peninsula. Lithuania's major warm-water port, Klaipėda, lies at the narrow mouth of the Curonian Lagoon (Lithuanian: Kuršių marios), a shallow lagoon extending south to Kaliningrad. The main river, the Neman River, and some of its tributaries carry international shipping vessels.
The Lithuanian landscape has been smoothed by glaciers. The highest areas are the moraines in the western uplands and eastern highlands, none of which are higher than 300 metres (1,000 ft) above sea level, with the maximum elevation being Aukštojas Hill at 294 metres (964 ft). The terrain features numerous lakes, Lake Vištytis for example, and wetlands; a mixed forest zone covers nearly 33% of the country. The climate lies between maritime and continental, with wet, moderate winters and summers. According to one geographical computation method, Lithuania's capital, Vilnius, lies only a few kilometres south of the geographical centre of Europe.
Phytogeographically, Lithuania is shared between the Central European and Eastern European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF, the territory of Lithuania can be subdivided into two ecoregions: the Central European mixed forests and Sarmatic mixed forests.
Lithuania consists of the following historical and cultural regions:
The country's climate, which ranges between maritime and continental, is relatively mild. Average temperatures on the coast are -2.5 °C in January and 16 °C in July. In Vilnius the average temperatures are -6 °C in January and 16 °C in July. Simply speaking, 20 °C is frequent at summer day and 14 °C at night. Temperatures can reach 30 or 35 °C in summer. Some winters can be very cold. -20 occur almost every winter. Winter extremes are -34 °C in the seaside and -43°C in the east of Lithuania. The average annual precipitation is 800 millimeters on the coast, 900 mm in Samogitia highlands and 600 millimeters in the eastern part of the country. Snow occur every year, it can be snowing since October to April. In some years sleet can fall in September or May. The growing season lasts 202 days in the western part of the country and 169 days in the eastern part. Severe storms are rare in the eastern part of Lithuania and common in the seaside.
The longest measured temperature records from the Baltic area cover about 250 years. The data show that there were warm periods during the latter half of the 18th century, and that the 19th century was a relatively cool period. An early 20th century warming culminated in the 1930s, followed by a smaller cooling that lasted until the 1960s. A warming trend has persisted since then.
Reported extreme temperatures in Lithuania by month are following:
Extreme temperatures in Lithuania (°C)
See main article: Counties of Lithuania, Municipalities of Lithuania and Elderships of Lithuania. The current administrative division was established in 1994 and modified in 2000 to meet the requirements of the European Union. Lithuania has a three-tier administrative division: the country is divided into 10 counties (Lithuanian: singular — apskritis, plural — apskritys) that are further subdivided into 60 municipalities (Lithuanian: singular — savivaldybė, plural — savivaldybės) which consist of over 500 elderates (Lithuanian: singular — seniūnija, plural — seniūnijos).
The counties are ruled by county governors (Lithuanian: apskrities viršininkas) appointed by the central government. They ensure that the municipalities adhere to the laws of Lithuania and the constitution. County government oversees local governments and their implementation of the national laws, programs and policies. Lithuania is divided into 10 counties.
Municipalities are the most important unit. Some municipalities are historically called "district municipalities", and thus are often shortened to "district"; others are called "city municipalities", sometimes shortened to "city". Each municipality has its own elected government. In the past, the election of municipality councils occurred once every three years, but it now takes place every four years. The council elects the mayor of the municipality and other required personnel. The municipality councils also appoint elders to govern the elderates. There is currently a proposal for direct election of mayors and elders, however that would require an amendment to the constitution. Lithuania is divided into 60 municipalities.
Elderates are the smallest units and they do not play a role in national politics. They were created so that people could receive necessary services close to their homes; for example, in rural areas the elderates register births and deaths. They are most active in the social sector: they identify needy individuals or families and distribute welfare or organise other forms of relief. Lithuania is divided into more than 500 elderates.
The current system of administrative division receives frequent criticism for being too bureaucratic and ineffective. Significant complaints have been made about the number of counties, since they do not have much power. One proposal is to create four lands, a new administrative unit, the boundaries of which would be determined by the ethnographic regions of Lithuania. The benefit would be that the lands would follow natural boundaries, rather than being defined by bureaucrats or politicians. Another of the proposed solutions involves reducing the number of counties so that there would be five in total, each based in one of the five largest cities with populations of over 100,000. Others complain that elderates have no real power and receive too little attention; they could potentially become local initiative communities which could tackle many rural problems.
See main article: Economy of Lithuania.
In 2003, before joining the European Union, Lithuania had the highest economic growth rate amongst all candidate and member countries, reaching 8.8% in the third quarter. In 2004 - 7.3%; 2005 - 7.6%; 2006 - 7.4%; 2007 - 8.8%, 2008 Q1 - 7.0% growth in GDP reflects the impressive economic development. Most of the trade Lithuania conducts is within the European Union.
It is a member of the World Trade Organization, and the European Union. By UN classification, Lithuania is a country with a high average income. The country boasts a well developed modern infrastructure of railways, airports and four-lane highways. As of October 2008, an unemployment rate is 4.7%. According to officially published figures, EU membership fueled a booming economy, increased outsourcing into the country, and boosted the tourism sector. The litas, the national currency, has been pegged to the Euro since February 2, 2002 at the rate of EUR 1.00 = LTL 3.4528, and Lithuania is expecting to switch to the Euro on January 1, 2013. There is gradual but consistent shift towards a knowledge-based economy with special emphasis on biotechnology (industrial and diagnostic) – major biotechnology producers in the Baltic countries are concentrated in Lithuania – as well as laser equipment. Also mechatronics and information technology (IT) are seen as prospective knowledge-based economy directions in Lithuania.
Lithuania has a flat tax rate rather than a progressive scheme. Lithuanian income levels are lower than in the older EU Member States, with per capita GDP in 2007 at 60% of the EU average. Lower wages have been a factor that in 2004 fueled emigration to wealthier EU countries, something that has been made legally possible as a result of accession to the European Union. In 2006, personal income tax was reduced to 27% and a reduction to 24% was made in October 2007. Income tax reduction and 19.1% annual wage growth is starting to make an impact with some emigrants gradually beginning to come back. The latest official data show emigration in early 2006 to be 30% lower than the previous year, with 3,483 people leaving in four months.
Corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in the European Union at 15%. The government offers special incentives for investments into the high-technology sectors and high value-added products.
Lithuania has the highest rating of Baltic states in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality of life index.
According to Invest in Lithuania, Lithuania has twice as many people with higher education than the EU-15 average and the proportion is the highest in the Baltic. Also, 90% of Lithuanians speak at least one foreign language and half of the population speaks two foreign languages, mostly Russian and English or Polish.
Vilnius University is one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe and the largest university in Lithuania. Kaunas University of Technology is the largest technical university in the Baltic States and the second largest university in Lithuania. Other universities include Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vytautas Magnus University, and Mykolas Romeris University.
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is a Soviet-era nuclear station. Unit #1 was closed in December 2004, as a condition of Lithuania's entry into the European Union; the plant is similar to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in its lack of a robust containment structure. The remaining unit, as of 2006, supplied about 70% of Lithuania's electrical demand. Unit #2 is tentatively scheduled for closure in 2009. Proposals have been made to construct another nuclear power plant in Lithuania.
See main article: Demographics of Lithuania.
The population of Lithuania stands at 3.3662 million, 84.6% of whom are ethnic Lithuanians who speak Lithuanian which is the official language of the country. Several sizable minorities exist, such as Poles (6.3%), Russians (5.1%), and Belarusians (1.1%).
Poles are the largest minority, concentrated in southeast Lithuania (the Vilnius region). Russians are the second largest minority, concentrated mostly in two cities. They constitute sizeable minorities in Vilnius (14%) and Klaipėda (28%), and a majority in the town of Visaginas (52%). About 3,000 Roma live in Lithuania, mostly in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Panevėžys; their organizations are supported by the National Minority and Emigration Department.
According to the Lithuanian population census of 2001, about 84 % of the country's population speak Lithuanian as their native language, 8.2 % are the native speakers of Russian, 5.8 % - of Polish. More than 60 % are fluent in Russian, while only about 16 % say they can speak English. According to the Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2005, 80 % of Lithuanians can speak Russian and 32 % can speak English. Most Lithuanian schools teach English as a first foreign language, but students may also study German, or, in some schools, French. Schools where Russian and Polish are the primary languages of education exist in the areas populated by these minorities.
As of 2004 Lithuanian life expectancy at birth was 69 years for males and 79 for females. As of 2008 The infant mortality rate was 5.9 per 1,000 births. The annual population growth rate increased by 0.3% in 2007. Less than 2% of the population live beneath the poverty line, and the adult literacy rate is 99.6%. At 38.6 people per 100,000, Lithuania has seen a dramatic rise in suicides in recent years, and now records the highest suicide rate in the world. Lithuania also has the highest homicide rate in Europe.
|City||Region||Population||Density* (/km²)||Area (km²)|
See main article: Religion in Lithuania.
In 2005 79% of Lithuanians belonged to the Roman Catholic Church. The Church has been the majority denomination since the Christianisation of Lithuania in the end of fourteenth century and beginning of fifteenth century. Some priests actively led the resistance against the Communist regime (symbolised by the Hill of Crosses). Church attendance has increased since the end of the Soviet Union and the country has a high level of religious practice.
In the 16th century, Protestantism started to spread from Western Europe. A united reformed church organization in Lithuania's church province can be counted from the year 1557 at the Synod in Vilnius on December 14th of that year. From that year the Synod met regularly forming all the church provinces of The Grand Duchy of Lithuania, at first from two and later growing to six districts and representative district synods. The abbreviated name for the church is in Latin, Unitas Lithuaniae or in Polish, Jednota Litewska (Lithuanian church provincial union). It sent its representatives to the General Polish/Lithuanian Synods; however in its administration it was in fact a self-governing Church. The first Superintendent was Simonas Zacijus (Szymon Zacjusz, approx 1507-1591). In 1565 the anti- Trinitarian Lithuanian Brotherhood who rejected the learning of the Trinity separated from UL. The UL parish network covered nearly all of The Grand Duchy. Its district centers were Vilnius, Kedainai, Biržai, Slucke, Kojdanove and Zabludove later Izabeline.
In the first half of 20th century Lutheran Protestant church had around 200,000 members, 9% of total population, although Lutheranism has declined since 1945. Small Protestant communities are dispersed throughout the northern and western parts of the country. Believers and clergy suffered greatly during the Soviet occupation, with many killed, tortured or deported to Siberia. Various Protestant churches have established missions in Lithuania since 1990. 4.9% are Eastern Orthodox (mainly among the Russian minority), 1.9% are Protestant and 9.5% have no religion.
The country also has minority communities of Judaism, Islam, and Karaism which make up another 1.6% of the population. Lithuania was historically home to a large and influential Jewish community that was almost entirely eliminated during the Holocaust. The first noticeable presence of Islam in Lithuania began in the 14th century. From this time it was primarily associated with the Lipka Tatars (also known as Lithuanian Tatars), many of whom settled in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth while continuing their traditions and religious beliefs.
According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 12% said that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force" , 36% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 49% of Lithuanian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God".
See main article: Culture of Lithuania.
Several museums exist in Lithuania. The Lithuanian Art Museum was founded in 1933 and is the largest museum of art preservation and display in Lithuania. Among other important museums are Palanga Amber Museum, there amber pieces comprise a major part of the museum.Lithuania's art community is famous for Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911). Čiurlionis was an nationally renowned musician and artist in Lithuania, usually regared as the most prominent Lithuanian artist. After Čiurlionis's death, the 2420 Čiurlionis asteroid honors his achievements after being discovered in 1975. Under Čiurlionis name is opened museum in Kaunas as well.
A future museum, Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, will present exhibitions of new media art, parts of the New York City anthology film archive, and Fluxus art. The museum is scheduled to open in 2011.
See main article: Lithuanian literature. A wealth of Lithuanian literature was written in Latin, the main scholarly language in the Middle Ages. One of the first instance of such, was the edicts of Lithuanian King Mindaugas. Letters of Gediminas is another important monuments of Lithuanian Latin writings.
Lithuanian literary works in Lithuanian language were first published in the 16th century. In 1547 Martynas Mažvydas compiled and published the first printed Lithuanian book The Simple Words of Catechism, which marks the beginning of printed Lithuanian literature. He was followed by Mikalojus Daukša in Lithuania Propria with his Katechizmas. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Lithuanian literature was primarily religious. Development of the old Lithuanian literature (14th - 18th centuries) ends with Kristijonas Donelaitis, one of the most prominent authors of the Age of Enlightenment. Donelaitis poem "The Seasons" is a national epos and is a cornerstone of Lithuanian fiction literature.
Lithuanian literature of the first half of the 19th century with its mix of Classicism, Sentimentalism, and Romanticism features is represented by Antanas Strazdas, Dionizas Poška, Silvestras Valiūnas, Maironis, Simonas Stanevičius, Simonas Daukantas, and Antanas Baranauskas. During Tsarist annexation of Lithuania, Lithuanian press ban was implemented, which lead to a formation of the Knygnešiai (Book smugglers) movement.
See main article: Lithuanian music. Lithuanian musical tradions tarce its history to pagan times, connected with neolithic corded ware culture. Lithuanian folk music is archaic, evolved for ritual purposes.
See main article: Sports in Lithuania.
Among all the sports personalities of Lithuana, the most popular individual known to the Western world is basketball star Žydrūnas Ilgauskas who plays as center for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA.
. Edvardas Gudavičius. Lietuvos istorija T.1. Lietuvos rašytojų sąjunga. 1999. Vilnius. 267. 9986-39-111-3.