According to wholevehicles, the little-known Lithuanian village of Juodkrante with a population of only 900 is notable for being located on the unique sandy Curonian Spit between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon. The length of the village is only two kilometers. Nevertheless, one of the most picturesque corners of the world fits in this small piece of land, in the fresh air of which peace and tranquility soar.
How to get there
If you decide to visit Juodkrante, you have three options: go there by train, car or plane. Fans of rail travel need to take a ticket for the Moscow – Vilnius train, and then transfer to a bus to Juodkrante via a ferry crossing in Klaipeda. It’s even easier by plane: Lithuanian Airlines and Aeroflot have flights to Vilnius. From the airport you can get to the place by regular bus.
The first mention of the Curonian Spit dates back to 1429, from about the same time the first information about Juodkrante, which was originally called Schwartsort, has come down to us. Once it was a poor little village of 15 families, whose inhabitants have struggled with natural conditions throughout history. Due to its unusual location (on a sandy ridge), this place suffered from sandstorms. At the beginning of the 17th century, Schwarzort was even almost buried under a layer of sand.
However, at the end of the 17th century, the place regained life: fishermen began to actively populate it. In the middle of the 19th century, amber was discovered in Juodkrante, after which its intensive mining began. Local residents began to work on the extraction of amber, and the general standard of living increased significantly. The name Juodkrantė comes from the Lithuanian Juodkrantė – “black coast”.
There are several nice hotels in Juodkrante. Hotel Zoulynas, for example, is located just 50 meters from the bay and one and a half kilometers from the sea. This is a small cozy hotel with 90 rooms with all amenities. Flora Hotel is another worthy place. There are even fewer rooms here, only 17. But a hundred meters to the bay, a wonderful view and an almost homely atmosphere are available. There are also hotels “Mountain of Witches” and “Kurinas”.
Entertainment and attractions Juodkrante
Stone Sculpture Park
Since 1995, an exposition of sculptures “Earth and Water” has been exhibited on the embankment. Two years later, in 1997, the exposition stretched for 800 meters. Among the works of the exhibition one can see Ališankos’ Traps, Danylyavičiaus’s Cloud-Coast, Gilhespi’s The Wayfarer and Catamaran, Juraškos’ Three Forms of Water and excellent works by other Lithuanian sculptors. Photography lovers will surely love this place.
Mountain of witches
In the old days, Jonines was celebrated here – an analogue of the Russian holiday “Ivan Kupala”. The locals rolled barrels of burning tar down the mountain. This is their strange tradition. Mount Witches is decorated with a park of sculptures made of wood. Interestingly, each sculpture illustrates the characters of Lithuanian folk art: witches, devils and others. The park was founded in 1979 and today it houses 65 wooden sculptures.
Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Evangelical Lutheran Church is located along Ludvikas Reza Street (by the way, a famous Lithuanian poet and Protestant pastor). The temple was erected in 1885. After the Second World War, this holy place, like many others around the world, turned into a warehouse. However, in the early eighties of the twentieth century, it was restored and services began to be held again. The church is a very beautiful building, decorated with stained-glass windows, one of the brightest examples of Lithuanian architecture of the late nineteenth century.
Observation deck on Mount Gray Herons
The most beautiful place! The mountain is located in the Sasnyu nature reserve. Here you can take a walk and admire the pine forest, some of the trees in which have been standing for more than 230 years. An amazing sight: two centuries of bloody wars, revolutions, genocides and other terrible events have passed, and these pine trees, as they stood here calmly and carefree, only occasionally swaying in the wind, are still standing. Huge colonies of cormorants and gray herons live on old pines. From the observation deck, a stunningly beautiful view of the plains of Cape Avikalnio and gray dunes opens up.
Introductory trail in the Naglyu nature reserve
The breathtakingly beautiful Nagliu Nature Reserve extends over an area of 1,680 hectares. The reserve is located between Juodkrante and the fishing village of Pervalka. Walking along the familiarization trail, you can enjoy the local views and take some pictures.
Here grew a giant linden, nicknamed the linden of vice (sins). Over the years of its existence, it has acquired many legends and secrets. They say that people who violated the laws of morality were judged here, and even earlier they made sacrifices to pagan gods. In 1939, the linden was cut down, but the mysterious aura of this place still excites the minds of tourists.