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Photographer's Note

The town of Trakai, about 25 km (15 miles) outside Vilnius, was the birthplace in 1350 of Lithuania's most famous ruler, Vytautas the Great. Before Vytautas, Grand Duke Gediminas selected an island in beautiful Lake Galve as the site for a castle. A second castle was built nearby on the mainland. These wooden castles were successfully raided by the Teutonic Knights, and Vytautas replaced the island castle with a stone one in the early 14th century.

Centuries later the castle fell into ruin, and restoration efforts began in 1929. Khrushchev stopped the reconstruction in 1961, saying it would glorify Lithuania's feudal past. Work restarted in the 1980's and was completed in the early 1990's. The castle is now reached by a footbridge from the mainland. It is a frequent site of arts festivals.

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Additional Photos by Ken Alexander (kensimage) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1087 W: 39 N: 1167] (8563)
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