Portal:Lithuania

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Introduction

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Lithuania (/ˌlɪθjuˈniə/ (About this sound listen); Lithuanian: Lietuva [lʲɪɛtʊˈvɐ]), officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika), is a country in the Baltic region of northern-eastern Europe. One of the three Baltic states, it is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2017, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians are a Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.

For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were the territories of the Grand Duchy. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state union, 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.

As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. In the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania after 50 years of Soviet occupation.

Selected region

Tveru seniunija, 2007-06-12.jpg

Samogitia or Žemaitija (Samogitian: Žemaitėjė; Lithuanian: Žemaitija; see below for alternate and historical names) is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. Žemaitija is located in northwestern Lithuania. Its largest city is Šiauliai. Žemaitija has a long and distinct cultural history, reflected in the existence of the Samogitian dialect. Read more...

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Selected biography

Kazys Grinius.jpg

Kazys Grinius ([kɐˈzʲiːs ˈɡʲrʲɪnʲʊs] (About this sound listen), 17 December 1866 – 4 June 1950) was the third President of Lithuania, and held that office from 7 June 1926 to 17 December 1926.

Grinius was born in Selema, near Marijampolė, in the Augustów Governorate of Congress Poland, a part of the Russian Empire (present-day Lithuania). He studied medicine at the University of Moscow and became a physician. As a young man, he became involved in Lithuanian political activities, and was persecuted by the Tsarist authorities. In 1896, he was one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania (LSDP). Read more...

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For actual discussons and requests on Lithuania related articles take a look at: WikiProject Lithuania

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