Trakai Castle (Lithuania)
Vilnius County See list of castles in Lituania
The town of Trakai, about 28 km from Vilnius, is surrounded by greenery, within one of the many national parks, and is situated at three lakes, the largest of which houses the ancient castle. Trakai was one of the historical capitals of Lithuania. The construction of a fort in the middle of Lake Galve began during the reign of Kestutis, father of the Grand Duke Gediminas (mythical founder of Vilnius) and was completed under Vytautas Magnus.
The castle, rebuilt in the last Soviet occupation period, was used for some years at the national museum. Inside there are no furnishings but tapestries, paintings, maps, old war relics that describe the fierce combat at the time of the struggle against the Teutonic knights. One room is dedicated to coins. They are very interesting ones of the period of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with two coats of arms of the two countries, respectively, the eagle (for Poland) and the rider (the Vytis, for Lithuania). The rest of the exhibition describes the characteristics of the various peoples who have lived in Trakai, especially the Tartars and Karaite communities (Jewish, considered heretics by the Jews, because they did not accept the texts of the Talmud). Finally, in some rooms it retraces the various stages of reconstruction of the castle until his complete recovery.