Trakai district municipality

  Administrative centre – Trakai
  Area – 1208 km² (12.4 % of the county’s area)
  Population – 36 135 (4.3 % of the county’s population )
  Wards – Aukštadvaris, Grendavė, Lentvaris, Onuškis, Paluknys, Rūdiškės,   Senieji Trakai, Trakai

Trakai district municipality is one of the most picturesque municipalities of Lithuania. A larger part of the municipality is situated on the Dzūkai Upland (the highest point – 257.4 m – Gedanonys Hill), the northern part – on the plateau of the lower reaches of Neris, the eastern – on the Dainava Lowland. At the northern border, there is the Neris River, at the south-eastern – the Merkys. There are the headwaters of the Strėva and Verknė, Luknė, Geluža. Lovers of water sport and tourism are attracted by more than 200 lakes, the largest whereof – Vilkokšnis, Galvė, Skaistis, Akmena, Totoriškės, Margis. One of the largest ponds – that of Aukštadvaris. A large part of the territory (47.7 %) is covered with pinewoods (as well as spruce and mixed forests), the largest whereof – those of Ropėja, Miškiniai, Rudiškės, Rūdninkai. Agricultural land makes up 32.7 %, roads – 2.5 %, built-up area – 2 %, water bodies – 4.9 %, other land – 10.2 % of the municipality.

There are three towns – Lentvaris, Rūdiškės, Trakai, and two townships – Aukštadvaris and Onuškis.

The centre of the municipality – Trakai – is a multicultural town, situated just 28 km away from Vilnius. Trakai performed an important role in the process of the establishment of the state of Lithuania. In the glorious period of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Trakai was a capital, a pearl among the lakes of the beauteous land of the Dzūkai Upland. It was the place of the throne of the Grand Duke of Lithuania; important state issues were solved there. From the castle on the island of Galvė Lake, Vytautas the Great governed the lands of the state from the Baltic to the Black seas. The settlement of Trakai, supposedly, appeared in the 12th century, whereas in the 13th century it was already a town. In 1342, under the rule of the Grand Duke Gediminas (1316–1321), Trakai became the actual capital. Later he gave the town to his son Kęstutis. In the 14th century, under the rule of Skirgaila, Russians settled there and built a church and a monastery. Under the rule of Vytautas (1932–1430), Trakai became one of the most important residences of the Grand Duke. In and around the town, Vytautas housed Tatars and Karaites; German missionaries and merchants came to Trakai. In 1409, Vytautas granted Trakai Magdeburg rights.  At the beginning of the 18th century, during the Northern War, the town was destroyed. In 1919–1939, Trakai was part of Vilnius region occupied by the Poles.

Forestry, light industry, paper production, tourism and recreation are developed in the district.

Today Trakai is a tourism and water sports capital. In June, an international sailing regatta Amber Oars (Gintariniai irklai) takes place; Trakai Festival, which has already become traditional and gains in increasing popularity, takes place near Trakai Castle. Historical past is reminded of by extant important cultural monuments: Trakai Castle on the island of Galvė Lake, the ruins of the peninsula castle between Galvė and Luka lakes, the church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary (15th–16th century), a Karaite house of worship, the building of a former pub, the old town with residential houses of the Karaites, etc.

A large part of the territory (the towns of Trakai and Lentvaris, the group of Trakai lakes) is covered by the Trakai Historical National Park, preserving many state-protected natural, historical and cultural monuments. People are also attracted by the picturesque landscapes of the Aukštadvaris Regional Park, situated nearby, settlements, castle mounds (those of Bražuolė, Aukštadvaris, Strėva, and others), etc. Senieji (Old) Trakai is, supposedly, the birthplace of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas. Important architectural monuments are the church of St Mary the Victress in Kazokiškės, the church of the Holy Trinity in Rykantai, the church of the Epiphany and the church of St Benedict in Senieji Trakai, the church of St Philip the Apostle and the church of St James the Apostle in Onuškis, mansions and parks in Abromiškės, Užutrakis and Lentvaris.

Useful links
Trakai district municipality
Trakai info