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Curonian Spit National Park was established on April 23rd, 1991 by the Act of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania to preserve the most valuable complex of Lithuanian seaside with its unique landscape and the dune ridge, natural and ethno cultural heritage, for sustainable use and its care.
According to the Law of Protected Areas in the Republic of Lithuania, Curonian Spit National Park is protected by the state. In the classification of IUCN (The World Conservation Union), KNNP has been recognized as Category II. Curonian Spit National Park has been a member of EUROPARC federation since 1997.
You'll find here wonderful Juodkrante, Nida, Smiltyne, Pervalka and Preila resort towns.
Nida appeared in 1429 and 1437, when the Nida Inn was mentioned. The village was located not far from the sea, about 2-km south from present Nida. The innkeeper received privileges from the Magdeburg Rights in 1529. The innkeeper and 18 fishermen families, 3 part-time fishermen and one lodger family lived in Nida in 1541. And then sand attacks started. Due to this reason fewer and fewer families stayed in Nida. Soon sand covered all arable land. Due to the plague in 1603 people finally deserted this settlement. In the period between 1673 and 1676 the old Nida settlement was totally buried under the sand. People moved to the new place closer to the lagoon, about 500 meters from the Death Valley. In the beginning of the 18th century sand covered this place also.
About 1732 some inhabitants of old Nida moved to the new place, where present Nida is located. The number of inhabitants started to grow. But the permanent forest clearing and cattle grazing caused further sand invasion. Sand became Nida's silent enemy again. Only in the beginning of the 19th century started resistance to the sand. The barriers and planted trees along the post road and near the village were constructed. Thanks to them, Nida didn't have to move another time.
Vacationers and holidaymakers discovered Nida as a destination site in the second half of the 19th century. Many new hotels, restaurants and guesthouses were built in Nida in the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Seeking to meet tourist needs, many native citizens of Nida rebuilt their houses.
With our tour you can see:
- The Nida lighthouse, erected on the forested Urbas Hill in 1874.
- Sites of Narva Culture settlements from Early Neolithic.
- Sites of Rope Ceramics Culture settlements from Late Neolithic.
- Sites of Early Bronze Age settlements.
- Sites of old Nida settlement and its cemetery (from the 14th until the 18th century), which were buried by sand.
- Valley of Death. In 1870 - 1872 there was a camp for war prisoners. This camp was a German soldiers' revenge who had been kept imprisoned in the Sahara by the French. Many French prisoners died because of difficult living conditions and illnesses. They are buried in the same place. Local people called this place the Valley of the Death.
- The Site of Gliding School. The Lithuanian Gliding School existed there between 1933 and 1939. Between 1939 and 1943 it had been used as a school by German military air force.
- Nida Foresters' Cemetery. All foresters, who had worked in Nida from the mid 19th century until the mid 20th century, are buried there. The pioneer of dune forestation, D. G. Kuwert, rests in this cemetery too. For the memory of him and his son G. D. Kuwert, residents of Nida erected a monument there in 1856.
- The Old Nida Cemetery near the church is the rest place for the famous local patron H. Blode and the famous Curonian preacher K. H. Mertikaitis (1773 - 1856). In the old Nida cemetery visitors can see the very archaic wooden grave markers called krikstai. They were restored by the artist E. Jonusas.
- The house of Nida's artist-photographer P. Isenfeld. In the period between World War I and World War II, P. Isenfeld published many postcards, which represented nature, landscapes and daily life of the Curonian Spit.
- The summerhouse of Nobel price laureate, writer T. Mann. The house was built by architect H. Reimann. The writer spent three summers in it (1930-1932). Today the Thomas Mann Culture Center and the memorial exposition are located in this house.
- Evangelic Lutheran Church
- Old building - former warehouse.