Lithuania in the News
13th August, 2006
The Legacy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Lives on in Our Day
Europe in 1430. Map courtesy Wikipedia
At the height of its power in the 15th and 16th centuries the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) was the largest state in Europe. It was a multinational state, noted for its tolerance and encompassing present day Belarus, Ukraine, parts of Russia, Latvia.
Remembering the many centuries of cultural and political ties between their countries and in clear reference to the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the poets of Belarus and Lithuania last month launched the Grand Duchy of Poetry ("Magnus Ducatus Poesis") project on July 6 , the anniversary of the crowning of Lithuania’s first King Mindaugas in 1253. The aim of the project is the fostering of the spiritual, intellectual and cultural heritage of the region that was formerly GDL. Taking part at the launch were poets from the lands that the GDL formerly encompassed - Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Russia.
More recently and in a similar vein, leading historians of Ukraine and Lithuania have formed in Kiev the Lithuania - Ukraine Remembrance Forum. The chief aim of the forum will be the creation of the virtual archive of GDL in Vilnius. According to Alfredas Bumblauskas, the Pro-Dean of the Faculty of History of Vilnius University, it is important to restore what had been forgotten, not just to fill up the pages of history textbooks, but so as to create a historical remembrance, without which foundations on which democratic communities are built cannot be envisaged.
This project will contribute to Lithuania’s Millennium celebrations in 2009, on the 1000 year anniversary of the first mentioning of Lithuania in historical records in 1009. Many festivities are planned for 2009 in Lithuania and during 2009 Vilnius will have the honour of being the Cultural Capital of Europe (together with Linz in Austria).The rebuilding of the
Construction of the Grand Dukes' Palace and a Computer generated image
of how the finished Grand Dukes' Palace will look like, adjacent to the
Cathedral on the left. Images courtesy "Valdovų Rūmų Paramos Fondas"
Grand Dukes' Palace in Vilnius is also scheduled for completion in 2009. After Lithuania lost its independence in 1795, this grand building was demolished by the occupying Russians in indecent haste in 1801, precisely so as to destroy historical memories.

Further information:
"Lietuvos Rytas" 07/07/06, 12/07/06

Valdovų Rūmų Paramos Fondas
(Grand Dukes' Palace Support Fund)