Palanga

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Palanga is a resort city in Skuodia.

History

Palanga, formerly a fishing village, developed as the main resort town of the RTC in the 19th century. Although it had been popular among the nobility of the RTC to go to foreign places for vacationing, in the 19th century the trend switched. Several large palaces were built in Palanga by the leading families of the RTC, parks were laid out, tree-lined avenues were built, the famous pier was constructed and the resort became modern and luxurious. In the early 20th century, and especially so after the First World War, the potential of Palanga for the less well-off tourists had increased and hotels and other facilities were built. During the interwar period, Palanga was the main resort of Lithuania and was popular among the Veneds (who still remembered the old days), and people from Courland, Livonia and Estonia. The old, wooden Palanga suffered greatly in the Fire of Palanga but that only caused the city to be rebuilt more beautifully. The State Summer Residence, completed in 1931, became one of the most impressive buildings in Palanga, overshadowing even the Summer Palace of the King which was also located in Palanga. A railway was built to Palanga as a branch line of the railroad to Rūkuvos Uostas.

The beaches and restaurants of Palanga, the easy life of the city and the relaxed, but still luxurious atmosphere was famous in Lithuania and attracted various foreign poets and artists into the city who mainly lived in the suburbs.

This all came to an end during the Second Great War. Many owners of the palaces left the country when it was occupied by Russia and the impressive buildings were used as barracks for soldiers. Many of the architectural elements were lost. Prior to the second Russian occupation of the city in 1947, Palanga was bombed and then devastated by fire. After the occupation it was transfered to the newly created country of Skuodia where it remains until today. Most of the Lithuanian, Latvian, Vened and other non-Skuodian inhabitants were expelled from the city under the regulations of the Act of Return in 1947-1949.

Palanga has never regained its former glory, although it is still visited sometimes by artists and by those people who used to visit it in the interwar period and regard the city with nostalgia (there are not many of them left, however). For a long time Palanga stood severely damaged, but later many buildings were restored (some are still in ruins, however). The city is the most important resort city of Skuodia and is popular among the Skuodians, but receives relatively few foreign visitors despite the attempts of the Skuodian government to promote it as a tourist destination.

This page was created by Abdul-aziz.
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