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Encyclopedia > Curonian Spit
Curonian Spit and Lagoon
Curonian Spit and Lagoon

The Curonian Spit (Lithuanian: Kuršių Nerija, Russian: Куршская коса, German: Kurische Nehrung) is a 98 km long, thin, curved sand dune peninsula that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Image File history File links Map of Curonian Spit and Lagoon H Padleckas made this image file on July 7-8, 2005 especially for use in articles on Curonian Spit and Curonian Lagoon in the English Wikipedia by modifying the existing image file Image:KursiuNerija. ... Image File history File links Map of Curonian Spit and Lagoon H Padleckas made this image file on July 7-8, 2005 especially for use in articles on Curonian Spit and Curonian Lagoon in the English Wikipedia by modifying the existing image file Image:KursiuNerija. ... A spit is a deposition landform found off coasts. ... km redirects here. ... Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by eolian (wind-related) processes. ... Peninsula A peninsula (from Latin paene insula, almost island) is a geographical formation consisting of an extension of land from a larger body, surrounded by water on three sides. ... The Curonian Lagoon (or Bay, Gulf) is sundered from the Baltic Sea by the Curonian Spit and belongs to Lithuania and Russia. ... Map of the Baltic Sea. ...

Contents

Geography

The Curonian Spit stretches from the Sambian Peninsula on the south to its northern tip next to a narrow strait, across from which is the port city of Klaipėda on the mainland of Lithuania. The northern 52 km long stretch of the Curonian Spit peninsula belongs to Lithuania, while the rest is part of the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia (see the map). The width of the spit varies from a minimum of 400 m in Russia (near the village of Lesnoye) to a maximum of 3,800 m in Lithuania (just north of Nida). Samland or Sambia (Russian: semlyandskiy poluostrov, Polish: Sambia) is the name of a peninsula on the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. ... Simplified diagram A strait is a narrow channel of water that connects two larger bodies of water, and thus lies between two land masses. ... Location Ethnographic region Lithuania minor County KlaipÄ—da County Municipality KlaipÄ—da city municipality Elderate Number of elderates 1 Coordinates General information Capital of KlaipÄ—da County KlaipÄ—da city municipality Population (rank) 187,442 in 2005 (3nd) First mentioned 1252 Granted city rights 1254 or 1258 (Lübeck); 1475... Location of the Kaliningrad Oblast Map of the Kaliningrad Oblast Kaliningrad Oblast Flag Kaliningrad Oblast (Russian: ; German: or Nordostpreussen, Northeast Prussia), informally called Yantarny kray (, meaning Amber region) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast) on the Baltic coast, with no land connection to the rest of Russia; it... The metre, or meter (US), is a measure of length. ... Nida, the house of Thomas Mann Nida (German: Nidden, Russian: Нида) is a Lithuanian town, located on the Curonian Spit. ...


History

Curonian Spit
Curonian Spit

According to Baltic mythology, the Curonian Spit was formed by a strong girl, Neringa, who was playing on the shore of the sea. This child also appears in some other myths (in some of which she is shown as a young strong woman, similar to a female version of the Greek Heracles). Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (489x773, 112 KB) Uploaded to de: by Jcornelius on April 8, 2004 (de:Bild:Nerija. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (489x773, 112 KB) Uploaded to de: by Jcornelius on April 8, 2004 (de:Bild:Nerija. ... The Baltic Sea The Balts or Baltic peoples have lived around the eastern coast of Mare Suebicum, or Baltic Sea (Tacitus, AD 98) since ancient times. ... Hercules, a Roman bronze (Louvre Museum) For other uses, see Heracles (disambiguation). ...


The Curonian Spit was formed about 5,000 years ago. From ca. 800 to 1016, it was the location of Kaup, a major pagan trading centre which has not been excavated as of yet. The Teutonic Knights occupied the area in the 13th century, building their castles at Memel (1252), Neuhausen (1283), and at Rossitten (1372). The 3rd millennium BC spans the Early to Middle Bronze Age. ... Events December 25, Rome, coronation of Charles the Great (Charlemagne) as emperor by Pope Leo III. Celtic monks begin work on the Book of Kells on the Island of Iona. ... Events George Tsul, ruler of Khazaria, is captured by a combined Byzantine- Rus force, which effectively ends Khazarias existence. ... Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning a country dweller or civilian) is a blanket term which has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices of natural or polytheistic religions, as opposed to the Abrahamic monotheistic religions. ... Excavation is the best-known and most commonly used technique within the science of archaeology. ... The Teutonic Knights or Teutonic Order (Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Ierosolimitanorum, Order of the Teutonic House of Mary in Jerusalem) is a German Roman Catholic religious order formed at the end of the 12th century in Acre in Palestine. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... Location Ethnographic region Lithuania minor County Klaipėda County Municipality Klaipėda city municipality Elderate Number of elderates 1 Coordinates General information Capital of Klaipėda County Klaipėda city municipality Population (rank) 187,442 in 2005 (3nd) First mentioned 1252 Granted city rights 1254 or 1258 (Lübeck); 1475... For broader historical context, see 1250s and 13th century. ... Guryevsk (Russian: ; German: ) is a town in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located seven kilometers north-east of Kaliningrad at . Population: 10,913 (2002 Census). ... For broader historical context, see 1280s and 13th century. ... Rybachy (Рыбачий) (before 1945, known by its German name, Rossitten) is a town in Russias Kaliningrad Oblast, the northern part of former East Prussia. ... Events In this year, the city of Aachen, Germany begins adding a Roman numeral Anno Domini date to a few of its coins. ...


In the 16th century, a new period of dune formation began. Deforestation of the spit due to overgrazing, timber harvesting, and building of boats for the siege of Königsberg in 1757 led to the dunes taking over the spit and burying entire villages. Alarmed by these problems, the Prussian government sponsored large-scale revegetation and reforestation efforts, which started in 1825. Owing to these efforts, much of the spit is now covered with forests. Centuries ago the Curonian spit was inhabited primarily by Curonians, with a significant German minority in the south and a significant Lithuanian minority in the north. The population of Curonians eventually dwindled due to assimilation and other reasons; it is close to non-existent these days and even before 1945, when the spit had become totally ethnic German. Until the 20th century, most people in the area made their living by fishing. (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by eolian (wind-related) processes. ... Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land use such as arable land, urban use, logged area or wasteland. ... Timber in storage for later processing at a sawmill Timber is a term used to describe wood, either standing or that has been processed for use—from the time trees are felled, to its end product as a material suitable for industrial use—as structural material for construction or wood... Government Russia District Subdivision Russia Northwestern Federal District Kaliningrad Oblast Mayor Yuri Savenko (2005) Geographical characteristics Area  - City 215. ... 1757 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Flag of Prussia (1894 - 1918) The Kingdom of Prussia existed from 1701 until 1918, and from 1871 was the leading kingdom of the German Empire, comprising in its last form almost two-thirds of the area of the Empire. ... 1825 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The Curonians (also called Kursi, Latvian KurÅ¡i) are one of the extinct Baltic tribes that later formed the Latvian nation. ... 1945 (MCMVL) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ...


After the breakup of the Soviet Union, tourism flourished; many Germans, mostly the descendants of the inhabitants of the area, choose the Curonian Spit (especially Nida, as no visas are needed for Germans in Lithuania) as their holiday destination.


From 2002-2005 local environmentalists in both Kaliningrad Oblast[1] and Lithuania [2] protested against Lukoil's plans to exploit the D6 oilfield, which is in the territorial waters of Russia 22.5 km from the Curonian Spit due to the possible great damage to the environment and tourism (a vital source of income in the area) in case of oil leakage. These concerns did not meet support in the government of Russia. They were, however, supported by the government of Lithuania, as the oilfield is just about four km from the boundary of Lithuanian territorial waters and the prevailing northward currents means that the Lithuanian coastlines would receive a large part of potential damage in case of leakage. However, the opposition to the exploitation of D6 oilfield met little international support and the oil platform was opened in 2005. For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... LUKoil logo. ... An ocean current is any more or less permanent or continuous, directed movement of ocean water that flows in one of the Earths oceans. ...


Current state

Landsat photo
Landsat photo

The Curonian Spit is home to the highest moving (drifting) sand dunes in Europe. Their average height is 35 m, but some attain the height of 60 m. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (708x984, 230 KB) Curonian Lagoon Landsat photo circa 2000. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (708x984, 230 KB) Curonian Lagoon Landsat photo circa 2000. ... World map showing Europe Political map (neighbouring countries in Asia and Africa also shown) Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. ...


The largest town on the spit is Nida in Lithuania, a popular holiday resort, mostly frequented by Lithuanian and German tourists. The northern shoreline of Curonian Spit is the site of beaches for tourists. Both Russian and Lithuanian parts of the spit are national parks. Nida, the house of Thomas Mann Nida (German: Nidden, Russian: Нида) is a Lithuanian town, located on the Curonian Spit. ... A resort is a place for holidaying or vacationing. ... 90 mile beach Australia A view from above of Waikiki Beach A view from the rocks at Tamandaré Beach in Brazil A beach or strand is a geological formation consisting of loose rock particles such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles, cobble, or even shell along the shoreline of a body... Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, UK A national park is a reserve of land, usually declared and owned by a national government, protected from most human development and pollution. ...


The settlements of the Curonian Spit (from north to south) are:

  • Smiltynė
  • Alksnynė
  • Juodkrantė
  • Pervalka
  • Preila
  • Nida
  • Morskoe
  • Rybachy
  • Lesnoye

The first six are on the Lithuanian side, while the last three are on the Russian side. Russian side of the Curonian Spit belongs to Zelenogradsk district of the Kaliningrad Oblast, while the Lithuanian side is partitioned among Klaipėda city municipality and Neringa municipality. The fort, now housing an aquarium. ... Old villas in the new JuodkrantÄ— JuodkrantÄ— (literally: Black Shore, German: Schwarzort in Prussia) with permanent population of about 720 people is a quiet Lithuanian seaside resort village located on the Curonian Spit. ... Nida, the house of Thomas Mann Nida (German: Nidden, Russian: Нида) is a Lithuanian town, located on the Curonian Spit. ... Rybachy (Рыбачий) (before 1945, known by its German name, Rossitten) is a town in Russias Kaliningrad Oblast, the northern part of former East Prussia. ... Location of the Kaliningrad Oblast Map of the Kaliningrad Oblast Kaliningrad Oblast Flag Kaliningrad Oblast (Russian: ; German: or Nordostpreussen, Northeast Prussia), informally called Yantarny kray (, meaning Amber region) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast) on the Baltic coast, with no land connection to the rest of Russia; it... Location Ethnographic region Lithuania Minor County KlaipÄ—da County General information Capital KlaipÄ—da Major settlements KlaipÄ—da (pop. ... Map Capital Nida Cities no cities Mayor Vigantas Giedraitis Size 55th place 89,8 km² Population 60th place 2,386 people; Population density 40th place 26,6/km² Neringa municipality (Lithuanian: Neringos savivaldybė) is a municipality in the westernmost Lithuania, in the Curonian Spit. ...


There is a single road that connects whole Curonian Spit. In the Russian side it goes to Zelenogradsk, while on the Lithuanian side - to Smiltynė. The spit is not connected to mainland Lithuania. Car ferries provide a transportation link between Smiltynė, located on the spit, and the port town of Klaipėda. Old postcard of Zelenogradsk Zelenogradsk (Russian: Зеленоградск, German: Cranz, Lithuanian: Krantas, Polish: Kraniec) is a town in the Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia. ... The fort, now housing an aquarium. ... The Pride of Rotterdam, One of the P&O Ferriess Flagships operating the Hull-Rotterdam Route A ferry is a boat or a ship carrying passengers, and sometimes their vehicles, on scheduled services. ... The fort, now housing an aquarium. ...


Since 2000, the Curonian Spit is on the UNESCO's World Heritage List under cultural criteria "V" (an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture [...], or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change). This article is about the year 2000. ... UNESCO logo UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State...


Environmental concerns

There are various environmental concerns related to the Curonian Spit, which is often promoted as a refuge of clean nature.


Due to the importance of tourism and fishing for the regional economy, polluting of sea and coastlines may have disastrous effects for the area as both the unique nature and the economy would be damaged. The construction of oil platform at the D6 oilfield (in the territorial waters of Russia, 22,5 kilometers from the coastline of the Curonian Spit (exact location)) in 2005 has raised concerns over possible oil spills.


Another concern is that increased tourism destroys the very nature that attracts it. For this reason, various measures have been taken, such as banning tourists from hiking at certain areas of the spit.


Natural hazards are also more dangerous in the Curonian Spit than elsewhere in Lithuania or the Kaliningrad Oblast. Storms tends to be stronger here due to the importance of trees in preventing soil erosion, forest fires that happen in summer are more dangerous to the nature. Location of the Kaliningrad Oblast Map of the Kaliningrad Oblast Kaliningrad Oblast Flag Kaliningrad Oblast (Russian: ; German: or Nordostpreussen, Northeast Prussia), informally called Yantarny kray (, meaning Amber region) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast) on the Baltic coast, with no land connection to the rest of Russia; it...


See also

  • Kuršių Nerija National Park

Kuršių Nerija National Park is one of the five national parks in Lithuania. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Curonian Spit
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site Curonian Spit
  • Kuršių Nerija National Park (in Lithuania)
  • National Park Kurshskaya Kosa (in Russia)
  • Curonian Spit - information
  • Rybachy Biological Station, Russian Academy of Sciences

  Results from FactBites:
 
Curonian Spit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (959 words)
The Curonian Spit stretches from the Sambian Peninsula on the south to its northern tip next to a narrow strait, across from which is the port city of Klaipėda on the mainland of Lithuania.
Centuries ago the Curonian spit was inhabited primarily by Curonians, with a significant German minority in the south and a significant Lithuanian minority in the north.
Russian side of the Curonian Spit belongs to Zelenogradsk district of the Kaliningrad Oblast, while the Lithuanian side is partitioned among Klaipėda city municipality and Neringa municipality.
'LukOil (612 words)
The Curonian Spit is a narrow strip of sand, from 350 m to 4 km wide, 92 km long, stretching out between two water bodies, The Baltic and the Curonian bay...
As migratory birds are concentrated at the Curonian Spit in such huge amounts, it gains a specific importance in the chain of protected natural areas on the migrating route from the White Sea to the Baltic.
The fragile world of the Curonian Spit is attacked by the natural forces: the sea, once created the Spit, is now bringing not enough "constructing materials" to reinforce the peninsula washed away by streams and storms.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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