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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Trakai with other popular and interesting places of Lithuania, for example: Klaipėda, Trakai, Panevėžys, Kaunas, Vilnius, Nida, Druskininkai, Šventoji, Palanga, etc.
How to Book a Hotel in Trakai
In order to book an accommodation in Trakai enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Trakai hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Trakai map to estimate the distance from the main Trakai attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Trakai hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Trakai is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Trakai is waiting for you!
Hotels of Trakai
A hotel in Trakai is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Trakai hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Trakai are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Trakai hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Trakai hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Trakai have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Trakai
An upscale full service hotel facility in Trakai that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Trakai hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Trakai
Full service Trakai hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Trakai
Boutique hotels of Trakai are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Trakai boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Trakai may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Trakai
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Trakai travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Trakai focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Trakai
Small to medium-sized Trakai hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Trakai traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Trakai hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Trakai
A bed and breakfast in Trakai is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Trakai bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Trakai B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Trakai
Trakai hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Trakai hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Trakai
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Trakai hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Trakai lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Trakai
Trakai timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Trakai often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Trakai on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Trakai
A Trakai motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Trakai for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Trakai motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Trakai (Trakai(help·info)) (see names section for alternate and historic names) is a historic city and lake resort in Lithuania. It lies 28 kilometres (17 miles) west of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Because of its proximity to Vilnius, Trakai is a popular tourist destination. Trakai is the administrative centre of Trakai district municipality. The town covers 497.1 square kilometres (191.9 square miles) of area and, according to 2007 estimates, is inhabited by 5,357 people. A notable feature of Trakai is that the town was built and preserved by people of different nationalities. Historically, communities of Karaims, Tatars, Lithuanians, Russians, Jews and Poles lived here.
The name of the town was first recorded in chronicles from 1337 in German as Tracken (later also used spelling Traken) and is derived from the Lithuanian word trakai (singular: trakas meaning a glade). Since the time of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the city was known as Troki in Polish. Its other alternate names include Trok (Yiddish), Troky, and Traki.
The majority of Trakai's inhabitants (66.5%) are Lithuanian, although the town also has a substantial Polish minority (19%), as well as Russians (8.87%). The city has a significant Karaite population.
Trakai Island Castle
There are 200 lakes in the region, of which the deepest (46.7 m) is Galvė with its 21 islands. Galvė covers an area of 3.88 km, Vilkokšnis lake - 3.37 km, the lake of Skaistis - 2.96 km. There are Trakai Historical National Park and Aukštadvaris Regional Park founded in the territory of the region.
Trakai Historical National Park was founded on April 23, 1991 to preserve Trakai as a centre of Lithuanian statehood as well as the park's authentic nature. It is the only historical national park not only in Lithuania but also throughout Europe. The territory of the park covers 82 km, 34 km of which are covered by forests, and 130 km are covered by lakes.
Aukštadvaris Regional Park was founded in 1992 to preserve the valuable landscapes of Verknė and Strėva upper reaches. The area of the park is 153.50 km, most of which is covered by forests. There are 72 lakes here, the biggest of which is Vilkokšnis.
Trakai is a town built on water. The town is surrounded by the lakes of Luka (Bernardinai), Totoriškės, Galvė, Akmena, Gilušis. There are a number of architectural, cultural and historical monuments in Trakai. The history museum in the castle was established in 1962. Festivals and concerts take place in the island castle in summer.
The first settlements in this area appeared as early as the first millennium A.D. The town, as well as its surroundings, started developing in the 13th century in the place of Senieji Trakai (Old Trakai). According to a legend after a successful hunting party, Grand Duke Gediminas discovered a beautiful lake-surrounded place not far from Kernavė, then capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and decided to build a castle in the location. That is how the Old Trakai Castle was built in Senieji Trakai. The name of Trakai was first mentioned in Teutonic Knights chronicles in 1337. This year is considered to be the official date of town's foundation. When Grand Duke Gediminas finally settled in Vilnius, Senieji Trakai was inherited by his son the Duke Kęstutis. Duchy of Trakai developed and the town entered its best decades.
Trakai: Golden age
The old Trakai Peninsula Castle
Grand Duke Kęstutis moved the town from Senieji Trakai to its current location, which is sometimes known as Naujieji Trakai. The new location was a place of intensive construction: a new castle was built in the strait between lakes Galvė and Luka and known as the Peninsula Castle, and another one, known as the Island Castle, on an island in Lake Galvė. A village grew around the castles. Vicinity of Trakai was protected by Senieji Trakai, Strėva, Bražuolė, Daniliškės and other hillforts from attacks of the Teutonic Knights. Despite the protection, both wooden castles were successfully raided by the Teutonic Knights several times in a row.
The town was in the center of a conflict between Grand Duke Jogaila (later to become King of Poland) with his uncle Kęstutis. In 1382 Jogaila's and Kęstutis armies met near Trakai, but Jogaila tricked Kęstutis and imprisoned him in Kreva. A few weeks later Kęstutis dies in captivity and Jogaila transferred the castles to his brother Skirgaila, who became a governor of Lithuania Proper. However, his rule was briefly interrupted when in 1383 joint forces of Kęstutis's son Vytautas and the Teutonic Knights captured the town. In 1392 Vytautas and Jogaila signed Astrava Treaty ending their quarrel. Vytautas became the Grand Duke of Lithuania while Jogaila technically remained his superior. Vytautas also regained his father's lands, including Trakai. Despite his official capital being Vilnius, Vytautas spent more time in Trakai. In early 15th century he replaced the older, wooden fortress with a stone-built castle. Some design elements were borrowed from the castles of the Teutonic Knights as Vytautas spent some time with the Teutons forming an alliance against Jogaila in earlier years.
A typical triple-windowed wooden Karaim house in Trakai
Trakai became a political and an administrative centre of the Duchy, sometimes named a de facto capital of Lithuania. Construction of the brick castles was finished and a Catholic church was built. In 1409 the town was granted with Magdeburg Rights; it one of the first towns in Lithuania to get city rights. The village started rapidly developing into a town. In 1413 it became a seat of the Trakai Voivodeship and a notable center of administration and commerce.
Trakai: Decline and reconstruction
The old post office building
After the Grand Duchy of Lithuania joined the Kingdom of Poland into Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569, the castles remained a royal property, but the town's importance gradually declined, with the nearby Vilnius and the political center of the Commonwealth in Kraków being far more important. Nevertheless, it continued to be the seat of local Sejmik. In Polish sources the town name was started to be referred to as Troki. In 1477, the castle on the lake was a meeting place of king Casimir IV of Poland with Venetian envoys. After that the castle became a luxurious prison for political prisoners. Sigismund I the Old imprisoned the members of Goštautai family, believed to be conspiring with Michał Gliński. Also Helena, widow of Alexander of Poland was kept there in order to prevent her escape to Muscovy. The castle was refurbished by king Sigismund I the Old, who set up his summer residence there; however, after his death in 1548 the castle gradually fell into disrepair.
During the wars between Russia and Poland between 1654 and 1667, the town was plundered and burnt. In the aftermath of the war with Muscovy in 1655, both castles were demolished and the town's prosperity ended. The castle ruins remained a historical landmark. During the Great Northern War (1700–1721) Trakai was plundered again, as famine and plague swept the country.
Troki - pejzaż - Landscape of Trakai (view of the Karaim bank), 1904, watercolor on paper by Stanisław Masłowski
After the Partitions of Poland in 1795, the area was annexed by the Russian Empire. After World War I, the area became part of the restored Republic of Poland. In 1929, the Polish authorities ordered reconstruction and restoration of the Trakai Island Castle. The works in the Upper castle were almost complete in 1939, when the Polish Defensive War started and the area was soon annexed by the Soviet Union, then by Nazi Germany during Operation Barbarossa. During the war, more than 5,000 Jews from the Trakai region were murdered by the Nazis. In 1944, during Operation Tempest, the town was liberated by joint forces of the underground Polish Home Army and Soviet partisans. After World War II it was again annexed by the Soviet Union and made part of the Lithuanian SSR in the Soviet Union; subsequently many of the city's and area's ethnic Polish inhabitants left for the recovered Territories of the People's Republic of Poland.
In 1961, the reconstruction of the upper castle and a high tower construction were completed; however, the works came to a halt as a result of Nikita Khrushchev's speech of December 21, 1960. The Soviet First Secretary declared that reconstruction of the castle would be a sign of glorification of Lithuania's feudal past. Works in the lower castle were not resumed until the 1980s and were completed by the Lithuanian authorities in the early 1990s. Today the Island Castle serves as the main tourist attraction, hosting various cultural events such as operas and concerts.
Trakai: Karaim community
Map of Trakai
The Karaim kenesa
Karaims (or Karaites) are a small Turkic-speaking religious and ethnic group resettled to Trakai by Grand Duke Vytautas in 1397 and 1398 from Crimea, after one of his successful military campaigns against the Golden Horde. Both Christian and Karaim communities were granted separate self-government in accordance with the Magdeburg rights. Despite ever-increasing Polonisation, Trakai remained a notable center of Karaim cultural and religious life. Some famous scholars were active in Trakai in the 16th and 17th centuries, such as Isaac ben Abraham of Trakai (1533–1594?), Joseph ben Mordecai Malinovski, Zera ben Nathan of Trakai, Salomon ben Aharon of Trakai, Ezra ben Nissan (died in 1666) and Josiah ben Judah (died after 1658). Some of the Karaims became wealthy and noble. The local Karaim community, the backbone of the town's economy, suffered severely during the Khmelnytsky Uprising and the massacres of 1648. By 1680, only 30 Karaim families were left in the town. Their traditions, including not accepting neophytes, prevented the community from regaining its strength. Early in the 18th century war, famine, and plague reduced the Karaims to three families. By 1765 Karaim community increased to 300. Trakai's Karaim kenesa is a rare example of a surviving wooden synagogue with an interior dome. Kibinai, traditional Karaim pastry, became a local speciality and are mentioned in tourist guides.
Trakai: International relations
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Lithuania
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