True Lithuania

Famous Lithuanians: Introduction

Just like every nation, Lithuanians have certain national heroes who have many streets and institutions named after them, who were depicted on banknotes and are immortalized in statues. This is a short introduction to the stories that are hidden behind the names you will undoubtedly see frequently while in Lithuania.

The earliest and some of the best-known figures are the largely pagan Lithuanian leaders of 13th-16th centuries who made Lithuania the Europe's largest country. That mighty Grand Duchy eroded over the centuries and was completely destroyed by Russian invasion in 1795 however. Therefore the 19th century National Revival is another era where many famous Lithuanians hail from (almost all Litas banknotes have their faces on the obverse).

Other groups well represented in street names include artists, writers and other wise men of Lithuania Minor, writers and artists of the early 20th century, heroes of interwar independent Lithuania and controversially some Soviet writers. Religious (Christian) and mythological figures are also represented.

Modern Lithuanian celebrities (post 1990) are not yet honored by street names but they dominate newspapers, magazines, and TV shows.

Take note that Lithuanian is a synthetic language, therefore the final letters of a name are written differently when that name appears different contexts. For instance, a street named after Grand Duke Gediminas would be called “Gedimino” (nominative case).

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