Inspires persistence. Lying very close to Nida, Urbas Hill was once an enormous shifting sand dune that threatened to swallow what was already the third settlement of Nida. It is only thanks to the ingenuity and unrelenting efforts of the local residents that we can now enjoy a stabilised dune that’s full of greenery and excellent for leisurely walks, as well as being a protected natural heritage site. Siting atop the hill is Nida Lighthouse, its crown jewel, with a remarkable history of two lives. On the multiple winding pathways on and around the Urbas Hill, dozens of information stands await you, from which you can learn about the unceasing struggle between man and the natural elements on the Spit. You will learn about the historic postal road between Paris and St. Petersburg, which once crossed the hill; about the poor living conditions of the local peoples in the past, whose houses and entire villages were buried under the shifting sand; and about the persistent residents who, at long last, were able to make peace with the forces that have shaped this awe-inspiring landscape for millennia – the sea, the sand and the wind.
GPS 309246, 6134088 (LKS) 55.305137, 20.99527 (WGS)
PREILA (ARTISTS’) DUNE
Inspires you to create. If you climb this (53 metre tall!) dune, you will quickly understand why so many artists in the past loved to set up their easels there. Let your gaze linger one of the peninsula’s most spectacular views or capture it with your camera. Wonderful panoramas open up on all sides, with the Baltic Sea, Curonian Lagoon and the Great Dune Ridge spanning far to the north and south. The most sharp-eyed visitors will also notice Ventė Cape just across the Lagoon. No less impressive than these beautiful sights is the spirit of the place itself. The tranquility, silence, warm breeze and the vast vistas, which are almost impossible to fully take in, come together to create a truly transformative experience for every visitor. Peace of mind? Inspiration? Or the urge create? What will it be for you?
GPS 313231, 6140933 (LKS) 55.368082, 21.053392 (WGS)
PERVALKA LIGHTHOUSE (OR THE LIGHTHOUSE OF HORSES)
Inspires you to take a break. A lonesome lighthouse on a tiny island. Try and picture yourself staying in it. The squawking seagulls, smell of the water, the rhythmic sound of breaking waves and the beam of light piercing the night sky. Where else could time stretch so widely, melt so slowly away or even stop altogether? Allow yourself to take a break. You cannot rush over to this lighthouse: in the summer, you can only cast your eyes upon it, or reach the artificial island it sits on by travelling there in a small boat. In the winter, when the lagoon is encased in thick ice, the lighthouse can be reached on foot or using ice skates, by exercising due caution. It is said that the Pervalka Lighthouse served as a guide for those traversing the frozen lagoon at night in horse-drawn carriages. During the warmer season, the lighthouse helped ships avoid shallow waters and fishermen to safely reach the shore. For over a century, since 1900, it continued to serve this function. However, with the rise modern navigation technology, its role as a guide began to fade. It still sits on this tiny island, amidst all the winds of change, like a guardian of times gone by.
GPS 317370, 6146508 (LKS) 55.419656, 21.114958 (WGS)
VIEW FROM AVIKALNIS HILL
Inspires preservation. From the viewpoint atop Avikalnis Hill, one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Curonian Spit opens up below. You will see two very special sites currently undergoing preservation work. One of them is the ancient woods of Juodkrantė, to the north. Some of its pines are more than 230 years old! Several centuries ago, drastic deforestation took place in the entire Spit and its landscape started turning into that of the Sahara Desert. However, a few small patches of the ancient woods survived, as if by a miracle. The preserved ancient woods also safeguarded what lay beneath them – the parabolic dunes. If you’re good at math, their shape should be easy to guess. If math was not your cup of tea at school, here’s a hint: the parabolic dunes have a shape similar to that of a stretched-out horseshoe. Formed thousands of years ago and gradually covered with weeds and trees, the parabolic dunes were dissolved and destroyed by gusty winds anywhere the trees were absent. But wherever the trees were left untouched, the beautiful wavy dunes remained. It’s quite an inspiring story, right?
GPS 317525, 6156981 (LKS) 55.513684, 21.110528 (WGS)