Reached via two walkways across Lake Galve the island castle of Trakai is the greatest symbol of Lithuanian nationalism. Situated in an area of lakes and forests roughly 15 miles west of Vilnius, the red-brick turrets, watchtowers, and tall keep were restored in 1962 by the Lithuanian government much to the chagrin of then Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev.

The castle had its greatest period in the reign of Vytautas the Great at the beginning of the 15th Century before falling into terminal decline after being destroyed by the Russians in the period 1654 – 1657.

The town of Trakai is situated at the end of the peninsular facing the castle. Visitors should take a look at the town and be aware of a people called the Kairim, around 100 of whom call Trakai home.

An extract from Julian’s Journeys