Basanavicius Promenade, Palanga, Lithuania

We are making our way from the beautiful Palanga Botanical Garden and Amber Museum to the  resort area of Palanga……….If you missed the first post on this city you may want to read it so you can get your bearing and learn some fun facts about this beautiful setting in Lithuania!  Driving down a wide boulevard we come to what seems to be the happening place in Palanga! There are families everywhere! This  looks to be the place where everyone wants to be on this sunny warm day! There is definitely a resort vibe to the streets. There are many restaurants and shops and lots of families out for the day!

These first photos are on the Main Avenue arriving at the resort area.

Palanga, Lithuania

This cute, teal-blue shop has the bikes all ready to go!

Palanga, Lithuania

And, there is a small Memorial Park dedicated to General Jonas Žemaitis. I had to do some research on him since the sign was written in Lithuanian……….General Žemaitis was born in Palanga, but moved with his family to Poland at an early age. At the age of seventeen, he moved back to his grandparents home in Lithuania. He started studies at the War College and was noted as a very good student and athlete. By 1936, he was in Fontainebleu, France, studying at the School of Applied Artillery. Finishing his studies, he was promoted to Captain and commanded the artillery units of the Lithuanian Military Forces.

In June of 1940, the Soviets occupied Lithuania, and Žemaitis continued his active service with the 2nd Artillery Regiment. At the beginning of the war between the Soviet Union and Nazi, Germany, he remained with his troops, but when they were ordered to retreat to the east he and a group of his men fell behind deliberately and surrendered to the Germans. He got away from them and hid out until he could return to Lithuania, where he joined the Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force. That unit was disbanded and he joined the Lithuanian Freedom Army, a group of underground freedom fighters. Eventually, he was their leader and that group resisted any Soviet occupation for many years and continued after the war. In 1951, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and became paralyzed, In May 1953, his hiding place was discovered by Soviet agents and he was arrested. He was taken to Moscow and interrogated and then executed in the Butyrka Prison in 1954. When I decided to learn more about this prison,  I found it is still in use today and known for its overcrowding. On average, 100 inmates are housed in a cell built to hold ten men. Tuberculosis and AIDS flourishes and diseased men are deliberately added to cells with healthy men to reduce their numbers.  Since many inmates are drug users, they are allowed to share one needle per cell! Nice place! And, this is the state of the prison today! I was shocked to see the long list of famous and worthy people, who had died in this prison…………. General Žemaitis is a national hero in Lithuania!

Today, the Military Academy of Lithuania is named after him. In March 2009, he was awarded, posthumously, the rank of Brigadier General and was officially named the fourth President of Lithuania.

Palanga, Lithuania, General Jonas Zemaitis Memorial
Palanga, Lithuania, General Jonas Zemaitis Memorial

There is a very beautiful flower garden here also……………

Palanga Lithuania, Park Flowers
Palanga Lithuania, Park Flowers

On the other side of the street from the Žemaitis Memorial, is the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary…….I could not find out very much about this church, except that there has been a church of some kind at this location for a very long time.  No doubt, during Soviet Occupation it was used for something else. Now, it has been beautifully re-stored. It is also the place, although not the same church, that General Žemaitis was baptized in.

Palanga Lithuania, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

The church gate………

Palanga Lithuania, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Palanga Lithuania, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

The church has a very calming and serene effect……….

Palanga Lithuania, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Palanga Lithuania, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

Walking to a wide promenade, that looks like it stretches to the sea, you can look back and see that the Church and the Memorial are right there to remind you of days gone by and how fortunate the Lithuanians are to have finally broke the yoke of the Soviet Union!

Palanga, Lithuania, Jonas Basanavicius St and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

This is a happy place with restaurants and flower parks and more restaurants and shopping…………..

Palanga, Lithuania, Jonas Basanavicius St

And little trinket stands for a souvenir………

Palanga, Lithuania, Jonas Basanavicius St

This pedestrian walkway goes on and on………we didn’t even have enough time to get to the end of it, or explore all the shops……….

Palanga, Lithuania, Jonas Basanavicius St

There are also cute little apartments to rent for the summer……..a real resort!

Palanga, Lithuania, Jonas Basanavicius St

and more restaurants………

Palanga, Lithuania, Jonas Basanavicius St

and more restaurants……General Žemaitis would be proud of all this!

Palanga, Lithuania, Jonas Basanavicius St
Palanga, Lithuania, Jonas Basanavicius St

But, we have one more area of the city to explore before we have to return to the ship, so we better get a move on! We’re making our way to the canal! See you there!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks like a lovely place. So many sad stories from the war and this area was hit hard.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sheree says:

    Much enjoying the tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sartenada says:

    Hello.

    Great post again. I love especially inside photos of the church.

    Have a good day!

    Like

    1. Thank you! How have you been doing with COVID-19? Any restrictions?

      Like

  4. Sartenada says:

    Thank you asking. Well, it it has been hard, because we senior citizens are not allowed to meet other people. Shopping is allowed and once in a day walk. Happily, we have forest quite near where we have been walking more than in the town. When shopping we use gloves or mittens. Hand washing often and keeping distances with other people. Starting next week there will be some abatement to restrictions. We are alright and I wish that you and yours are okay also.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We have been social distancing since March 1st. We are not restricted to our homes so we can go out for walks and other things, but are encouraged to keep a certain distance. The grocery stores at first opened from 7-8 am for seniors only, but now we go whenever we want. All the restaurants are pick-up only still. However, the Lowes (hardwareish big box company) and Target (big retail store) have been open all along and there have been lots of people there everyday. Folks do practice social distancing and the stores are regularly sanitized, but still a lot of this makes no sense what so ever! We have no reported COVID -19 in our area………..

    Like

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