Trakai was the residence of the Lithuanian Grand Princes and the capital of Lithuania in the 14th and 15th centuries. Grand Prince Kestutis and his son Vytautas began building two castles in New Trakai - in the middle of a labyrinth of lakes - at the end of the 14th century. They used the natural advantages of water castles against the recurring attacks of the German knights of the Order.
Here, on the island castle in Lake Galve, the Grand Princes received their guests from the end of the 14th to the end of the 15th century. Among others, the cousin of Grand Duke Vytautas, the Polish King Jogaila (Polish: Jagiello) was a frequent guest here. Vytautas himself died in Trakai in 1430, even before he was crowned King of Lithuania.
In 1655, the castle was destroyed during the Russian attack and never rebuilt. It was not until the 20th century that the once most important castle of the Lithuanian grand princes began to be rebuilt.
Here we are in the outer castle courtyard.
Today, a wooden staircase and a bridge over the moat lead to the actual castle.
Many tourists pile up in the inner courtyard of the castle. Trakai is a popular place.
Here we are in the large Gothic hall. The tapestries on the walls are recent. Our guide tells us about the proud history of the Grand Princes.
For lunch we tried a national dish (blyneliai) in one of the many lakeside restaurants. In the photo you can see a potato dumpling filled with chicken meat, in the cup is beef soup. We liked it and so we also tried dumplings with other fillings.