Trakai is a historic city and lake resort 28km (17mi) west of Vilnius and is a popular day trip from the capital.
Dating back to the 13th century, Trakai was unusual in the fact that was inhabited by a number of difference nationalities simultaneously. Historically, Karaims, Tatars, Lithuanians, Russsians, Poles and Jews all lived in Trakai. Trakai Historical National Park was founded in 1991 to preserve the city as a center of Lithuanian statehood.
There are 200 lakes in the Trakai region and the town itself is surrounded by water. Originally settled by the Grand Duke Gediminas in the early 13th century (who built the Old Trakai castle, the remains of which lie under the existing 15th century monastery), Trakai passed to Gediminas’ son, who developed the town and built two additional castles.
Today, only the Island Castle remains and is the town’s main attraction, hosting the Trakai Castle Festival and a number of cultural events throughout the year.
Trakai is 28km (17mi) Trakai is 28km (17mi) southwest of Vilnius.