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The name "Lithuania" was first time used in written texts back in 1010.
the middle ages Lithuania was one of the biggest countries in Europe
stretching from Baltic Sea to Black Sea. Many great churches were built
times to counter the effects of Lithuania being the last remaining pagan
citadel in Europe.
Later, Lithuania merged with Poland to form
Lithuanian and Polish Republic. After some time, it was conquered by
Empire. Lithuanian Language, which is the oldest remaining indo-european
language, became forbidden to use. Lithuania regained independence
first time shortly after WW1. It was a bit smaller than now, because
along with all eastern Lithuania was still occupied by Poland.
Signs of this era can still be seen in Vilnius as the number of Polish people living
in the city is considerably high. Kaunas, Lithuanian
capital at that time, prospered. Lithuania was very rich
country at the time.
WW2 broke out and Lithuania was occupied first by Germans and later by
Soviet Union. The
occupation lasted for 50 years. During that time a few high-rise
buildings were built including several hotels and other structures like
and wired masts. Lithuania declared independence in 1990, but it
was not recognised by USSR. In January 13th of 1991 Soviet troops
Lithuania again. Several high buildings including TV Tower and
Press became primary targets of the Soviet army. Many
to streets to defend the country. 14 people were killed and
many were injured, but the only building Soviets managed to occupy
was the TV Tower. Soviet Union collapsed and they had to
leave the building some half a year later, when Russia recognised
independence. Since then, Lithuania has headed to western Europe and
join the commonwealth of independent states like most of ex-Soviet
countries did. The growing Lithuanian Economy were hit seriously again
in 1998 by the Russian economic crisis.
After that Lithuania's economy has reoriented even more towards the EU.
Although slower than Estonias or Latvias, Lithuanias economy is growing
Lithuania has plans to join NATO in 2002 and EU in 2003.
Lithuania also happens to be the Geographical
center of Europe.