Druskininkai In Your Pocket

The word Druskininkai comes from druska, the Lithuanian word for salt which is found in abundance hereabouts due to the area having been under the sea several thousand years ago and that explains why in 1794 the town was granted the distinction of becoming an official health resort. With a contemporary population of just under 20,000, Druskininkai has in the last 100 years or so found itself part of Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Russia and the Soviet Union. Now back in the hands of the Lithuanians, the resort is one of the country’s fastest growing holiday destinations, a former nomenklatura playground and host to some startlingly unique architecture from its wonderful Russian Orthodox church to a handful of experimental Soviet-era buildings. The town can also claim two past great artistic residents in the sculptor Jacques Lipchitz and the artist Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. It’s also just a 10-minute drive from Grūto Parkas, the huge Soviet theme park run by the millionaire father of the town’s mayor. Here’s what you need to know.
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