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Curonian Spit Territory Is Closed Because Of Fire
12.08.2014 18:03
Curonian Spit Territory Is Closed Because Of Fire

 The administration of the “Curonian Spit” National Park limited the entry to the territory of the reserve. Only certain categories of citizens will be able to pass to the Spit until mid of August, as the press service of the administration of the National Park reported.

      The Spit will only be accessible for those who are registered as residents in the settlements Lesnoy, Rybachiy, Morskoe, as well as the tourists having vouchers to guesthouses, hotels, holiday camps and camp sites located in the national park, and the staff of the enterprises and organizations located on the spit.

      “This measure has been taken after the extinguishing of a large fire that occurred on the territory of the district forestry “Zolotye Dunes” on July 23. The fire spread over 11.3 hectares. The preliminary damage is estimated at 4.3 million roubles”- the press service noted. After the completion of the main activities on fire extinguishing the forest service will monitor the forest. It will be carried out until the first serious rain. 

      The Curonian Spit is an outstanding example of a landscape of sand dunes that is under constant threat from natural forces (wind and tide). After disastrous human interventions that menaced its survival, the Spit was reclaimed by massive protection and stabilization works begun in the 19th century and still continuing to the present day.

      The Spit is a peninsula that separates the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon in a slightly concave arc for 98 km from the Kaliningrad Peninsula to the town of Klaipeda. The largest settlements in the Lithuanian part are Smiltyne, Pervalka, Juodkrante, Preila and Nida. Dune valleys divide the ridge into separate dune massifs, and capes are generally formed in front of these valleys.

      The most significant element of the Spit's cultural heritage is represented by the old fishing settlements. The earliest of these were buried in sand when the woodland cover was removed. Those that have survived are all along the coast of the lagoon. At the end of the 19th century more elaborate buildings - lighthouses, churches, schools and villas - began to be erected alongside the simpler vernacular houses. This was partly due to the fact that the Spit became a recreational centre: Juodkrante became famous as a health resort as early as 1840 and Nida, Preila and Pervalka were given official recognition in this category in 1933. In the centre, Nida, the largest settlement on the Spit, has a linear plan based on a single main street that runs parallel to the lagoon and which developed spontaneously in the 19th century.

      The most northerly part of the Spit, Smiltyne, was not settled until the mid-19th century, when a health resort was created. It is the point where ferries from Klaipeda on the mainland arrive on the Spit. The surviving buildings of cultural significance are the houses of fishermen built during the 19th century. In their original form they were built from wood and thatched with reeds. A homestead consisted of two or three buildings: a dwelling house, a cattle shed, and a smokehouse for curing fish. These were located to one side of the long narrow plot, leaving space for a kitchen garden and for drying nets. The houses were constructed at right angles to the street. In the 20th century the fishermen's houses were enlarged and new ones built with their long sides to the street. As a result, the appearance of the settlements was radically altered.



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Curonian Spit     

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