The first mention of Lithuania is found in the Quedlinburg Chronicle in 1009. Within 1000 years Lithuania has suffered periods of rises and falls. Multinational state which was founded in the Middle Ages and which occupied huge territories to the Black sea became completely stateless in the following centuries. At last the Republic of Lithuania was even two times reestablished in XX century – in 1918 and in 1990. In 2004 after thorough preparation Lithuania joined the European Union. Lithuania which occupies territory of 63.5 thousand square km is one of the smallest European states the same as Latvia and Estonia. In spite of this fact the land is extremely various.
There are a lot of uplands and lakes in the east side of Lithuania where the capital, Vilnius, is situated; South Lithuania is famous for its forests and in the north and west there are plains. Five territorial formations have a status of the national park and four objects are in the list of the world cultural heritage UNESCO. Owing to comparatively small population density – 53 people per 1 square km – there are still a lot of areas of primeval nature with their peculiar flora and fauna. Traditionally Lithuania is divided into four ethnographic regions: Aukštaitija, Zhjamajtija, Suvalkija, Dzūkija. Each region is distinguished by its dialect, customs, peculiarities of the national costume, architecture
Two thirds of Lithuania people lives in towns, another part lives in the country. Vilnius with its one of the biggest old towns in Eastern Europe dominates among all towns of Lithuania. Second big town of Lithuania - Kaunas was first of all famous for its being a temporary capital of the Republic of Lithuania in the period between two world wars / 1918 – 1940/. Klaipeda is a single town-port of Lithuania, center of Western Lithuania with remaining peculiarities of German architecture.
Country estate “Smalvos” is situated in one of the most beautiful places of Lithuania – Zarasai region. Zarasai region rightfully bears a name of “Small Switzerland” – land of lakes, fields and wonderful softwoods. There are more than 350 big and small lakes on the territory of the region, forests are rich in wildlife, there are roedeers, wolves, hares, foxes, squirrels, wild boars, mosses, beavers, raccoons and even a sacred bird – stork considers this region as its own house and a big colony of these sacred birds fly here.