The unique landscape and a pearl of nature in the Baltic sea waterfront
The Curonian Spit is a peninsula separating the Curonian lagoon from the Baltic Sea. The landscape of the Curonian Spit has been formed not only by natural processes but also by human activities – it represents the combined work of nature and of man. Now the Lithuanian part of Spit is called Neringa, the South part of it belongs to Russia. Human habitation of this elongated sand dune peninsula, 98 km long and 0.4 – 4 km wide, dates back to prehistoric times. Throughout this period it has been threatened by the natural forces of wind and waves. Its survival to the present day has been made possible only as a result of ceaseless human efforts to combat the erosion of the Spit, dramatically illustrated by continuing stabilization and reforestation projects. Some villages were covered by sand. The old legend says that the landscape of the Curonian Spit has been created of sand by the giant woman called Neringa, gathering up sand in her apron and depositing it in an arc to protect her beloved fisherman from the Baltic waves – such is a female version of an ancient Hercules legend… This is one of the explanations why the place is called “Neringa”.