Historic Seaside Resorts – Melnragė and Giruliai

Length – 7 km
Duration – 2.5 h

Type: for those who like long beach &/or forest walks

We recommend to start to the route in Melnragė – you can reach the resort from the city center by taking the bus number 6 to “Molo” bus stop (find the schedules here: http://www.klaipedatransport.lt/en).

Melnragė village (1) got its name from a language of a Curonian tribe, living in this area at around 13th century. It is possible that the seaside looked dark from the sea and the local fishermen named it The Black Horn – ‘melns’ means ‘black’ and ‘ragas’ means ‘horn’. The main occupation in the village was, of course, fishing. In 1933 the state assigned Melnragė resort rights and in time the village was filled with expensive summer houses.

After leaving the bus, turn to the left and go straight for around 100 m. Then turn to the right and follow the street (Vėtros str.) until you reach the parking lot. Behind the parking lot you can see the sandy dunes and the seaside. On your left side is the pier (2) – our next destination. You can reach it either by the beach or by taking a small pathway to the left from the parking lot.
The construction of the Northern Pier started in 1834 by the society of merchants in the city. The pier is designed as two separate parts – 940 m length quay, secured with massive stones, and 460 m length (in the sea) pier. The pier itself is around 2.5 m wide and 2 m height above sea level.

Klaipėda Port has two parallel piers, both more than 1 km in length. While standing on the Northern pier, you can see the other pier right in front of you on the other side. Together these piers make the Sea Gates (lith.”Jūros vartai”) – the beginning and the end of the journey for each and every ship. The piers are constructed on piles, the part above water is made out of stones.
The Northern Pier is a popular gathering place for citizens – beautiful scenery of the sea and ships, long beaches and the lighthouse attracts many to enjoy the view. We recommend that you walk along the pier until the end, feel the breeze of the sea, and enjoy the wonderful blend of sea, beaches, and cityscape.

Located around 500 m away from the sea, the Klaipėda lighthouse (3) is one of the first on the shores of the whole Baltic Sea – it was first built and lighted on September 1, 1796. During WWII the lighthouse was demolished, so the only authentic, more than two hundred years old part of the lighthouse is 4 m height ground level construction. The lighthouse was rebuilt right after the war in 1945. Now the height of the lighthouse is 44 m, its signal can be seen from 33 km.

Leave the pier and go down the beach towards Giruliai village. On your way, you will pass by an abandoned artillery battery (4).
This kind of artillery batteries (fixed assemblies of guns and armors) was used by German navy since 1938. Three of them can be found on the beach in Lithuanian territories. Walk on the beach for around 600 m leaving the artillery battery behind you, until you see a wooden viewpoint. Here turn to the right and walk straight until you see a supermarket “Maxima”. Cross the street. You have reached a forest road, which you can follow to Giruliai village (both for walking and biking). The length of the road from Northern Pier to Giruliai in total is 5 km.

Forestation of the beach became essential already in 18th century. Constanly moving sand interfered with the harbour works and shipping, destroyed many crop fields and pastures around the beach area. In 18–19th century the city was obliged to cover these sectors with plants in order to stop erosion and retain the land. The forest at first was called Plantation Forest, but nowadays is known as Giruliai Forest (5).

On your way to Giruliai you will pass through the suburban areas of Melnragė I and II, old cemetery (which was open in 19th–20th centuries). The road will cross a couple of parking lots and end in the third parking lot – Giruliai. Turn to the right and go straight for around 200 m. Here cross the street. On your right, you will see the Children’s Sanatorium of Tuberculosis Complex (6). The former medical centre for treating tuberculosis was first opened in 1911 as a holiday house for those children who are constantly sick or from deprived families. The centre was built in the name of Queen of Prussia, Louisa, on 100 year anniversary of her death. It was known that Queen Louisa was very fond of Giruliai village and liked to stay here. After opening, children from all over the East of Prussia stayed in the sanatorium. In 1916–1917, the complex was expanded, and now is part of Cultural Heritage list. The main building facade is designed in the same architectural style as many old town buildings – fachwerk, which, together with wooden decoration and red roof tiles, not only blends in the green and natural forest environment but also makes the building distinctive. After WWII in this building was a Children’s Sanatorium for Tuberculosis, which was closed in 2005.

Giruliai. In 1863 the merchants of Klaipėda came into the possession of Giruliai village area and built a peaceful seaside resort.
They laid down the road to another resort – Melnragė, set up expensive and good–lookings summer houses here, planted rare species of trees in the forest. Since 1892, when the resort became popular amongst citizens. At the beginning of the 20th century, Giruliai had a Kurhaus (cultural house with a restaurant), 3 different restaurants with regular musical evenings, and several dancing floors. It was also popular to come to the resort for SPA and health procedures – in the 20th century, Giruliai had hot water baths, which were especially liked by those who had heart, lung, or nervous system problems.

Follow the road up the hill and further. On the left side of the road on the hill you will see several houses, built in the beginning of 20th century – some of them are now empty, some are open to the public, while others are private (Šlaito street 6, 10, 12, 14).
Summer houses (7) in 20th century Giruliai were built facing the sea. Most of them are Swiss-style wooden houses, often decorated by various ornaments on the facade of the house. In front of the house, downhill, was popular to built a level paved terrace with a set of luxurious stairs, sculptures and decorative fences.

Go further down the street (Turistų str.) until you see a train station. Behind the railroads you will see a Radio and Television Tower (8). Built in 1961, Klaipėda radio and Television Tower reaches a height of 200 m. At first it was used to re-transmission, but later started broadcasting channels from Lithuanian television.

A bus stop is just beside the train station. We recommend ending the walking route here. You can reach the Klaipėda city center by taking bus number “4“.

Šalia geležinkelio stoties yra autobusų stotelė, čia ir baigsite maršrutą, o miesto centrą pasieksite autobusu Nr. 4 (tvarkaraštį rasite www.klaipedatransport.lt).