Lithuania is the oldest state of the Baltic countries. The Pope proclaimed Lithuania a European kingdom in 1251, after King Mindaugas united all Lithuanian tribes in the 13th century and was baptised, thus turning the young state toward the European culture.
In the 13th–15th century the Grand Duchy of Lithuania developed into a large medieval state spread over the larger part of Eastern Europe. The 16th century was a time when Vilnius prospered: the capital became one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe and we still admire its heritage today.
The history of Lithuania is full of drama: wars and occupations account for 700 years out of 1000 years of its history. A strong longing for freedom made Lithuania independent twice. First in 1918 and again in 1990, during the “singing revolution”. Lithuania is an active member of the EU.