basic facts

Republic of Lithuania
3 equal horizontal fields: yellow, green, and red
25,174 square miles
parliamentary democracy
GMT + 2 hours, no daylight saving

    Lithuania is located along a 62-mile stretch of the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. It has a common border of 379 miles with Latvia in the north, 450 miles with Belarus in the east and southeast, 68 miles with Poland in the southwest, and 188 miles with Kaliningrad, a region administered by Russia, in the southwest. The present borders of Lithuania were set in 1944, after the reoccupation of Lithuania by the Red Army during the Second World War, by the Soviet government in Moscow. The total area of Lithuania is 25,174 square miles, that makes Lithuania slightly smaller than Ireland and twice as big as Belgium. The greatest east-to-west distance in Lithuania is 232 miles, and north-to-south - 172 miles.

    Since June 25, 1993, the national currency of Lithuania is litas (Lt). 1 Lt is subdivided into 100 cents (Ct). Paper currency comes in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Lt notes. Coins come in 1 Ct, 2 Ct, 5 Ct, 20 Ct, 50 Ct, 1 Lt, 2 Lt, and 5 Lt denominations. From the start the litas was pegged to the US dollar at 4 Lt per dollar. All convertible currency can be exchanged for the litas at banks and currency exchanges. Currency exchanges can be found at airports, bus and train stations, hotels and shops.

    Although most purchases are still made in cash, credit cards are accepted at banks, most hotels, and major restaurants and shops. Credit cards that are most frequently accepted include Eurocard, Mastercard, and Visa. American Express, however, is rarely accepted. Travellers Cheques are accepted at banks and some currency exchanges.

    Electric power available from wall sockets is 220 volts, 50 Hertz (cycles/second) AC (alternating current). Sockets take only a European plug with two round pins.

    The ethnic breakdown of the total population of 3.7 million in 2000: 81.8% Lithuanians, 8.1% Russians, 6.9% Poles, 1.4% Belarussians, 1% Ukrainians, 0.8% all others.

    Lithuania is part of the vast northern European plain that stretches from the Low Countries in the west to the Ural Mountains in the east. The area of Lithuania's territory is 25,174 square miles. The terrain is mostly flat, but there are two broad bands of higher ground, often exceeding 500 feet above the sea level.

    The geographical center of Europe, as determined by the National Geographical Institute of France in 1989, lies 15 miles north of the capital, Vilnius.

    The majority of the population of Lithuania are Roman Catholics, but there are also Russian Orthodox, Evangelical Lutherans, Baptists, Moslems, and Jews. People of all religions are held equal under the law. All schools offer optional religious studies. Internet home of Arizona Chapter of Lithuanian-American Community, Inc.