Klaipeda, Lithuania

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The distinctly German-style timber-frame buildings that line the cobbled streets of Klaipėda's Old Town hint at its past life as the former capital of Prussia. Controlled on and off by Germany well into the 20th century, the city went by the name Memel until 1945, when it formally adopted the Lithuanian name Klaipėda. Now the country's third-largest metropolis, Klaipėda retains much of its historic and maritime flavor, but there’s also a growing arts scene, with lively exhibition spaces and modern sculptures scattered around the city. The most popular gathering place for locals and visitors is Old Town’s Theatre Square, which features the city’s famed sculpture of a young girl, Taravos Anikė. Nearby, the “Crafts Yard” is home to timber-frame buildings dating from the 18th century; here you can visit various workshops and see how crafts, art and home goods are made. A short ferry ride across a narrow strait takes you to Smiltynė, where you’ll find the Maritime Museum and Aquarium, which hosts Black Sea bottlenose dolphin shows.
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