The Baltic countries, which cluster around the Baltic Sea, include Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. For centuries they have been coveted by their belligerent neighbours and have seen invaders come and go. The most famous of these were the Teutonic knights who left their mark on the area. Today they are fiercely independent and proudly display an eclectic and well-preserved culture which captivates visitors from all over the world.
Vinius is situated on the cross-roads between Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Scandinavia, and is an attractive and fascinating city. It is the capital of Lithuania and boasts an extensive old town which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. While Baroque in the main, its architecture plays on contrasts between its Romanesque, Renaissance and Jugendstil influences scattered over different parts of the city. The Church of Saint Anne is a particularly fine edifice and the University, founded in the 16th century, is one of the oldest in Europe.