When walking down the street, we don’t realise that almost everything we see around us was created by architects. That is why International Architecture Day, celebrated on the first Monday of October, invites us to pay more attention to the work of people of this profession and appreciate their creations.

Architecture tells a story

The Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) also contributes to the promotion of architecture – its partners have implemented projects that are attractive to both local and foreign tourists through the measure ‘Prioritetinių turizmo plėtros regionų e-rinkodara’ (E-marketing of Priority Tourism Development Regions).

The Lithuanian Hotel and Restaurant Association (LHRA) (in Lithuanian: Lietuvos viešbučių ir restoranų asociacija) invites you to look at Lithuania from an architectural point of view by visiting the website architekturalietuvoje.lt in Lithuanian, English and Russian to find out about the most interesting buildings in our country.

A total of 157 buildings in various Lithuanian cities, towns and even villages are divided according to architectural styles and epochs. By visiting them, we can admire not only the impressive work of architects, but also delve more into the history of Lithuania and recreate religious, political and cultural events that were etched into the walls of these buildings. Each of them, newly photographed and described, tells us its own story and reveals architectural subtleties. The LBSA has allocated EUR 289,000 from the European Regional Development Fund for the implementation of this project.

The LHRA invites those who want to get to know Lithuanian sacral wooden architecture better to join an architectural adventure. On the Sakralilietuva.lt website, created with the help of an allocated EUR 288,000 from the LBSA, you will find the most beautiful and well-preserved objects in this field: wooden churches, synagogues, kenesa, Orthodox churches, mosques, and even wayside shrines and small chapels. The tools developed by the project allow you to discover the cultural values of our country, whether by creating an itinerary and visiting them yourself, or by viewing them interactively in video films and 3D tours.

Interesting for locals and foreigners

‘Even before the pandemic, we noticed that domestic tourism was growing and people were discovering Lithuania. Foreign tourists also want to get to know not only the capital and the most famous places, but they are also looking for a wider variety of attractions that represent the country more deeply,’ says Evalda Šiškauskienė, President of the LHRA.

After more in-depth analysis of the tourism markets, it has become clear that tourists from each country want different tourist routes. If visitors from Israel give priority to spa services, Germans are interested in historical and cultural tourism. The pandemic has led to a greater focus on the nearest neighbours – just as Lithuanians are interested in Latvia and Estonia, Estonians and Latvians are happy to discover Lithuanian manors, churches and less popular places.

‘We really feel the benefits of these projects. Local tourism exceeds pre-pandemic expectations – people make itineraries, travel through all these places and notice that manors are not just for weddings. Therefore, I would like to note that it is important not only to have such objects as images, but also to show them and present them, which is what we are trying to do with the projects we have implemented,’ says Šiškauskienė.

Arūnas Burinskas, Deputy Director of the LBSA Investment Management Service, is also pleased with the original and successfully implemented projects.

‘It is gratifying that the pandemic has not slowed down the development of tourism in Lithuanian regions and that the LBSA partners are able to find ways to present the country’s history, culture and heritage – such as architecture – to local and foreign tourists,’ he says.
It is also adapted for children

Upon receipt of EUR 237,000 in funding from the LBSA, the Kaunas City Municipality Administration implemented the project ‘Lithuanian Interwar Architecture’ (1918–1940), which aims to increase the visitor attendance and awareness of objects from this period through e-marketing tools.

For this purpose, the website tarpukarioarchitektura.lt has been created, featuring an innovative narrative of what is old but also new. An interactive timeline shows the most famous architectural objects from all over Lithuania reflecting this era, that were built in each year.

Visitors can also download an app with a virtual guide to help them plan their route and, for those unable to go, visit the objects in augmented reality. Educational games, comics and even battles of the minds will encourage children and young people to get involved and learn more about interwar history. All architecture enthusiasts can share their captured moments and memories in an interactive collective memory repository.

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