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ZEMAITIJA SAMOGITIA LITHUANIA A NEW DISCOVERY Zemaitija ( Samogitia) is situated in the north- western part of Lithuania. Samogitia is the most ethnically distinctive area of the country. It was the last part of Europe to accept Christianity, but after conversion, Samogitians became passionate Christians and its religious folk art is a very visible and still thriving feature of the province. Wooden shrines mounted on the ground or hung on threes as well as wooden polls with shrines ( koplytstulpis) and wooden crosses are characteristic for this region. Samogitia is famous for its impressive landscapes and wooden architecture. Every parish has an old wooden church - a masterpieces of unknown village architects. Active tourism lovers can go canoeing and kayaking in one of many Samogitia's rivers.

The 21,700 - hectare National Park of Zemaitija established in the Samogitian hills and hollows. The park preserves and manages a part of the province which is of interest from a natural and cultural perspective. Centred on the heavily indented Lake Plateliai, one of the most beautiful stretches of water in Lithuania, it incorporate hills, woods and marshes in addition to  elds and meadows which are still farmed in the traditional manner. Among a truly diverse range of historic monuments are the remains of numerous prehistoric settlements and burial mounds, many early medieval fortress hills, wooden churches and one of the Soviet Union's main missile bases. More information: www. meja. lt www. zemaitijosnp. lt/ en PAGE 12 ZEMAITIJA NATIONAL PARK