CULTURE / Famous people





Relation with the Curonian Spit

Babickas, Petras


One of the leading photographers of pre-war Lithuania who initiated photojournalism.

Spent some years in Nida, published the books of essay Amber Coast(1932, 1938, 1958) and Lagoon Tales(1933) devoted to littoral topic and illustrated with photos. In 1932, organized the first personal photo exhibition in Lithuania with a number of Curonian Spit images. 

Becker, Moritz

Danzig merchant

In the middle of the 19th century (1960-1890) was a co-owner of Juodkrantė amber mines, when the famous amber treasure of Juodkrantė was discovered at that time. Considerably contributed to Juodkrantė infrastructure improvement: allocated funds to the church, steamboat quay and etc. At that time the amber mine became one of the biggest companies of East Prussia.

Beerbohm, Ernst Wilhelm (1786-1865)

Klaipėdas burgomaster, a conservator of traditions, a collector of Lithuania Minor folklore, senior fisheries inspector in East Prussia. Lived in Muižė village (near Ventė)

 The description of Nida archaeological discoveries presented by him in 1833 is considered the oldest one so far. In 1932, he explored the findings near Nida calling them a "pagan cemetery". Everything he had viewed was published in his article in 1833.

He wrote a poem about Karvaičiai village fatality The Last Tree in Karvaičiai(1835m.).

Behrendt, Erich


In 1918-1924, studied under tutelage of A.Degner and R.Pfeiffer at Königsberg Art Academy.  Worked as illustrator.

Visited Nida in 1924-1939.

Behrendt, Fritz


Studied at Königsberg Art Academy. 

Visited Nida in 1905.

Behrendt, G.


Urged the German Government to protect the Curonian Spit against sand drift, and published articles thereof in 1869.

Bezzenberger Adalbert (1851-1922)

Professor and thrice rector at the University of Königsberg, famous German linguist, archaeologist, ethnographer,  historian. One of founders of Baltic linguistics.

He had great prestige within Lithuania Major as well. In 1907, became a member of the Lithuanian Scientific Society, and was appointed as professor of honour just after the establishment of the University of Lithuania.

In 1880, came to the Curonian Spit for the first time, and in 1904, bought a summer house called Fünflenen. His last visit was in the summer of 1922.

He carried out many archaeological investigations in the Curonian Spit and thereby issued valuable publications.

Wrote a book Kurische Nehrung und ihre Bewohner(1889), which still remains scientifically relevant.

Biörns Soren


Danish scientist originated from Hadersleben, published a memorandum How to Protect the Spit against Sand Drifting by Dune Arrangement and Planting.

Elaborated a project for the formation of protective dune ridge of the Curonian Spit and launched the project. In 1802, personally inspected the Curonian Spit dunes and started the reinforcement of sands between Crantz and Šarkuva. In the early 19th century brought from Denmark the sprouts of mountain pine designated for dune reinforcement.

Birnstegel, Richard Theodor (1887-1968)

Painter. Portrayed fishermen's women. Studied at Dresden Academy

Painted in Nida for several summer months annually 1930-1944. In 1939, arranged own house-studio near T.Mann house.

Bischof, Eduard


Studied at Königsberg Art Academy, and worked in it in 1936-1944.

Famous paintings Nidden Church, Coast in Winter at Pilkopa. From 1919 to 1944 regularly visited Nida, and especially Pilkopa, where he had a house.

Bischoff-Culm, Ernst


Studied at Königsberg Art Academy.

For the first time arrived in the Curonian Spit in 1888, regular visitor since 1890, used to invite friends and students here. Since 1901 his paintings on the Curonian Spit theme were on the exhibition in Königsberg. Significantly contributed to the formation of cultural oasis in Nida. Nature and residents of Nida were reflected in his art. Local colouring is reflected by such paintings as  Returning from Work, On the Way to the Church, where ethnographic types are highlighted.

Blode Hermann

Hotel owner, patron of the arts in the late 19th - early 20th centuries.

A hotel opened in Nida as of 1867 turned into the colony of artists who were sponsored by Blode.

Borschke, Hans Beppo


Studied at Karlsruhe Academy and Munich Academy.

Visited Nida in 1910-1914.

Von Brockhusen, Theo


Studied at Königsberg Art Academy

Stayed in Nida during travellings. 

Bromm, Heinrich


Studied at Königsberg Academy.

Visited Nida together with Eduard Bischoff in 1936-1939. Famous Nida-related paintings (eg. "At Lagoon Coast")

Buchholtz, Hans


Expressed admiration for the Curonian Spit beauty in his book "In The Charms of The Curonian Spit".

Burmann, Fritz


Professor of Königsberg Art Academy.

Visited Nida in the inter-war period. Painting " Fisherman's Wife"

Ziegler, Carl Eduard

Graduate of the faculty of Theology at Königsberg University, active figure of social and cultural life in Lithuania Minor. Co-founder of Lithuanian Literature Society in Tilsit. The society - interested in Lithuanian language and culture development in East Prussia - was active in 1879-1923; it also provided assistance to famous German linguist, professor of Königsberg University H.F.Nesselmann in creation of Lithuanian dictionary.

In 1828-1832  worked at Juodkrantė church.

Corinth, Lovis (1858-1925)

Famous German impressionist, who later turned into expressionism.   Studied at Königsberg Academy, in Munich, Paris.

Visited the Curonian Spit for three times during the last decade of the 19th century. Well-know painting Fishermen Cemetery in Nida(1893)

Daujotas, Marijonas Doviata


One of the famous Lithuanian experts in the field of reinforcement of drifting coastal sands and shifting dunes as well as planting and forestation.  Was the first in the forestry of Lithuania to establish the original elements of land reclamation science. Published over 60 articles, and the books "Willow Plantations and "Planting of Lithuanian Coastal Sand Dunes".

Managed the arrangement and replanting of the Curonian Spit dunes and plantations that had been damaged after the Second World War. Significantly contributed to investigation and elaboration of instruments for the reinforcement of shifting dunes and regeneration of arboretum.  Thousand hectares of pine forests were set out in light sandy soils and denuded hills based on afforestation principles created by him.

Degner Arthur (1888-1972)

Professor at Königsberg Art Academy (1920-1924), professor at Berlin Academy of Fine Arts (1945-1956)

Nida-related paintings to mention: "Top Dune", "In Dunes". Visited Nida during his years of studies.

Diderot, Denis


French playwright, encyclopedist.

In 1773, travelled via the Curonian Spit and described his impressions in the satire poem "Road from Königsberg to Memel".

Domšaitis Pranas, (Domscheit, Franz)


Lithuanian-born painter, studied at Königsberg Academy.

In 1914-1918 used to visit Nida, worked together with Degner, Rösler and others.

Epha, Franz Wilhelm


Since 1864 served as a dune inspector and resort commissioner in Cranz (currently Zelenogradsk), since 1877 lived in Rasytė (currently Rybachy).

Serving as a manager of dune stabilization and forestation works he gained his fame as the "conqueror of the Spit".

Freud, Sigmund

(1856 1939)

Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis.

Spent his summer holidays in the Curonian Spit and stayed at Blode Hotel.

Eulenstein, Karl


Native of Klaipėda, his paintings were strongly influenced by expressionism

Painted in Nida in the inter-war period.

Friedrich Wilhelm I (reigned 1713-1740)

Prussian Monarch 

In 1718. returned to Berlin via the Curonian Spit from St. Petersburg after visiting Russian czar Peter the Great.

Gawel, Oskar



Painted in Nida in the third decade of the 20th century.


19th century forester, worked in the Curonian Spit.

In 1875-1885, managed the planting works of Urbas and Angių dunes.

Glagau, Otto

German journalist

In 1867, travelled through East Prussia and the Curonian Spit. He wrote and published his travel impressions. 

Grigelaitis, Klimkus


Carpenter, one of the most active gospelers of Lithuania Minor.

Took part in building works of Juodkrantė church at the end of 18th century.

Hagen, Liudwig

Dune planting manager in the late 19th century.

Managed dune stabilization and planting works at Smiltynė and Kopgalis.

Heise, Wilhelm


German artist, studied in Wiemar, Munich. Professor of Graphic Arts at Königsberg Academy in 1937-1943.

In Nida revealed himself as a painter, graphic artist and photographer.

Heymann, Walter


German poet.

Frequently visitor of Blode Hotel in Nida at the beginning of the 20th century.  A selection of poems "Nehrungsbilder" was published in Königsberg  in 1909.

Hofmann, E.T.A.


German writer, composer, painter.

Visited Rasytė and his impressions portrayed in the stories, in his novel "Das Majorat" in particular.

Hollack, Emil


Teacher, was appointed to the Curonian Spit by Prussia Society. Issued an archaeological map of East Prussia with comprehensive descriptions and literature references on each artifact. 

In 1894, provided pilot research in a "settlement of four hills" and comprehensively described this site (the fifth hill was found), elaborated a site plan with a cartographer. Worked in the Curonian Spit in years 1895, 1898.

Von Humboldt, Alexander (1769-1859)


Famous naturalist, explorer, prominent geographer.  His expeditions in South, Central and North America, European part of Russia, the Urals, Central Asia had significant educational and scientific value.

Traveled around the Curonian Spit in April 1829.  Was forced to stay in Smiltynė for several days because could not ferry to Klaipėda due to tide and ice floats. While waiting for ferrying A.Humboldt together with his escort members carried out the measurements of tide flow-rate at Klaipėda Strait, and determined the inclination and declination of magnetic needle.

Von Humboldt, Wilhelm (1767-1835)

Worked in the field of linguistics, literature criticism and politics.

As a head of the section for ecclesiastic affairs and education in the Ministry of The Interior he traveled via the Curonian Spit on his business trip around East Prussia in April - November 1809. He wrote to his wife[1] .

Humperding, Engelbert (1854-1921)

German romantic composer

Best known for his opera "Hansel and Gretel" based on the Grimm brothers' fairy tale, a part of which was created by him staying at Blode Hotel in the late 19th century.

Isenfeld, Paul

German photographer, painter in the early 20th century.

Owned a house in Nida. During the inter-war period issued the postcards with the pictures of the Curonian Spit nature, landscape and household images.

Kallmeyer, Hans Julius Bernhard


Was named as "a painter of moose" Painted the reminiscence pictures after the World War II.

Visited Nida since 1905, from 1911 to 1944. Studied the wildlife. Worked as a painter and photographer.

Keyser, Charlotte


Famous German writer was born in Rusnė, was also involved in painting.

Visited the Curonian Spit.

Knauf, Karl


Painter from North Rhine-Westphalia

Founded his art studio in Nida about 1930. This was his first art studio. 

Knorr Georg


Professor of Painting and Model Class at Königsberg Art Academy.

After retirement came to Nida and started painting landscapes although was committed to genre painting.

Krauze, Gerchardt

19th century forester

Managed dune planting works in the Curonian Spit

Krüger Heinrich


Was named as "a painter of horses and moose", famous for his songs and poems.

One of the first to discover a picturesque beauty of the Curonian Spit (since 1880). Died in Rasytė (now Rybachy).

Kudnig, Fritz


Served as a judicial officer (Justizbeamter) since 1924, later on became a writer (wrote short stories, poems)

Born in Königsberg, used to spent his summertime in the Curonian Spit. He was highly influenced by the atmosphere of Nida Art Colony. Used to organize cultural evenings in Juodkrantė and Nida, published a book devoted to the Curonian Das Wunder am Meer.

Von Kunz, Karl


Painter, studied in Danzig. 

Visited Nida in 1930-1914. His watercolors created in Nida in 1943 were issued as postcards.

Kuwert, Georg Dawid

(1787- 1856)

The owner of a post station in Nida, he left the Curonian Spit in 1828.

Assisted his father Gotlieb David Kuwert in reforestation of dunes in Nida surroundings. Planted lyme grass (Elymus arenarius) at the seashore. Received no support from the state authorities.

Kuwert, Gotlieb Dawid (1748-1827)

The owner of a post station in Nida

 In 1825, launched the dune reinforcement works at Nida, partially restored the surrounding forests.

Kwauka Paul (Kvauka, Paulius)


 A member of the separatist movement of Memel Territory, collected relevant material for Curonian dialect dictionary Kurisches Worterbuch, worked at Memeler Dampfbootas a reporter, graduated from Klaipėda Triennial Teacher Training School, was a teacher in Klaipėda.

Took an interest in Lithuanian culture of the Baltic region.

From the 3rd decade of the 20th century executed a fieldwork on fisherman household and art in the Curonian Spit settlements, he left many drawings/layouts and descriptions of fisherman household, collected material for the Curonian dialect dictionary Kurisches Worterbuch(published in 1977, prepared by R.Pietsch). Residing in Germany after the WW II he cooperated with the residents of the Curonian Spit - fishermen, foresters.

Von Lilienthal, Samuel Jochann

Construction Inspector of Klaipėda seaport at the end of the 18th century.

Launched the plantation works of Kopgalis


Queen of Prussia

In January 1807. traveled via the Curonian Spit to Klaipėda, and stayed at Nida Post Station.

Mager F.


In the early 20th century explored the Curonian Spit flora (his study Die Landschaftsentwicklung der Kurischen Nehrung(1938), wrote about the history of the Curonian Spit.

Mann, Thomas


Famous German writer of the first half of the 20th century, Nobel Prize Winner (for his novel Die Beddenbrooksin 1929)

Visited Nida for the first time in August 24, 1929. Mann had a summerhouse built on the Uošvės (eng. Mother-in-Law) Hill where he spent the summers of 19301932 working on his novel "Joseph and His Brothers".

Markelis, V. (??)

During the inter-war worked as an inspector at Dune Inspectorate under Klaipėda Port Council.

Managed dune stabilization and planting works at the Curonian Spit. Significantly contributed to the arrangement of Smiltynė resort: laying littoral pathways, planting ornamental trees and bushes as well as seaside handling. 

Mertikaitis, Kristijonas Henrichas


Religious figure and preacher, writer of psalms.  In 1800, issued a popular psalm book New Psalms and Gospel Songs, translated several religious books into Lithuanian.

Native of Nida.

Miegel, Agnes


German poetess, journalist, winner of Herder Prize and Goethe Prize In 1924 was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Königsberg.

In the early 20th century used to spend her holidays in Nida and to stay at Blode Hotel; wrote some poems about the Curonian Spit, her famous poem - Frauen von Nidden.

Mollenhauer, Ernst


Painter, graduated from Königsberg Art Academy. Established a H. Blode Scholarship for students of Königsberg Art Academy providing them with an opportunity to work for a while in Nida.

Visited Nida for the first time before 1914. In 1920 married Blode's daughter Hedwige and took over the hotel after the owner's death. Lived in Nida 1923-1945. Painted Nida's landscapes in an expressionist manner.


Chief Forester of Königsberg in the 19th century.

Managed dune planting works in the Curonian Spit, executed dune reinforcement works at Rasytė (now Rybachy)

Partikel, Alfred


Professor of Königsberg Art Academy.

Painted in Nida 1929-1914.

Passarge, Liudwig


Writer, translator of K. Donelaitis writings.

His traveling impressions described in Journey through the Curonian Spit in 1868.

Palucca, Greta


Famous dancer and dance teacher from Berlin.

Used to visit Nida in the first half of the 20th century.

Paul K. H.


In the early 20th century explored the Curonian Spit flora and wrote Morfologia und Vegetation der Kurischen Nehrung(1994).

Pechstein, Max


German expressionist painter, a member of BrückeGroup. In 1923, became a professor of Berlin Art Academy, however dismissed by the Nazis in 1933, as they called modern art a perversion created by sick minds, and prohibited the modernists from painting.

Visited Nida in 1909, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1920, 1929, and used to stay at Blode Hotel, except for the first year. Painted the coastline with fishing boats. Famous Nida-related paintings Green House(a house in Nida), Blue Day, Beach at Nidden, Nidden Lighthouse.

Pipiras, Jonas


Linguist of Lithuania Minor 

1861-1963 served at Nida church as a pastor. He was a teacher at Nida School in 1863.

Plangger-Popp, Lisellote



Illustrated H.G.Buchholz Im Zauberder Kurischen Nehrungand A.Miegels Frauen von Nidden.

Pronskus, Juozas


Journalist, writer, public figure

Wrote a book Lithuanian Sahara. Nature and People of Neringa(1923, 1937), sought for incorporation of Lithuania Minor into Lithuania Major.

Rasler, Woldemar


Studied at Königsberg Art Academy

Visited Nida

Reichardt, Johann Friedrich 

German composer from Königsberg

Traveled via the Curonian Spit in 1763. Traveling impressions reflected in his music, creating witches scenes, based on Shakespeare's "Macbeth".

Rėza, Liudvikas


Scientist, folklorist, poet,

Published K. Donelaitis' "The Year in Four Cantos" (Das Jahr in vier Gesängen) and tales.

The above publication was his significant contribution to Lithuanian literature. Thanks to him we got acquainted with this great poet. Perhaps a songbook could be called Rėza's major work. According to folk song popularizer, songs are "an archive of nation, treasury of ancestors' crusades and their historical events, reflection of their hearts, picture of their joy and pain". The songs collected by L.Rėza are still being performed at concerts and song contests as well as broadcasted on TV and radio.

He was born in Karvaičiai village which later appeared to be sand-buried. Once having returned to his native place he found a sandy area instead of his village that inspired him to write a poem "Faded Away Village".

Rimantienė, Rimutė


Carried out archaeological explorations in the Curonian Spit in the late 20th century (1974-1978 excavated  "Five Knolls" settlement of Nida), published her research materials in several books (Nida: The Settlement of The Ancient Balts(1989), The Curonian Spit from Archeologist's Perspective(1999).

Rozenvalis P.

Russian explorer

Traveled via the Curonian Spit in 1814; described his traveling impressions in writings.

Sartre Jean-Paul Charles Aymard  (1905-1980)

Playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. One of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism. 

Visited the Curonian Spit together with Simone de Beauvoir in 1965. They were accompanied by  E. Mieželaitis, M. Sluckis, and A. Sutkus. Visited the burial place of French prisoners of war in Nida dunes. They were just mesmerized by surrounding nature. "It feels like Im at the entrance to paradise," said the writer standing on the dunes, and afterwards added: "This is the first time I have walked with clouds under my feet!"

This trip to Lithuanian seacoast was memorized by A. Sutkus in the famous photograph "Sartre struggling with the wind in the Curonian Spit". The French sculptress Roseline Granet made a bronze figure of Jean-Paul Sartre based on the above mentioned photograph. It stands in the courtyard of the French National Library in Paris

Schiefferdecker, Paul

Member of the Nature and Economy Society established in Königsberg in 1790.

In 1870 and 1871 was delegated by the Society to the Curonian Spit for archaeological research. He named Nida settlement after "Four Knolls". Explored the territory northwards from Nida but did not reach Juodkrantė.


Technician of sand dunes maintenance in the Curonian Spit in the 19th century.

He considered to be the second pioneer of formation of protective dune ridge. By means of vegetation and mechanical reinforcement he managed to form the protective dune ridge even higher than the one that was formed at the beginning of the 19th century.

Schmidt-Rottluff, Karl (1884-1976)

Painter, expressionist. The honours bestowed on Schmidt-Rottluff after World War I, as Expressionism was officially recognized in Germany, were taken away from him after the rise to power of the Nazis. He was expelled from the Prussian Academy of Arts in 1933. In 1937, his paintings were seized from museums by the Nazis and several of them shown in exhibitions of "degenerate art" ("Entartete Kunst"). 

He stayed in Nida and worked intensively in 1913. Famous paintings: Fishing Boats at the Backwater, Summer, Landscape with Lighthouse, etc.

Schulz, Ferdinand


Worked at Nida Gliding School

Schumann, Julij


Explored the Curonian Spit in 1860. Findings between 24,8 and 26,2 km graveyards, fragments of stones and pots - belonged to Old Nagliai settlement.

Schwarz, Christopher Ernst

Pastor of Evangelic Lutheran church

In 1782-1786, served at Karvaičiai church. The fight of Karvaičiai residents with sand storms was witnessed in his written notes found. Died in 1786, and it is said he was buried in the same sand hill which had buried Karvaičiai church. 


Inspector of Dunes in the Curonian Spit in the 20 century

He arranged Rasytė's plantation of 9.5 km length thereby protecting the village. Applied lyme grass to stabilize the drifting dunes.

Sielloff, Werner


Studied at Königsberg Art Academy in 1920-1924.

Visited Nida in the inter-war period, created the Curonian Spit related paintings.

Siemering Julius (1837-1908)

Professor of Königsberg Art Academy, landscape painter

One of the first painters to come to the Curonian Spit for painting purposes. Famous by Nida panoramic view painted in 1880.

Sohl, Willi (1906-1969)

Painter, was interested in art history and archeology.

In 1937, worked intensively in Nida, and painted many watercolors portraying local residents.

Stantien, Wilhelm

Miller and ship owner

In the middle of the 19th century (1960-1890) was a co-owner of Juodkrantė amber mines, when the famous amber treasure of Juodkrantė was discovered at that time. Considerably contributed to Juodkrantė infrastructure improvement: allocated funds to the church, steamboat quay and etc. At that time the amber mine became one of the biggest companies of East Prussia.

Stellmacher, Eduard

Hotel owner from Tilsit (now Sovietsk)

Initiator of resort activities in Juodkrantė. He bought an old inn and rearranged it by constructing a hotel Kurischer Hof. In 1881, he established Juodkrantė Resort Committee which was reformed into Resort Association in the early 20th century. His son Luis took care of construction of SPA complex with hydrotherapy and mud baths.

Sudermann, Hermann (1857-1928)

German playwright and novelist, described common life and existence of people of Klaipėda Region.

Visited Nida, stayed at Blode Hotel

Thienemann, Johannes (1863-1938)

Ornithologist.  Issued over 50 scientific research books about birdwatching and bird banding. Wrote a book of memories.

In 1901, established a bird banding station - one of the first in the Europe.

Tischler, Otto

Was delegated by the Museum of Province

In 1874-1876 and 1878, passed all the way through the Curonian Spit and made records of 100 nest pots in the map scale 1:25000.

Wiechert, Ernst


German writer, popular in his time, to be mentioned among the representatives of German positive humanism such as T. Mann, H. Hesse. His texts translated in 20 languages.

Became interested in Nida due to Nida Art Colony. Spent several summers in Nida, used to stay at Blode Hotel, wrote short stories. The Curonian Spit motives were widely reflected in his writings.

Wilkė Christoph Gottlieb 

Translated from German language the theological works by D.Weiss, where readers could find Luther's Small Catechism and other religious texts. Published in Königsberg in 1832.

In 1800-1812 was a pastor of Juodkrantė church.

Zennfleben H.


Managed dune planting works in the Curonian Spit

Ziegler, Karl Eduard


One of the founders of the Lithuanian Literature Society which was interested in the fate of Lithuanian language and literature in East Prussia, he contributed to G.H.F.Nesselmann's Lithuanian Dictionary which became a source of Baltic studies and comparative linguistics

Worked at Juodkrantė church

Zudnochovijus, David Gottfried,


Pastor of Evangelic Lutheran church, who wrote a popular Lithuanian prayer-book. He was from Jociščkiai Manor (near Kintai).

In 1764-1781, served at Karvaičiai church, his reports to the authorities reflected the efforts of locals to resist the sand storms. Buried (at his testamentary request) in Nida cemetery in 1781. One of the few pastors who worked here for several decades accepting the challenge of harsh conditions.

Žmuidzinavičius, Antanas (1876-196)

Lithuanian painter (2000 paintings), art collector and public figure. In 1965, the Devils' Museum in Kaunas was established on the basis of his collection of devils. 

During the inter-war period visited the Curonian Spit.

[1]The past few days of my journey have been really pleasant. Three days-  continuously along the coastline. The Curonian Spit is so specific that one must necessarily see it in the same way as Spain or Italy in order to hold down this wonderful view in one's soul.  A narrow strip of sand with continuously wrathful sea on one side and calm and broad waters - the lagoon - on the other side. Mounds of eerie sand, horrible and saddest pine-trees as the eye could see growing out of pure sand without any trace of grass, being alive by nothing but air; silence and wasteland, even wild birds, which could drown the noise of waves out, do not show up, except for some standalone seagulls gliding over the shore.

Once in a while a tidy oasis comes in view as in Bayonne at the Bay of Biscay - if you still remember - exuberant meadows, pastures, beautiful trees, cosy village.

I was riding with one wheel in the water for almost 24 hours all day long and moonlight night. The sea was waving so strongly even without a storm. Sometimes it can be so uproarious. Recently one traveler got his carriage's roof torn by the sea waves. /W.Humboldt's Letter to his wife 10 Oct 1809/



Events calendar
1. Is there any rules for visiting the Kursiu nerija national park?

Take the attention when visiting Kuršių nerija national park