CULTURE / Settlements / Resorts

The 19th - the 20th century is the period of a fishing village transition into a resort. This period brought trendy fashion, entertainment, and above all a new architectural style and resort infrastructure in the Curonian Spit. Hotel, guest house and villa building boom took place in Juodkrantė as follows:  Villa Flora(1863), Kurischen Hofs(1865), Hotel May(1879), Villa Monbijau(1881), Villa Jenny(1881), Villa Diana, (1883 ), Vila Elisabeth(1883 ) and others. A prominent modern feature of a resort - SPA complex "Luisenbad" of fancy architecture with hydrotherapy, carbonic acid gas and mud baths - was built in 1905, and became a hallmark of Juodkrantė.

During the health resort lifetime the forests around the settlement were managed following the nature park handling principles, littoral paths and beaches were arranged. The settlement along with ambient environment has formed significant complexes of nature, culture and recreation which witness historical adaptability of the settlements to the environment. Juodkrantė was so popular that even eight steamboats used to moor there on particular weekdays in 1913. 

The advantages of Juodkrantė as a resort were promoted in press media. In 1903, Eugene Lotto, a pastor of Juodkrantė Lutheran Church, published "Juodkrantė Guidebook" where comprehensively described Juodkrantė of that time, highlighted its specifics of being one of the most popular resorts of the Baltic Coast, provided a brief review of lifestyle till the 20th century. Later the information on the resort qualities appeared in other publications. In a booklet as of 1939 Juodkrantė was named a pearl of Lithuanian Riviera by a painter from Klaipėda A. Brakas. He wrote that Juodkrantė perfectly combined mysterious beauty of nature with the comfort of civilization.  

The rapid growth of central part of Juodkrantė is evident in the early 20th century. It became the key area of traditional fishery and the largest settlement of the Curonian Spit. In the 2nd - 3rd decades there were forest ranger stations, fishery supervision, municipal and postal authorities, sea rescue services and weather reporting stations, border police station, elementary school, Evangelic Lutheran church and electric power station. The settlement was famous for mineral baths with its 15 summer houses (hotels) and about 4000 summer visitors annually. 

Juodkrantė seriously suffered in the end of the World War II. Devastation of abandoned, ruined, ownerless villas lasted for a few more decades. Nevertheless, the reflections of former East Prussia resort can be seen so far in the settlement arrangement as well as unique urban design and architecture fragmentarily preserved.

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6. Where can we order excursion in Kursiu nerija national park?

You can order guides in Visitors centres. Service charges provided by national park administration