Location of Neringa municipality within Lithuania
|Ethnographic region||Lithuania Minor|
|• Mayor||Darius Jasaitis|
|• Ruling party||Coalition "For the Future of Neringa"|
|• Council size||21 members|
|• Total||90 km2 (30 sq mi)|
|Population (2001 census)|
|• Density||27/km2 (69/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||39-40th|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Neringa ( pronunciation (help·info)) or Neringa municipality (Lithuanian: Neringos savivaldybė) is a municipality of Klaipėda County in westernmost Lithuania, comprising several villages in the Curonian Spit. In terms of population, it is the smallest municipality of the county, though Neringa holds the status of a city (miestas).
The name of the city is relatively new and is not found in old scriptures in this form. The name is derived from a German word Neringe, Nerunge, Nehrung which itself is a derivative of a curonian word nerija meaning a long peninsular spit.
Until the 2010 Lithuanian municipality reform, it was known as Neringa City, although there was never a true "city" there. It was made a city only because within the Soviet administrative system it was not possible to carve such small districts, but it was possible to grant rights to a city that it would only be responsible to the state itself rather than districts.
The villages in Neringa municipality comprise:
- the self-governing resort town (kurortas) of Nida, seat of the local administration
- the eldership (seniūnija) of Juodkrantė
- the eldership of Preila and Pervalka.
They are tourist resorts and by then it was popular to grant more self-government to resorts. The municipality is the only one in Lithuania which is not called after a town or city. The name Neringa was created at Soviet time for the new city municipality.
Neringa belonged to the former south-curonian landscapes Pilsaten and Lamotina.
Since 1252 the region was under the rule of various German governments, starting with the Teutonic Knights and later Prussia and Germany. Already in 1569 a "confusion of languages" was noticed: German, Lithuanian, Latvian-Curonian (Nehrungs-Kurisch) and Prussian. Nehrungs-kurisch was the language of the fishers.
The colours of the typical houses are handed down from the pagan religion and symbolize Divinities: Earth (brown), Sky and Water (blue), Clouds and Spray (white). At the top two crossed "zirgs" (horse heads).
The census of 1897 showed that about 60% used the Curonian language, on sea even 65%. In 1923, when sovereignty over the spit came to Lithuania, the inhabitants had problems with their nationality. Only few opted for Lithuania, many emigrated to Germany and others stayed as German "resident foreigners" in their villages. The result of the census of 1956: 59% Lithuanians, 21% Russians and only 15% (22 families) of the autochtone inhabitants.
Coat of arms
- Arūnė Arbušauskaitė. Einige Aspekte der nationalen Selbsteinschätzung bei der altansässigen Bevölkerung der Kurischen Nehrung nach 1945, in Annaberger Annalen 1994 (German)
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Neringa.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neringa.|
- http://www.memelland-adm.de/kurenwimpel.html (German)
- de:Kurenwimpel (German)
- Annaberger Annalen (German)
- Neringa on Litauen Netz (German)
- Neringa.tel - Mobile directory with basic information about Neringa (English)