Klaipeda is a city full of legends, folklore, and tradition, which is displayed all throughout the city in sculptures. There are many “hidden” statues in random places, which are always fun to hunt for if you’re up for an adventure! Here are some of the sculptures I found, and a couple of the ones that I’m still looking for 😉 :
Taravos Anikė (Ann from Tharau)
This statue commemorates German poet Simon Dach, who wrote a famous poem called “Ann from Tharau”-about (you guessed it) a girl named Ann who he fell in love with. Although she was engaged to another man (!), he still wrote the poem, and her legacy still lives on today in the heart of Klaipeda’s Theater Square.
Slibinas (“The Serpent”)
This sculpture, depicting a connection between earth and sky, fire and water, is based off a legend of the origins of Klaipeda. According to the tale, two brothers diverged when searching for a suitable place to establish a city, and the one brother perished. In rememberance, the other brother founded the city in the place where he found him, and this statue commemorates his ‘mystical’ disappearance.
Stebuklingas Peliukas (“Magical Mouse”)
Only 17 cm tall, this little guy is hard to find, but is said to be magical. Local tales say that if you whisper a wish into the mouses ear, it will come true, as noted by its inscription–“Convert your ideas into words – words will become magic.”
Kaminkretys (“Chimney Sweep”)
It is common folklore that seeing a chimney sweep and touching one of his buttons would bring you good luck, and so this statue was built on the top of a building to pay tribute to this superstition. While it’s pretty much impossible to touch the statue (unless you were feeling incredibly rebellious), there is a button of the chimney sweep embedded inside the building that people will touch to bring them luck.
Katinas Džentelmeno Veidu (“Cat with the Face of a Gentleman”)
Another one of the alleged ‘magical’ inhabitants of Old Town, rubbing the tail of this cat while making a wish will make it come true.
Atidengta Undinėlės (“Little Mermaid”)
Donated to the city on January 15th of this year by the Klaipeda Maritime Academy, this mermaid represents Klaipeda’s connection to the sea. She is said to be the Baltic “sister” of other mermaid statues dotted throughout Europe. Her tail is made entirely out of the old Lithuanian currency, the lita (done away with in January as Lithuania joined the Euro Zone)-carrying little pieces of Lithuania’s history with her.
Juodasis Vaiduoklis (“Black Ghost”)
This…interesting…statue that looks like it is stepping out of the water is located right near Jonas Hill, which is a big hill that is the only remains of the German castle that once stood atop it. According to legend, this statue depicts a vision that castle guard Hans von Heidi saw in 1595 of a ghost. Not sure why they created a statue of it, but it nevertheless is a popular stop for tourists in Klaipeda.
Believe it or not, these are only a snippet of the many statues that are all over Klaipeda. If you know of more that I should be on the lookout for, feel free leave me a comment!