The view point on the top of Parnidis Dune is one of the most popular sights in vicinity of Nida. A solar clock was built on the site in 1995 by architect R. Kristapavicius, sculptor K. Pudymas and astronomer R.Klimka. This place was chosen as The Curonian Spit is the only place in Lithuania where sun rises and sets in the water. The original clock finger was 12 m in height (2 m under the ground) and weighted 200 tons. On the 4th December 1999 hurricane “Anatoly” that devastated the Curonian Spit broke the marble slab but it was later repaired. On bottom half left, one can see signs and symbols of calendar celebrations, which were copied from the ancient wooden runes calendar.
Parnidis Landscape Reserve covers an area of 230 ha consisting of Parnidis Horn, the coastal and the lagoonal sand plains and the remnants area. The reserve is a buffering zone for the Grobstas Strict Nature Reserve from the Nida settlement. It features landscapes of great aesthetic value. Especially exposed is the dune ridge, which is covered with mountain pine on the northern end and moving sand in the south. This is the only place in the national park where drifting dunes remain. Drifting dunes are very sensitive to any disturbance brought by visitors. According to the scientific estimations, each person climbing or sliding down the steep slope pushes down several tons of sand. Due to humans and the wind, the most beautiful dunes in the spit every year get lower and lower. Staff of the national park keeps trying to preserve sand dunes. They mark out separate areas on the Parnidis Dune slope, where visitors aren’t allowed to go.
At the foot of Parnidis Dune on the northern side lies the Valley of Silence. It is a peaceful place surrounded by dunes. On the southern part of the reserve lies the Valley of the Death. In 1870-1872 there was a camp for war prisoners. French solders captured by Germans lived there. Mostly they served to plant forests on dunes. Living conditions in the camp were very poor and many prisoners died.
Parnidis Landscape Reserve, also includes the site of a former Airclub Gliding School. It was established in 1933 and closed in 1939, when Germany occupied Klaipeda region. Between 1939 and 1943 it had been used as a school by WWII German military airforce. Nowadays only foundations are left there. A forest grows in the place which the airport once stood. The symbolic hangar arch and memorial stone built in 1979 remind visitors of the former gliding school.
The following rare species can be found in the Parnidis Landscape Reserve: Seaside Centaury (Centaurium littorale), Sea-holly (Eryngium maritimum) and Dark-red Heleborine (Epipactis atrorubens Bessertas). These rare plants, also the tawny pipit (Anthus campestris), which nests here. This is an area of fragile nature. The southern end of the peninsula forms part of the Lithuanian border with Kaliningrad region of Russia.
Directorate Of The National Park Of The Curonian Spit
NIDA CULTURE AND TOURISM INFORMATION CENTER “AGILA”
Taikos str. 4, LT-93121, Neringa, Nida, Lithuania
Lithuania Tourism www.lithuania.travel
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