Smiltynė aprašymas ir istorija

History Smiltyne

(former Sandkrug)
This village was set up on the transit road between Karaliaucius (Konighsberg) and Klaipeda. The settlement was called Sandberg, which in German means sand hill. It was mentioned for the first time in 1429. Travellers, postmen, dispatch riders and militaries were staying there waiting for the ferry during storms and ice floating, which took days or even weeks. There was an inn, which provided rooms to stay. As the flow of travellers grew, the importance of this place grew allso. In the 16th century it was renamed Sandkrug (sand inn). By this name it was known until 1945.

The Swedish cavalry burned the inn down in 1629. It was rebuilt in 1696 by the order of the Curonian commandant. The new building suffered from the Russian occupation between 1757 and 1763. The new owner rebuilt the inn again in 1764, but soon it was threatened by sand. It was moved to the new place in 1782 and 1786 but sand continued attacking and almost buried it in 18800. The innkeeper Drake moved it one more time in 1804. Fire destroyed the inn in 1837. The plot was changing owners until 1862, when Klaipeda City bought it together with Sandkrug and its vicinity.

The recreational development of Smiltyne started in 1900, when a gu

uesthouse (kurhauz) was built. Open-air cafes and pavilions were established next to it. Wealthy Klaipeda citizens built their cottages. State clerks and business people with their families were staying there. On dunes near the sea was a large restaurant that had traditional folk design. It operated until World War II.
From 1903 until 1945 Smiltyne was administrated as a part of Kopgalis district. Many cottages were deserted after the war. Foresters’ and seaport workers’ families moved into others. At present Smiltyne remains as a part of the Klaipeda City. About 100 residents live there today.

Kopgalis (former Suderspitze)
Kopgalis settlement appeared in 1795, next to the ballast-reloading site. Ballast was needed for empty sailing ships to keep stability in a stormy sea. The local government put much efffort into keeping permanent dwellers there in order to take care of hydrotechnical equipment (breakwater, bunes and loading grounds), necessary to improve ballast reloading work and to fight the sand invasion. The warder’s hut was mentioned in 1805. Rigorous living conditions scared people and nobody stayed for a longer time. The first permanent residents in Kopgalis settled just after the Prussian government provided them with many privileges. Seven huts stood there in 1821. Those who lived there worked at the ballast reload, st

trengthened and turfed shores, fishing and growing potatoes. Most of them came from the suburb of Klaipeda called Bomelsvite. New dwellers kept their relationships with this part of Klaipeda until 1944. Kopgalis was devastated by the storm in 1829, when the raised water in the lagoon washed away farmsteads, broke sand barriers and destroyed alder plantations. After this, in 1831, people in Kopgalis moved away from the lagoon. The number of farmsteads and residents changed inconsistently: 70 inhabitants were recorded in 1902, 113 – in 1905, 21 – in 1926 and 17 – in 1940. Families of military officers, state clerks and civil servants moved in from the sixties of the 19th century. Barracks for workers were constructed next to Kopgalis. The lazaret and quarantine were established nearby in 1887. It was a place where sailors and passengers with infectious illnesses were cured. Later, the lazaret grew into Quarantine Station, which operated until World War II. The Fortress School was opened in 1879. In 1900 it was moved to the village. In the period from 1916 till 1925 children started attending schools in Klaipeda City. Near the village, the Neringa Fortress was built between 1865 and 1890.

Between 1903 and 1945, the Kopgalis district administrated three settlements: Kopgalis, Smiltyne and Meskadaube farmstead.

Kopgalis was the first recreational location in the spit. Men and wo

omen beaches opened in 1835. The coffee garden – restaurant owned by H. Zaborowsky was a famous place from the beginning of the 20th century until 1943. After World War II, mostly militaries, seaport workers and Electric Fishing Laboratory staff lived in Kopgalis. The border guard cordon was established there also. Strict security measures were implemented in Kopgalis vicinity. The settlement was treated as a part of Klaipeda City. The last hut of Kopgalis was demolished in 1978 and since then the village hasn’t existed as a separate settlement.

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