Description of activities
The Curonian Spit History Museum is in the northern part of the town of Nida, close to the Thomas Mann Memorial Museum.
opened in the building of the disused Evangelical Lutheran church on 16 September 1969. Its exhibition, however, being restricted by ideology of the times, did not highlight important aspects of the history of the Curonian Spit.
The fortunes of the museum were rather involved: the exhibition was dismantled after the return of the church to the religious congregation in 1989. The next phase in its story was also marked by transience: an exhibition of crafts by inhabitants of the Curonian Spit was shown in rented premises between 1995 and 2002. In 2002, the museum moved to a modern building. The new exhibition shows the traditions, crafts and trades of the people of the Curonian Spit (model boats, fishing tools, hunting crows for food). A mannequin demonstrating one fishing technique, bumbinimas (fishing on the ice by rousing or shooing away fish), is especially interesting. Unique Stone Age finds form a valuable part of the exhibition, including a part of a wooden boat, pottery and stone axes, discovered during archaeological excavations in Nida in 1974 – 1978.
A highlight of the exhibition is the history of the Nida post station, and a facsimile of the licence issued to its proprietor Friedrich Casimir Kuwert in 1785 to brew beer in his coaching inn, showing how Nida flourished before 1833 when members of Europe’s high society passed through, including King Frederick William III and Queen Louise of Prussia, and the French philosopher Denis Diderot. Documents, photographs and maps tell visitors about the post road which ran along the Curonian Spit from the mid-17th century to 1833.