Plateliai – Soviet Nuclear Weapon Site
The Zemaitija National Park situated in the north west of Lithuania is famous for its hills, swampy hollows and crystal-clear lakes. But Plokstine forest in Zemaitija National Park hides a terrible secret. In one of the most beautiful place in the Plokstyne forest, the Soviet Nuclear Weapons' Site is located.
The lake Plateliai is one of the main attractions in the park. It is also the clearest, cleanest and the deepest lake with seven islands, each having its own legend. Lake has been recently researched by archaeologists. They found sunken hulks of wooden boats, a 16th century bridge and other items of historical interest. This has attracted scuba divers from all over the country who love to explore its depths.
The lake is surrounded by dense forests full of old oaks. These forests were used by Soviets during the Cold War to hide the first nuclear missile base of the Soviet Union. The Nuclear missiles were targeted towards the biggest European cities including Berlin, London, Madrid and Paris. The silos were excavated by hand by soldiers, who worked in three shifts. Soviet Nuclear Weapons Site was closed in 1979. Now this first Soviet underground launch site opens its grim corridors and tunnels for guided tours. The site brings back to life the realities of the Cold war period. It is possible to climb through the narrow hatch and see one of the silos. The 27 meters deep mine shaft and underground tunnels are really impressive. There you will also see some of the symbols of the Soviet Army.
The Zemaitija National Park is also famous for its cultural heritage. Old churches, homesteads, wooden chapels and crosses are a reminder of the local traditions, which are still alive today.