Lithuania (/ˌlɪθjuˈeɪniə/ (About this soundlisten) LITH-ew-AY-nee-ə; Lithuanian: Lietuva [lʲɪɛtʊˈvɐ]), officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is one of the Baltic states. Situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the southeast of Sweden and Denmark, Lithuania is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2019. The capital and largest city is Vilnius and other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Balts. The official language, Lithuanian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family, the other being Latvian.
Vilnius (Lithuanian pronunciation: [ˈvʲɪlʲnʲʊs] (About this soundlisten), see also other names) is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of 587,581 as of 2019. The population of Vilnius’s functional urban area, which stretches beyond the city limits, is estimated at 706,832 (as of 2019), while according to the Vilnius territorial health insurance fund, there were 732,421 permanent inhabitants as of October 2020 in Vilnius city and Vilnius district municipalities combined. Vilnius is in southeastern Lithuania and is the second-largest city in the Baltic states. It is the seat of Lithuania’s national government and the Vilnius District Municipality.
Vilnius is classified as a Gamma global city according to GaWC studies, and is known for the architecture in its Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Before World War II, Vilnius was one of the largest Jewish centres in Europe. Its Jewish influence has led to its nickname “the Jerusalem of Lithuania”. Napoleon called it “the Jerusalem of the North” as he was passing through in 1812. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with Linz, Austria.