The Lithuanian Maritime Museum is located at the end of the 98 km long Curonian Spit Peninsula, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, shared by Lithuania and Russia, of which the detached city and oblast of Kaliningrad (Kőnigberg) are part. The museum occupies the Nerija Fort, built in nineteenth century to protect the approaches to the seaport of Klaipēda. The fortress was largely destroyed in the Second World War but was restored for museum use in 1979.
Displays in the fortress illustrate the history of Lithuanian shipping, and the nature of the sea, focussing particularly on the achievement of human harmony with the sea. The historical sections, indoor and extending over 13 ha outdoors, display large items including anchors, cannon used in the fortress and on ships. The largest items are three trawlers of the Soviet era. There is also a small restored fishing village. The natural history sections feature Baltic seals and sea lions, shellfish and sea birds, and the museum’s dolphinarium is perhaps its most popular feature.