Vilnius

Vilnius is one of Europe's most beautiful cities and most popular city breaks destinations. The city was built at the confluence of the rivers Neris & Vilnia and is surrounded by picturesque woodlands and rolling hills. As well as being a place of natural beauty, it is also a city of great historical heritage and cultural diversity. The capital has been established since the 13th century and has many historical monuments, castles, royal palaces, churches and has the largest medieval Old Town in the Baltic States.

Best explored on foot the medieval parts of the city are more than just a museum, with a university campus, residential housing and lots of places to eat and drink.

Vilnius has adopted the old styles of the South and West European architecture and prides itself on its old town known as one of the largest (approximately 360 ha, more than 1500 buildings) and the most beautiful. The capital of Lithuania in the 14th through the 17th centuries and in particular Vilnius University established in 1579 represented a striking centre of western culture and education located furthest away in the East of Europe and propagating the western culture in the East

For many visitors the Gediminas Castle and the Cathedral Square are prime examples of this city's history and architecture as they are in the foreground of the Old Town. In reality they are only part of the story as behind these landmarks stands an intriguing Old Town which because of its uniqueness, has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Vilnius' business district is just across the river Neris. You can't miss the neon signs and the Europa Tower – the highest skyscraper in the Baltic States. To the east of the Old Town is the self-styled "Republic of Uzupis", the bohemian quarter officially twinned with Montmartre in Paris. Uzupis means "beyond the river". It declared independence from Lithuania in 1998 and now has its own constitution and president.

Vilnius is simultaneously very old and very modern, and thus simply charming. Go and discover your Vilnius, who can suit best to your taste and expectation.

10 things to see in Vilnius

Vilnius Cathedral

Vilnius Cathedral is Lithuania's spiritual and political centre. In 1387, on the occasion of the official conversion of the whole of Lithuania to Christianity, a gothic style cathedral was built. After the last reconstruction the church acquired the strict quadrangular shape favoured by French classicism. Now, a tall portico with 6 Doric columns and sculptures which stand in the niches, decorate the main facade of the Cathedral. The interior of the Cathedral is also very rich: there are more than 40 artworks from the 16th - 19th centuries inside, both frescoes and small and large pictures.

Gates of Dawn

The Gates of Dawn are one of the symbols of the city of Vilnius. These gates are a famous Catholic shrine. Built on the road to the city of Medininkai and originally called the Medininkai gates, they were one of the original five gates of Vilnius built together with the city wall. The building's unique renaissance attic is decorated with a décor characteristic of that style. The main facade of the gates is adorned with gryphons bearing the arms of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Beside it to the east stands part of the city wall. The picture of the Mother of Mercy of the Gates of Dawn is well known among Catholics worldwide. The image of the Virgin Mary, covered with gold by an unknown 17th century goldsmith, has the features of both the gothic style and icon painting. Painted with tempera on oak boards, it was later re-painted with oil paints.

Pilies street

Pilies street is the main street of Vilnius Old Town. Although Vilnius suffered many fires, this street preserved its authentic appearance and specimen of the old architecture: small yards, arcades, vaults, original stairways and basements. Trade was the primary and principal function of the street. The street connected the castle with the main marketplace, which happen to be the Town Hall Square after Vilnius was granted the rights of self-government. Two points framing the street survived: the Cathedral and the gates of the old defence wall of the city, also known as the Dawn Gate. And everything eternal and temporary fitted in between them.

Vilnius University

The University of Vilnius, one of the oldest and most famous establishments of higher education in Eastern and Central Europe, was founded in 1579.

For more than four centuries it has been the leading cultural and scientific centre in Lithuania. The history of the university is very rich and controversial; it cannot be separated from the history of Lithuania and reflects all its dramatic stages.
Vilnius University Ensemble represents Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical styles. Explore the 12 courtyards and the surrounding buildings.

Gedeminas castle

The Gediminas Tower is the symbol of the city. It is built on the Tower Hill, and is the oldest of Vilnius castles that are mentioned in the chronicles. Nowadays, the tower serves as the museum dedicated to the history of the city, with an observing platform on the roof of the tower. From there you can see the beautiful and unforgettable view of the Old City and the valley of Neris river.
The tower is all that remains from the once mighty fortifications of the Upper Castle.

The Ensemble of St.Anne's and St.Bernardine churches

St Anne's and Bernardine's churches present and extraordinary Gothic composition. St. Anne's Church is the masterpiece of late Lithuanian Gothic. Comparatively small church is built in front of Bernardian church and together with it forms a unified architectural ensemble, being its dominant. Thirty three types of bricks were used in construction, which allowed to toy with texture and to create unique patterns. The front of the church seems like floating above the city.

The Bernardine's church is one of the largest Gothic churches in Lithuania. The church features the oldest known crucifix in Lithuania, which dates back to the 15th century. The unique mural painting decorating the walls of the naves dates back to the 16th century and combines renaissance and gothic elements.

The church of St.Peter and Paul

The building seems quite severe and restrained from outside. It is in the form of a Latin cross with the dome and two short towers. The facade is two tiered with columns and a balcony.

The most valuable asset is the church's interior, in which white predominates. White stucco mouldings: sculptures, relief work, and panels cover all the walls of the church as well as the vault, the dome, and the chapels. The human figures and faces are reckoned at approximately 2000 pieces. The human figures are grouped into separate scenes where parts of the New Testament, the lives of the saints and Lithuanian history are portrayed. The sculptured interior décor has undergone almost no changes since the beginning of its creation and has survived until the present day.

The Park of Europe

The Park of Europe is not a park but very surprisingly an open-air museum of contemporary art that was established nearly twenty years ago. Situated around fourteen kilometers from the geographical center of Europe, The Park of Europe is a place that celebrates the diversity and richness of European art. Gintaras Karosas founded this in the year 1991. The very first sculpture that was placed there was the symbol of the park itself by the founder. In October, a guided tour of The Park of Europe was organized and the founder invited all his people from the academy to see it for the very first time. The main attraction of The Park Of Europe is that it portrays a major part and the features of Lithuanian art and culture and the works of the artists all over the world. Covering an area of nearly fifty hectares, over hundred different sculptures can be found here.

National Vilnius Jewish Gaon Museum

By the 18th century Vilnius had become the world capital of traditional Talmudic learning, eventually becoming known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Between the wars, Vilnius was a bustling international centre of modern Yiddish culture and scholarship. During the Holocaust around 95 per cent of Lithuanian Jews were murdered, the highest percentage in Europe, many by local collaborator-killers, including the vast majority of the 80,000 Jewish residents who lived in the city prior to the Nazi invasion of June 1941. The museum is famous for its unvarnished, accurate account of the Holocaust in Lithuania and the massive local involvement in the actual killing. Its modest, old-fashioned exhibits are far from high modern, but the heartfelt creation of local Holocaust survivors.

Vilnius TV Tower

The Vilnius TV tower is nearly three hundred and twenty six meters tall. The SC Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre are housed in this building that is the tallest in the entire country. The Vilnius TV tower has a total of eighteen floors. In the lower part of the Vilnius TV tower is present a disk that weighs around three thousand five hundred tons and has a height of one hundred and sixty meters. The Vilnius TV tower also houses a restaurant called Milky Way in the same place as the disk and the amazing thing is that the entire structure rotates. It completes one total rotation in about forty-five minutes and you can enjoy and soak in the panoramic view from it.

History remembers the incident when the Soviet Union tried to forcibly take over the Vilnius TV tower in the year 1991 and even ran their army tanks over the unarmed and peaceful crowd who were trying to prevent them from doing so. Nearly sixteen people died and over five hundred of them were injured in the event that occurred that particular night on the 13th of December. To remember this incident and keep it fresh in the minds and the hearts of the people, the Vilnius TV tower also has a museum dedicated to that fateful night and in memory of it.

City break offer for 2 persons including accommodation in dbl room for 2 nights, transfer in and out, guided walking tour (price per person starting from)

3* hotel 137 EUR p.p.

4* hotel 155 EUR p.p.

5* hotel 174 EUR p.p.

Vilnius - old and modern
Vilnius - old and modern
Town Hall square
Town Hall square
Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square
The Gates of Dawn
The Gates of Dawn
St.Ann's Church
St.Ann's Church
Pilies Street at night
Pilies Street at night
Panorama of the Old Town
Panorama of the Old Town
St.Peter and Paul
St.Peter and Paul
Vilnius Presidential palace
Vilnius Presidential palace
Vilnius TV tower
Vilnius TV tower
Vilnius University
Vilnius University
Europa park
Europa park
Modern Vilnius
Modern Vilnius
Fountain on Town Hall square
Fountain on Town Hall square
Gedeminas tower
Gedeminas tower
Neris river
Neris river
Vilnius view in winter
Vilnius view in winter
Baroque Vilnius
Baroque Vilnius
Grand Duke Gedeminas
Grand Duke Gedeminas


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