Vilnius Sights: The capital of Lithuania has a charm all its own. Art, culture, festivals, such vitality and a large student population characterize this town vibrant and rapidly growing. Vilnius is surely able to surprise and win the hearts of those who visit.
Vilnius, as you can see, is a beautiful city and scattered with churches (of churches in Vilnius there are about 40). nonostane what the city is still modern, with skyscrapers, shopping centers and trendy shops, nightlife, numerous artists and a very contemporary atmosphere.
The River Neris bisects the city, the old part is located south, while to the north are the modern districts and financial.
The old town of Vilnius
In the old town stands the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Stanislaus and San. Vladislao, which today represents the spiritual center of excellence for Catholic Lithuania.
It has ancient origins (was originally built in the thirteenth century) and, according to scholars, The cathedral was built on the ruins of an ancient pagan temple. Inside are buried some famous people of Lithuanian history: as the king Alexander of Poland, Vytatutas the Great, Queen Elisabeth of Austria and the urn with the heart of King Wladyslaw Vasa.
The large square in front (Katedros aikštė) represents the center and the vitality of the city and is often crowded with people and tourists.
Behind the cathedral stands the Collina di Gediminas on which stands the castle tower. Here the greyness of the city gives way to a beautiful green park, on top of which is the torre di Gediminas, symbol of Lithuania, dedicated to Grand Duke Gediminas, which is considered the founder of the city. The tower is the only part integrates the ancient castle of Vilnius, that was destroyed by Russian troops in 1802: from the top you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view over the city.
From the castle part of the road that crosses the center (E castle Main Street) and allows to reach the town hall square and beyond the Gates of Dawn (Gates of Dawn 12), the only door left standing of the ten that once gave access to the city. Next, in a small chapel in neoclassical style, hosts a depiction of the Madonna dating from the 17th century. Pilies gatve is one of the oldest streets of the old city and is one of the busiest, full of restaurants and bars. The road cuts across the center, cattederale from the square of the City Hall Square. And then around church steeples and domes of the Orthodox Catholic, amidst all kept houses and shaded colors. A tip to see and enjoy the historic center of Vilnius is to get lost in its streets. Here are streets, stores, antiquarians, stalls and restaurants.
The city of Vilnius is full of religious buildings. Among those worthy of note is the report Church of St. Anne, the Church of St. Peter and Paul (St.. Peter and Paul church), the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit (St.. Holy Spirit and Vilnius Orthodox Monastery) and Church of St. Casimir (St.. Casimir).
The St. Anne's Church, located in the center of Vilnius, is a masterpiece in style Flamboyant Gothic (movement of the fourteenth century, characterized by the accentuation of the details, the lengthening of the pediments and the tops of the arches), built in 1500 in honor of Ona, Grand Duchess of Lithuania and wife Vytautas the Great.
The church is inscribed with the old town of Vilnius in the list of sites UNESCO World Heritage Site. The structure was built with the use of well 33 different types of bricks. A note to legend, Napoleon Bonaparte, during the Russian campaign, at the sight of the building, he said it would place the church in the palm of their hand and take her to Paris.
In the historical center is the’Vilnius University, which, realized in the second half of the sixteenth century, is among the oldest in Europe.
The Town Hall Square in Vilnius is the historic town square. Il Municipality (Vilniaus rotušė) looks like a great neo-classical building and is used only for institutional visits. The square in front, triangular, è posta alla fine di e Main Street Castle Street, and is always crowded with markets and stalls of all kinds. At night the square is lit and offers fantastic lights.
Vilnius la moderna
The most modern Vilnius is situated along the Gedimino prospektas, a great avenue that starts from the cathedral and lined with trees, luxurious shops and beautiful buildings. Gedimino prospektas is also the shopping street and the nightlife, thanks to the presence of numerous boutiques but also wine, breweries and restaurants.
On the boulevard there is also the former headquarters of the KGB, now a Genocide museum. The building has a long and infamous. In fact, from 1899 to the 1991 it has been used for various functions, among which: courthouse Tsarist regime, administration building German, Lithuanian army recruitment site, Commissariat and Bolshevik revolutionary court, Court of Justice Polish, male institute, headquarters of the NKVD, headquarters of the Gestapo headquarters and finally the KGB.
The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 to 18 and Sunday from 10 to 17. Entrance costs 6 Lt. On the ground floor there is an exhibition dedicated to the history of the Soviet occupation, on the first floor are the rooms devoted to political prisoners, while in the basement you can visit the places of torture KGB.
The area north of the river is dominated by the Skyscraper District, in which there are l’Europa tower and TV tower.
The TV tower, situated in the district Karoliniškės, west of the old town, has a height of 326 meters for a weight of 25.000 tons. it's’ a true monument and testimony of the Soviet era in Vilnius (was built between the years '74 and '80), and is definitely worth a visit for its grandeur and for the panoramic view that can be enjoyed on its top. If you happen during Christmas you will find the tower decorated with many lights, like a christmas tree!
Do not forget to visit the bar and panoramic restaurant Paukščių Takas (the Milky Way) located on the top of the tower. From here you can enjoy a spectacular view of Vilnius and the neighboring province: Also the tables and sofas are located on a rotating platform that allows you to enjoy the panorama 360 degrees. The price for entry is 21 Litas, equivalent to 6 Euro, and times of input ranging from 10 to 22.
Outside the entrance is a small museum commemorating the 14 unarmed civilians who were shot down by Soviet tanks on 13 January 1991.
To reach the TV Tower you can take bus # 54 or # 16 Trolley Station, or the # 11 from the square Luskikiu. The easiest way is still the taxi.
In modern district of Vilnius stand skyscrapers and shopping malls, but there are green spaces and gardens. To the west of the city lies the park Vingis, the largest city park in Vilnius, in which you can relax in the green and you can visit the largest outdoor amphitheater where concerts are held usually (between major international stars who have played / sung here are Lady Gaga, Andrea Bocelli, Elton John, Bjork, Sting, Rod Stewart e i Depeche Mode).
The Republic of Užupis
Užupis is a district of Vilnius, located near the historic center, on the opposite side of the river Vilnia (Užupis fact means “on the other side of the river”), UNESCO World Heritage Site. The district, one of the oldest suburbs of Vilnius, has long been populated by artists, and has been compared to Montmartre Paris and in Christiania Copenhagen, thanks to its atmosphere Boheme and the many creative young people living there. Once Uzupis was a rough neighborhood, crowded with prostitutes and criminals various, but since the 90s, have begun to settle artists and intellectuals, who literally revived the place, turning it into a trendy neighborhood. Now you can see numerous studios and workshops of painters, potters and sculptors.
On April 1 1997, to redeem the bad reputation of the past, the district is declared Independent Republic of Užupis. Uzupis then is a district of Vilnius but also a republic with its own anthem, its National Day, its flags and its festivities: but do not worry, to cross its borders do not serve documents because just across the bridge that crosses the river Vilna, located behind the church of Santa Anna. Independence Day falls each April 1 and attrack a flood of visitors: Strongly suggest you give it a go if you happen to be in Vilnius at this time.
The symbols of the district are an angel and a mermaid bronze, both created by the sculptor Rome Vilciauskas. According to legend, the siren will attract tourists and curious to Uzupis and whoever surrenders to its charm, will stay here forever.
CURRENCY: The currency in force in Lithuania is LITAS. 1 EUR matches 3,45 litas about.
VILNIUS OUT ATTRACTIONS: The Hill of Three Crosses, The Castello di Trakai.