LITUANIA: REAL IS BEAUTIFUL

DISCOVER THE COSY OLD TOWN OF VILNIUS

Situated at the con uence of the rivers Neris and Vilnia, the capital of Lithuania is one of the most visited cities in Eastern Europe. The Vilnius Old Town – a Baroque masterpiece as they say – was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. Vilnius has long been called Little Rome, North Athens or North Jerusalem.
Approximately 40 churches of various architectural styles stand here, and some authentic buildings with Gothic, Renaissance or Classical features have survived.
The Old Town of Vilnius is small and cosy. Narrow streets and passages will make you disappear in the world of  ower-decorated courtyards, churches and museums in no time. Begin your journey at the Gates of Dawn. The miraculous, gracious painting of the Holy Virgin Mary is an attraction for religious people across the world. Going down Pilies St. and passing the City Hall you will be tempted to visit numerous cafes and restaurants. Look for the Wall of Artists with more than 100 ornate wooden, ceramic or glass plates that contain information about both local and foreign writers and poets who found Vilnius a great place to write in. Listen to street musicians as you go.
Discover St. Anne’s Church. It is a true Gothic marvel, considered a masterpiece by art historians worldwide. Bricks of 33 di erent pro les were used to build this 15th century sanctuary. As one well- known legend goes, Napoleon himself was so impressed with the church’s elegance that he wanted to take it back to Paris “in the palm of his hand”. The French soldiers had established a storeroom there and also held war prisoners. In one letter to his wife Napoleon mentioned that Vilnius was a very beautiful city. St. Anne’s Church stands near the Bernardine Monastery and the Church of St. Francis which have features of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical architecture.
The bridge over the river Vilnia will take you to the independent Republic of Užupis, also known as the Montmartre of Vilnius. Its citizens have not only their own Seal (a gold glimmering Angel) but a Constitution as well. Look for Užupis at the beginning of Pau- pio St. pleasant cafes, art galleries, an eco-market, wine shops and the Tibet square are worth visiting, too. Take Maironio St. up to the observation spot in Subačiaus St. and examine the city’s defence wall, the barbican, and the wonderful panorama of Vilnius Old Town.

Info: http://www.lithuania.travel

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