Attractions Vilnius - what is worth seeing?
Vilnius, a city relatively close to most Polish towns. For example, from my Gdańsk by car, I will get there faster than to Zakopane, even if I do not take into account the traffic jams in Zakopianka. Nevertheless, it is still not very popular in our country. I decided to change it and today I will tell you about this fantastic multicultural city and attractions that must be seen even during a short trip, the Vilnius old town espoecially. The current capital of Lithuania is the cradle of Polish romanticism, so a romantic like me could not omit it on his blog.
The following tourist must see Vilnius attractions, sightseeing possibilities can be found on this map.
The Gates of Dawn
Every Muslim should visit Mecca once in his life. We, Poles, have different responsibilities. One of them is studying at the school of the Invocation. There is a fragment in it: "Holy Virgin, who defend the Bright Częstochowa and in the Gate of Dawn you shine". It is from this gate that I will start my post. A visit here does not expose you to the risk of injury, the name of this place comes from the former Dawn End district. The first mention of the Gate of Dawn dates back to 1514, but then it was called Miednicka because it led to the town of Miednik. Currently, the gate is a sacred place for the faithful, but was originally one of ten defensive towers (the only one that has survived to this day). Its most important monument is the painting of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, which is also the most important relic of Lithuanian Christians. Many attribute miraculous powers to the painting, I don't know if it's true, but I can testify to one thing. Whenever I see it, my mouth opens with delight and for about 5 minutes I have no words to describe its beauty. The author of this work is unknown, but many suspect that he is one of the painters of Zygmunt August. The painting shows the Mother of God with her head tilted slightly to the right, with her hands folded in prayer. This is one of the most interesting and rare representations of Mary because, unlike most paintings, it is depicted without Jesus on its hands. Today, the image of the Virgin Mary has a "golden dress", but it appeared later hand-made by Vilnius goldsmiths.
Church of St. Peter and Paul in Antakalnis
One of the most beautiful temples we can see in Lithuania,a must see for attractions in Vilnius. The white interior decorated with over 2,000 sculptures made a great impression. For this reason, even the communists under the USSR neither destroyed it nor changed its functions. At that time, it was the only working church in the city and served as a cathedral. It is definitely a place worth seeing in Vilnius.
St. Anne's Church
Church from the turn of the 15th and 17th century, built in the late Gothic style. The lace facade and 2 openwork towers make a great impression. While walking along the Wilejki River, it is impossible to pass by this object indifferently. The stories say that Napoleon liked this church so much, who visited him on his way to Moscow that he would gladly transfer it to Paris. Later, it was turned into a military warehouse for several years. Nearby, there is also a monument of our poet Adam Mickiewicz.
Museum of money
One of the most modern museums in the Baltics. Initially, I visited them to learn how to create my own currency, which was supposed to compete with both the dollar and bitcoin at the same time. It turned out to be a rather arduous process, so the world will not hear about Gajdus for now (I know it sounds a bit pathetic). I left the facility richer with knowledge of the history of money and how it was produced in the past, given in a very accessible way. We will find here information about every currency in the world and its roots, including the Polish zloty. I was most impressed by the part devoted to how money is secured today. It turns out that faking them is a very difficult, even impossible job, so I lost the second way to get rich quick. I only have to become an influencer, so I will be grateful for comments and shares under this and other my posts.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Stanislaus the Bishop and St. Stanislaus in Vilnius is an important place for the history of ... Poland, because it is here that several Polish rulers are buried. For me, it is also a symbol of tenacity because this location previously had four or five temples that were burned down or destroyed as a result of hostilities. Nevertheless, residents and authorities have always tried to build new churches. The present cathedral was completed in 1801. From the outside, it reminds me a bit of Greek buildings because of the columns in front of it. There are 11 chapels waiting for us inside. One of them may make us feel that we have already seen it somewhere. I am talking about the chapel of Saint Casimir. Founded by Zygmunt III Waza and Władysław IV Waza, it is built on the model of …… the Sigismund Chapel in Wawel. In my opinion, it is the most beautiful of all chapels in the cathedral. Its patron St. Kazimierz is a prince, son of Kazimierz Jagiellończyk. Inside you will find a painting with his image. What may shock you is the fact that he has 3 hands on it. Officially, it is a symbol of his generosity, but if you talk to the guide a bit, you will find out that it is the result of a painter's mistake.
The historic heart of the old town from which Vilnius sightseeing tours often begin. This is where the cathedral I discussed earlier is located. Apart from it, the monument of Prince Gideymin and the belfry are also worth noting. Prince Gediminas reminds me of two figures related to our country. The first is Zygmunt Waza, because just as our ruler moved the capital to Warsaw, his Lithuanian counterpart did the same with Vilnius. As for the other person…. it will be me. The prince has a lowered sword on his monument, because he preferred diplomacy to violence, and here he agrees with one hundred percent. The belfry on the square is 57 meters high with the cross. Although, as you know from previous entries, climbing is not my horse, the view of the old town from it is stunning.
Since we are at the beautiful views, there must be another place to get to which cost me a few liters of sweat. The name of the place is derived from the three crosses at the top. They commemorate the dead with the martyrdom of the Franciscans. The crosses were originally wooden, and with time they were turned into a concrete structure. If it happens that you can visit only one attraction in Vilnius, go ahead and choose this mountain. Most of the most important monuments are perfectly visible from there. Of course, if your condition is as bad as I am, before you start admiring it, you must first calm your breath after the climb.
The Republic of Uzupis
This place bought me completely. I was expecting a Lithuanian response to the Roman city of Trastevere, and I got an artistic bohemian atmosphere and a completely separate state that ... is not a member of the European Union, but still cares about its constitution. Anyway, I myself would be at the forefront of a crusade that protects its rule of law, because its provisions, like no other in the world, allow you to feel like a free man or a leprechaun. Here are some of them: Man has the right to die, but it is not his duty, Man has the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof, Man has the right to laze around and do nothing. As you may have already guessed, the independence of Užupis is an artistic happening, but it must be admitted that it is treated extremely seriously. The district with seven bridges is full of colorful street art and you have to look around in all directions so that you don't miss a thing.
As a fan of Krakow's Kazimierz, I had to check out its Vilnius counterpart. I absolutely urge you to do the same. As my younger bloggers would say, this place is "Insta friendly". Besides, it not only looks great. Walking through the narrow streets, you can perfectly feel the atmosphere of Vilnius from the times when the city was called the Jerusalem of the North. I especially love Szklana Street, named after the craftsmen who worked there in the past. To this day, you can buy hand-made works of art there. Manufaktura Stainedraży makes the biggest impression, although I cannot afford it now, but when I buy a castle or a palace, I feel that I will become their important client.
It's never too late to learn, but I recommend visiting this place for other reasons. The building of the university, established in 1570, developed over the centuries. While strolling around its area, we travel in time, passing baroque, gothic or renaissance fragments. They contrast perfectly with the relaxed student atmosphere. Students and tourists like me eagerly gather in one of the thirteen inner courtyards. What impressed me the most, however, was the fact that the university was attended by, among others: Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, Ignacy Kraszewski and Czesław Miłosz, and the organist of the university was Stanisław Moniuszko. Not a bad team, will you admit?
I have to admit, Vilnius stole my heart. The above 10 attractions are only a part of what you can see in this city. To sum up - Vilnius Lithuania is not only worth a visit, it is even worth staying a little bit longer. I am curious about your impressions. Be sure to let me know in the comments.
I would not be myself if I had not shared with you the route around the capital of Lithuania prepared by one of my friends. Grażyna Hajdukiewicz, who lives in Vilnius, invites you for a walk in which you will get to know 15 places worth seeing in her city. Remember - there is plenty more to see, such as presidential palace or Gediminas tower.