Vilnius – a city break in the capital of Lithuania
For may, Vilnius historic monuments start and end in the city's Old Town. Wrong! The city on the Vilnia River offers many interesting places elsewhere as well. What places are they? Read our article to find out. Enjoy reading!
Užupis Republic - playing a state
On the right bank of the Vilnia River, to the east of the Old Town, you will find am extraordinary place - the self-proclaimed Užupis Republic. It is not a joke! There, within the bounds of the artistic district of Užupis , people follow different rules and believe in other values than in the rest of the city. Neglected for many years, the neighbourhood was rediscovered by Vilnius independent artists and local boheme, as well as the locals and a growing number of tourists from all over the world. Walking down its atmospheric streets and mysterious alleys, have a look at the colourful murals, art galleries and shop windows of small stores with artistic craftwork and fashion created by local designers. Take a seat in one of the charming local cafés and absorb the atmosphere of the place! You must pop into Užupio Kavine, a pub in which… the parliament of the republic operates, and go to Paupio Street to read the boards with the republic's constitution. The neighbourhood is certainly one of the greatest and most unique attractions of Vilnius!
Orthodox Cathedral of Holy Mother of God - architecture like none other
The Lithuanian capital boasts its multicultural character, and you can see an example of that right at the bridge leading to the "republic". What is it? The majestic Orthodox Cathedral of Holy Mother of God, a splendid and colossal Orthodox temple. Although built only in the second half of the 19th century, it is among Vilnius's most interesting historic monuments. What is so unique about it, you might ask. Its most distinguishing aspect is the Georgian style, which makes the church an absolute rarity in this part of Europe. Fancy getting inside?
Gediminas Avenue - metropolitan style
From the cathedral, you can take a walk down Gediminas Avenue, the main street of the Vilnius city centre, lined up by trees and historic townhouses with shops, cafés and restaurants on the ground floor. As is appropriate for the capital, it is elegant, bustling and international. Pleasant experiences will be additionally boosted by the local green squares, in one of which – Lukiškės Square – you will see two imposing edifices: the Court and the Academy of Arts and Theatre. The avenue ends with a bridge across the Vilnia River, in front of which there is the Building of Parliament which marks the beginning of the territory of the government district.
Modern Vilnius - glass skyscrapers and big business
Vilnius is not only about Mediaval churches and historic palaces. The city has its modern face as well. You will discover it along the Vilnia River, where there are beautifully developed boulevards and cycling paths, ideal for city recreation. On the opposite bank of the river, there rise glass skyscrapers that make up a modern business centre. Among them, you will find institutions, offices, art galleries and hotels - everything you need in everyday life.
Antakalnis - stylish Vilnius
To the east of the Old Town there is Antokalnis, a unique suburban district with small detached houses. What makes her different from hundreds of similar places is the type of the building material used - some of the buildings are wooden, which gives the neighbourhood a particular charm. Although the wooden houses are very interesting, the 17th century Church of St. Peter and St. Paul is the district's key attraction. On the outside, it looks like many Baroque temples in Vilnius, but inside… it is just marvellous! The stunning interior amazes visitors with its top-class stucco work and beautiful decorative sculptures discreetly complemented by paintings. When you add the amazing crystal boat-shaped chandelier, you will understand why the church is one of Vilnius's most beautiful historic monuments and a true pearl among Europe's Baroque churches.
Rasos Cemetery - the heart of the Marshall
Situated on steep hills, the Rasos Cemetery is one of the most picturesque necropolis in the world, and a place strongly connected with Polish history and culture. Many merited Poles rest there, including Joachim Lelewel, Franciszek Smuglewicz and Władysław Syrokomla. In the small military cemetery that precedes it, there is the "Mother and the Heart of Her Son" Mauzoleum with the tomb of Maria Piłsudska of Billewicz, Józef Piłsudski's mother, and the urn with the Marshall's heart. It is worth a visit, not only for sentimental reasons, but also to see the unique beauty of the site.
TV tower - a cup of coffee with a view of the city
Vilnius's greatest attractions include the city's television tower, a memento of the Soviet era. The tallest standalone building in the country (more than 300 metres of height!), it has a rotary observation deck with a café at 165 metres, from which you can admire a scenic panorama of not only Vilnius, but vast fields of Samogitia . And if you fancy a bit of nature, you must visit the nearby Karolinka natural reserve with its charming wildlife and stunning views of the river bend. Vilnius is a magical city where everyone can find something for themselves.
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