Vilnius in one day - the most important historic monuments and attractions
A place loved by older Poles, visited with sentiment and cherished - see for yourself how beautiful and precious Vilnius historic monuments are. Find out why the city is worth visiting, even if your family does not come from the Vilnius region!
Gate of Dawn - main spiritual centre
Vilniaus Senamiestis, or the Vilnius Old Town, vibrates with life any time of day. See all the most important places and enjoy the beautiful view while trying local delicacies in one of the atmospheric bars. Start your walk around the city from the Gate of Dawn (or Ostra Brama in Polish), a city gate built in the 16th century. It is famous for a chapel whose decoration and at the same time one of Vilnius's greatest attractions is the Picture of Holy Mother of Ostra Brama the Queen of Polish Crown. It is not only a place of religious worship, but an important literary symbol as well. You surely remember the words written by Adam Mickiewicz in the "Invocation": O Holy Virgin , who shelters our bright Częstochowa / And shines in the Gate of Dawn! Thanks to flights to Vilnius, a meeting with great Polish literature will be easier than you think!
Basilian Monastery - "Gustaw is dead, Konrad is born"
The Vilnius Old Town amazes visitors with its religious monuments. Another one is just round the corner! Just walk through the immensely beautiful Baroque gate, and you are at another site that is important for Polish Romantic literature. It is a complex of buildings consisting of the Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity and the Uniate (once Orthodox) Basilian Monastery, in which the tsarist authorities arranged a prison for rebellious Poles after the third partition of Poland. A prison stretch here was done also by Mickiewicz (following the trial of the Filaret Association), who used his memories of the period when he wrote Part III of "Dziady". Want to know more? Visit the cell where Gustaw transformed into Konrad, and see for yourself how much history is hidden in the monstery's dungeons.
Vilnius market - relax amidst Baroque architecture
Now that you have assimilated a healthy dose of literary knowledge, it is time for intellectual relaxation! You must go to the vast and spacious Vilnius Market, sit down for a while in the shade of a café umbrella, and… rest. Have a look at the impressive Classical town hall and the Church of St. Casimir, one of the most beautiful sacred monuments in Vilnius and the entire Lithuania! Its elegant and sophisticated Baroque façade will not leave you indifferent. The stunning palaces of Pac and Sapiehas, with their intricate interiors, will take a special place in your heart. What a charm, what a grace… such view can be seen only in Vilnius!
Vilnius University - the pride of the Lithuanian nation
A day's trip to Vilnius cannot be successful without a visit to… a university. The Vilnius University was established in 1579, which makes it the oldest school in Lithuania and one of the oldest in Eastern Europe. It is a uniquely beautiful place which contains many architectural flavours. Being expanded for several centuries, the complex now has more than a dozen courtyards! You will certainly notice the most beautiful one, with the Church of St. John, an amazing Baroque temple dating back to the Middle Ages. Now you are just a few steps away from the most elegant building in the Old Town - the former Bishop's Palace which today is the official residence of the head of the Lithuanian State. Beautiful historic monuments at your fingertips - can you wish for more?
Cathedral Square - sacrum and profanum
The city's most important temple is also situated near the main tourist route. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Stanislaus the Bishop and St. Ladislaus is an imposing Classical building with two domed chapels. One of them is devoted to St. Casimir. It looks particularly beautiful from the outside, the more so as its rich ornamentation stands out from the light and simple interior of the church. In front of the building, there is a standalone bell tower, which is based on a defensive tower of the former castle. Behind the church, there is one of the most original Vilnius attractions - the Lower Castle, reconstructed in the early 21st century. It is sometimes criticised for the style and quality of workmanship. Rightly or wrongly? It is for you to judge. To return to historic buildings, climb the nearby steep hill, where the Upper Castle with the brick Tower of Gediminas stands. The stunning view of the entire city seen from the top of the tower is well worth the effort!
Gothic corner - beauty of old Polish churches
A fantastic start calls for an extraordinary end. Let your farewell to Vilnius take place in the Gothic corner consisting of two Medieval buildings - the Church of St. Anne and the nearby Church of St. Francis. The former looks particularly impressive - the intricate open-work decorations made of specially arranged bricks resembles ornaments known from buildings in cities in the Netherlands. Also, take note of the square at the church, where you will find a monument to our national bard Adam Mickiewicz. Sounds encouraging, doesn't it?
Appreciate the charm of Lithuanian historic monuments and book direct flights to Vilnius!