Vilnius is positioned on the Neris River and this beautiful city is filled full of churches, architecture and more. From the famous Gediminas Avenue where you can find municipal institutions as well as restaurants and cafes to castle ruins, you will never be left wanting. The city is filled with an abundance of history but also a charm that lures you in and leaves you wanting more. This gem of a city is a place that will captivate and enable you to create memories that you can treasure forever.
Republic of Uzupis
You can find the Republic of Uzupis in the Old Town of Vilnius and this unique district is like no other throughout the whole of this amazing country. This is the place where writers, artists and creative people meet and have done since the fall of Communism. This district declared itself as an independent republic in 1998 and this resulted in the citizen being given their own flag and even a national anthem. Tourists are drawn to the area but not in numbers that are large enough o spoil the area and so, there is plenty of charm and character to see here. There are many feasts, shows and even open-air exhibitions on display here, so make this a place to visit when you head to Vilnius.
One Million Cent Pyramid
On New Year’s Day in 2015, the country woke up to a brand new currency as they became part of the Euro currency and to mark the momentous occasion, a project was created. This project involved the construction of the largest coin pyramid in the world. The idea was conjured up by a couple of physics students and it features an impressive stack of over 1 million disused coins from the old currency. Today, it can be found in the Bank of Lithuania’s money museum and is available for viewing. One day they will bring the monument down and all of the money will be donated to children’s charities.
Stebuklas Miracle Tile
If you ask locals about the history of this strange tile then you are likely to receive a huge array of answers. However, the full story might seem like a shady area, there are some facts about it that are well-known. In 1989, on the August 23, just before the Berlin Wall came crashing down, around two million people joined hands throughout Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to create the Baltic Wall This was the longest, unbroken human chain ever seen, standing at over 370 miles in length. The chain started in Tallinn and finished in Vilnius at the point where the Stebuklas Tile lays in the cathedral square. The human chain made a clear statement to the Soviet government and it assisted the freedom of the country in 1991. As the tile has a significant history, many believe that it has wish-granting properties.
This can be seen underwater and so, it is hidden away from roving eyes but the remains of these stony roads have a history that dates back centuries. They were originally created across swamps in order for people to escape foreign invaders but only the locals know about them as they are undetectable from the surface. They made a quick getaway easy as they linked villages and hill forts but today, visitors can admire them. They were created by locals bringing stones, wood and gravel across frozen swamps during the winter and laying them in place until the ice melted where they would then rest in place.
Museum of Genocide Victims
Not the happiest of sights but it is a testimony to the dark history of the city. The museum is daunting but it will be worth a trip for history buffs and those who want to learn more about the past of Vilnius. Located on the site of a former gymnasium that was converted into the Gestapo’s HQ during Nazi occupation in 1941. Eventually, the Nazi’s left and it was then occupied by the Soviet Secret Police, also known as the KGB. Through the period the building became a prison and executions took place here while people were tortured in the basement. The cells have barely been touched and so, this is a real memorial to the past that the city is not proud of.
If you are looking for old buildings and the chance to have a wander around, then the Old Town is perfect for you. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has buildings that date back to the 13th century. This charming centre of the city is a worthwhile trip and gives you the chance to explore centuries gone by.
Map of Vilnius
Pictures of Vilnius
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