VILNIUS - JUNE 2008
In 1323 the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas chooses Vilnius to be the capital of Lithuania. It took a long way until the Old Town was inscribed, in 1994, in the UNESCO's World Heritage List. This post is dedicated to the old part of town (one of the largest old towns in Eastern Europe), though churches and temples have been put aside for two different posts!
"GEDIMINAS (ca. 1275 – winter 1341), ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, built it as an empire and made Vilnius its capital. The monument, by Vytautas Kašuba, was uncovered in 1996"
"GEDIMINAS TOWER - The only remaining part of the Upper Castle in Old Vilnius, it's named after the founder of the city, though it was built much later"
"PILIES STREET, literally «Castle Street» links the Cathedral Square to the Town Hall Square, through Didzioji (Main) Street. Popular with market traders, it gets the visits of gift buyers as well as of souvenir hunters"
"AMBER MUSEUM - One of the most admired souvenirs is amber ware and amber jewellery. You may find it everywhere. The Museum was founded in 1988 and shows exhibits of various sizes, forms and colour, as well as the ceramics baking shop of the end of the 15th century found in the basement...."
"MYKOLOS STREET, by the Amber Museum"
"DIDZIOJI STREET - Luxurious boutiques, coffee shops, cultural centres, embassies, night clubs, amber and linen, everything can be found in Main Street!"
"SWEDISH EMBASSY - One of the embassies in Main Street, dedicated to Peter"
"STENDHAL - Near the Swedish Embassy, the Alliance Française and a house where Stendhal slept on his way to Moscow with Napoleon can be found. This one is dedicated to my French speaking visitors"
"GATE OF DAWN - Originally named Medininkai Gate, as it is on the road to Medininkai, it was built between 1503 and 1522. It's the only one of the original five gates in the city wall that remains"
"VIEW FROM AUSROS STREET (Dawn Street)"
"MEDININKAI RESTAURANT - The village at the end of the road - 26km from Vilnius - gives its name to the restaurant"
"HOTEL ASTORIJA - A Radisson SAS hotel"
"TOWN HALL - Rebuilt in neoclassical style in 1799"
"TOWN HALL - From the side"
"TOURISTS - On Town Hall Square"
"TOWN HALL SQUARE - Home to the Kaziuskas Fair, a large annual Lithuanian folk arts and crafts fair dating to the beginning of the 17th century. Usually held on the Sunday nearest to March 4, the day Saint Casimir Jagiellon died"
"PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - There was a public building on this site since 1387, date of Lithuania’s conversion to Christianity. Through 1795, date of the country’s annexation by the Russian Empire, this was the Bishop of Vilnius’s palace. Taken over as a residence by the Russian governor, it was home to Napoleon in 1812, when the French army marched through. The present building, in late Classical/Empire style of the 19th century, was converted to the President’s Office in 1997"
"INSIDE - This one was taken from the veranda of the palace towards the gardens. As I had no camera, the cell phone was used and the result, after re-sizing, was this blurred picture..."
"OLD AND NEW"