Tuesday, April 28, 2009



Vilnius isn't a very large town; it has only a little bit more than half a million inhabitants. But it's said to have more than forty churches. We'll see some of them on this post and on the next one!

"THE CATHEDRAL of Vilnius is the main Roman Catholic church in Lithuania. Apparently established in 1251 by Grand Duke Mindaugas, following his conversion, the first church on this location saw many Grand Dukes be crowned and buried there. Rebuilt several times, the building took its present classical style form in the eighteenth century"

"FAÇADE - At first it looks like a Greek or Roman temple, rather than a Catholic church. Somehow like «La Madeleine» in Paris. Between 1786 and 1792 the sculptures of Saint Casimir (presumably symbolising Lithuania, on the south side), Saint Stanislaus (symbolising Poland, on the north side) and Saint Helen (symbolising Russia, in the centre) were placed on the roof"

"CAMPANILE - The bell tower of the Cathedral is, like some existing in Italy, situated several metres from the church itself. The reason is that, according to recent studies, the tower was one of the already existing towers of the old city walls that was transformed into belfry"

"MAGICAL STONE - The word «miracle» (stebuklas in Lithuanian, with only one letter for the first and the last S) is written there and it is believed that if someone steps there and turns around thrice, his or her wish will be granted. Believe it or not..."


"SAINT CASIMIR'S CHAPEL - The most famous of the ten chapels inside the Cathedral; it keeps the remains of the patron Saint of Lithuania, who died in 1484, 25 years old only, possibly of tuberculosis"

"ST. ANNE - The most important example of Flamboyant Gothic style in Lithuania, present day St. Anne was built, out of 33 different kinds of clay bricks, around the year 1500. The nearby neo-Gothic belfry was built in the 1870s. It's said that Napoleon, so enchanted by the church’s beauty, wished to magically transport it to Paris in the palm of his hand"

"INSIDE- A baroque altar"

"ST. ANNE AND STS. FRANCIS & BERNARDINE - Saints Francis and Bernardine Church, (aka The Bernardine Church), one of the largest Gothic buildings in Lithuania, was built at the end of the 15th century"

"ST. ANNE, ST. BERNARDINE & ADAM MICKIEWICZ - St. Bernardine was incorporated into the city’s defensive structures and took on aspects of Renaissance and Baroque styles during its reconstruction. In front of the complex, a statue of the greatest Polish Romantic poet can be seen"

"INSIDE ST. BERNARDINE - Restoration was undergoing to prepare everything for the 2009 European Capital of Culture, including the organ"

"HOLY MOTHER OF GOD - This church has an amazing history since construction in the middle of the 14th century: three fires in 1610, 1716, and 1748; change to academic use in 1808, when the Vilnius University took it over; change to barracks in 1842 when soldiers moved in; archive, warehouse and a smithy the following years; church again in the 1860s"

"FAÇADE - The church of St. Philip and St. James was established in 1624, the present building however, was built at the end of the 17th–18th century"

"FATIMA - More than 4000km by bus to come in pilgrimage to Fátima, Portugal, via Padova, Italy; a little bit less to get back, via Santiago de Compostela, Spain and Lourdes, France..."


Trotter said...

Hi Everybody! It seems that everything started around this site where a cathedral was built! This post, further to the cathedral, is showing four other churches in old town Vilnius. Hope you enjoy and have a great week!

Ron said...

Wonderful pictures. I really like the architecture of the cathedrals.

A Lady's Life said...

These are a truly wonderful set of Pics !

Absolutely beautiful.
I really would love to visit these cathedrals.

Great Job Trotter!!!!!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Very impressive buildings! The architecture is breathtakingly beautiful and truly awe-inspiring! Thanks for sharing these absolute masterpieces, which are a treat to the eye and the soul!

SusuPetal said...

Huge churches! They reach for the skies!

The sky in Helsinki is blue and it's going to be a warm day!

Azer Mantessa said...

was waiting for wifey at a hotel lobby ... she had a seminar

guess what?

met a couple of lithuanian chicks and i said how impressive lithuania is ... vilnius, amber museum and all and they asked me ... have i been there?

i answered ... nope

i've been to blogtrotter!


they had no idea what i was talking about so my flirting thing stopped right away ... hahaha

alicesg said...

Wow the cathedral looked so amazing and love every details of it. The architectural designs are really so beautiful.

Olivier said...

encore une belle découverte et la cathédrale St Anne est magnifique.

lyliane six said...

Superbes ces églises et cathédrale, avant de lire tes commentaires, j'ai pensé à l'église de la Madeleine à Paris et aux douomos italiens avec leurs campaniles à côté de l'église.
Un sacré long voyage en car, je pense que je serai malade, heureusement, la Normandie est moins loin du Portugal!!

Mariposa said...

beautiful churches. i like the Baroque influence

P.N. Subramanian said...

Beautiful churches as also the pictures. The blue sky is really fascinating. I hope you too would have wished some thin on that magical stone. Right now you could be busy in the musical festival. Enjoy.

kyh said...

Magnificent! Those are really some amazing churches! ;)

Thérèse said...

I would certainly use the Magical Stone...
Beautiful skies too.
Vilnius: the European capital of Culture for 2009.

alexander said...

Very lovely churches. I like the pipe organ and the baroque altar. They are treasures. Beautiful photos to add to your collection.

Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

Rajesh said...

Very beautiful architecture.

I loved the "Saint Anne" most. Marvelous.

april said...

Interesting churches, and so many. They must be very religious there.

PeterParis said...

Fatima, Padova, Santiago, Lourdes... I guess you have already made your pilgrim tour, no need to join this one!

Some amazing churches you show us!

(I will have a link to your blog in my tomorrow's post; you may have to give some completing info!)

Azer Mantessa said...

The magical stone is something unique. I’ve never heard of anything like it before.

Supported fact that Vilnius is inhibited by about half a million people makes it an ideal city to me.

Cutie said...

Beautiful architecture. Amazing. Would love to visit such place.

Anonymous said...

When I was in Europe I was in awe of and amazed at the money put into all the churches and how elaborate they were. Without going into why here it was a major part of history as to the "why". But then again the tiny county I live in is full of churches too! :) Why the lizard? He was in the pot of flowers I was working with. :) Gorgeous photos Gil.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I loved Azer's first comment..too funny! :)

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

I visit Paris, you visit Vilnius! It's all fair is love and travel! Nice!

Anonymous said...

Forty churches? I'd love to visit each and every one of them. ;-)


Pietro Brosio said...

Gil, this is a great set of photographs of magnificent churches! All splendid images, I like a lot "St. Anne and Sts. Francis & Bernardine". I've been several times to Lourdes (sublime and unforgettable) but never been to Fatima.
Have a very nice weekend! :-)

Dsole said...

Gil, what an interesting and amazing city!
You made a lot of awesome pics, with such a great blue sky and imponent buildings!
Great post, have a sunny weekend :)

99 said...

Nice place... but where have all the curved lines gone?

Dick said...

Beautiful churches, great blue sky too.

eye in the sky said...

and now Vilnius! I especially like St. Anne's. Great photo set as usual.

Nikon said...

Great collection of photos as always, Gil!
I love the St. Anne cathedral, talk about ornate!

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Es tu sponsorisé par le syndicat d'initiative de Vilnius ?
Ce serait la moindre des choses vu la qualité de la promotion faite sur ton blog !
Bon week-end.

Venksh said...

Cathedral church are really superb.... n that magical stone is theory is unbelievable...
so did u try on that what u wished for....
Even i hav started to post my 5 day trip jus finished with day 1 hope everyone likes but there is still more to come...


S-V-H said...

IF you believe strong enough in anything...miracles happen everywhere! I liked that story with the wish stone, Gil!

Your post is excellent this time and also all the other times too, of course! :)

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog recently, very much appreciated!

magiceye said...

thank you for the superb tour of vilnius! amazing churches!!

Jasper said...

beautiful photos!

indicaspecies said...

Impressive churches of old town Vilnius. Flamboyant Gothic style is very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

Indrani said...

Each church looked amazingly beautiful. I had a wonderful tour.

Cergie said...

Un long WE du premier mai et me voici seulement, pire en longueur de temps qu'un pélerinage vers Fatima via Padoue.
Tu vois, non plus tu n'as pas de photo de l'ambassade du Portugal !
Je me suis posé la question du St Patron de cette cathédrale aux allures de temple romain, tu en cites plein de saints, dont Casimir ; je voulais savoir car St Etienne (mon fils a ce prénom) est souvent à l'honneur, mais non ; il s'agirait de la Cathédrale St-Stanislas.
(Merci, qui ? Merci Google)

Anonymous said...

fantastic structure great captured. thanks for shared.

Cutie said...

I would like to step on the magical stone and turn around thrice and make my wish. Haha... Did you try btw? Did it come true? =)

Eumesma said...


I am surprised to discover these great blog and above all from a Portuguese!

I will be back.:-)

Joy said...

Spectacular churches! Vilnius (or Lithuania) is predominantly Catholic so I suppose this is the reason they have so many. Thanks for sharing these photos as they have convinced me that I should really visit there.

Sorry for not visiting sooner. I was away for 3 days. Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come back tomorrow for a new series!

A Pinay In EnglandYour Love CoachI, Woman

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

Hi Gil.
GOOD! to see you again in front or near a (beltower) of the Cathedral and I really would love to visit this place/countrie, You are coming close to 2009 hee! This is made in June 2008... how much more do you have to show to us??? I am interested anyhow.

I showed my 2th phot for the Photo festival, sorry no travels for a while, because "work"(photography) is calling, but after work, we can travel again, When? Summer maybe... I hope you like my photography (exibition) too, wich are all made on travel.

Greetings and thanks for showing your travels and visiting my blog:)

( Ps: my PC is working again!)

bindu said...

Gorgeous photographs - especially the first one. The lighting and colors in it are perfect. So interesting to read about Lithuania here.

Trotter said...

Hi Everybody! I managed to make some visits during the weekend, but it seems that some of my regular visitors were much wiser and spent their time on the beach... At least, they didn’t show up here... ;)). Anyhow, thanks to all those that keep their Good Samaritan’s mood and keep commenting regularly here... ;))

Thanks for commenting here once again and for being the first and one of the two regular visitors of Blogtrotter with comments in all my last forty posts! That’s a much appreciated achievement!! You have the company of Joy, who showed up a little late on this post, but still on time… ;)). I was wondering whether she was already too tired of this southern Baltic country or maybe she didn’t want to anticipate the visit she will be making to Lithuania this summer, but the reason was much more obvious: she was enjoying the long weekend away from the blogosphere… ;))

The cathedral is impressive, but I prefer St. Anne...

I’m truly glad you enjoyed seeing these churches!

There are larger churches, but the blue sky should be the same everywhere... ;). 30º centigrade today in Lisbon; hot Mother’s Day...

That’s an amazing story... «Si non é vero é bene trovatto»... ;))
Magical stones, no crowds, you will walk alone; like Raffa at the end of the year… ;))

Alice SG,
Like Napoleon, I prefer St. Anne… ;)

St. Anne isn’t the cathedral, but it could be; quite wonderful!!

C’est vrai que la cathédrale, avec ses colonnes, ressemble La Madeleine…
Plutôt en bus, tu crois; 8000 km… c’est trop!!

Baroque is a beautiful style; very mittel-Europa!! ;)

Actually the music festival was only during the weekend, but we had two operas during the week; quite a musical end of April… ;)
Wonderful, your post on the unusual churches. Excellent!!!

Welcome back!!

And if you believe, you may get something out of that magic… ;))

Welcome back also! This collection is becoming huge… ;))

Fully agree with you: St. Anne is outstanding… ;)

It’s probably pre-war Polish influence and post-USSR developments… ;))

I don’t think I was going to drive 8000 km to get to Vilnius, unless I had a two-month vacation to enjoy... ;)
Thanks for the link! Hope the info I left there was interesting... ;)

You’ll have plenty of time to visit that and many other places, I’m sure. Meanwhile, enjoy!! As for the magical stone I can imagine you twisting like a whirling Dervish to make all your wishes come true... ;) Not me; no thanks!! ;))

That’s amazing, because we in Europe would rarely ask «how much money» any of these monuments would have cost, but the first question I heard from some American fellow visitors of the «Villa San Michele» in Anacapri, while I was thinking of Romans, Etruscans, Egyptians and Axel Munthe, was: «how much did this cost?» There must be some reason for that... ;))
I see the lizard... and I also lol with Azer’s story... ;)

Not fair to compare Vilnius to Paris; but even less fairer as Vilnius was in June 2008... ;))

Great decision: you just start packing... ;)

St. Anne is gorgeous!!
You won’t need to drive 8000 km to get to Fatima; so make a try... ;))

It was sunny though a bit cold... But today, Mother’s Day, we had 30º centigrade; it’s getting hot... Not for Real though... ;))

They kept only the direct lines; no curves... ;)

Great to read you back here!!

That St. Anne is a huge success; it was already in Napoleon’s times… ;)

That’s incredible the work they put on that St. Anne church!!

Tu m’as donné une belle idée: je devrais écrire au Syndicat d’Initiative de Vilnius et demander un séjour à la ville comme contrepartie de la promotion faite ici… ;))
Mais ce n’est pas de la propagande, quand même… ;))

I’m not that kind of believer, so the magical stone is still there waiting for me… ;)). I’m looking forward to see you five-day trip… I’ll check asap!!

That seems to be my problem; I’m more on the skeptic side, except for Murphy’s Law… ;)). My great pleasure to visit your blog; always!!

I’m glad you are enjoying the Vilnius tour; there will much more still to come from Lithuania… ;))

Thanks for your visit and first time comment here! Hope to read you frequently in the future!!

Glad to see you back; and hope everything is running well!
That St. Anne church is outstanding; Napoleon was definitely right… ;))

Thanks! Hope you keep enjoying these tours as the comments from the visitors are now the only reason to keep the blog going in such busy times!!

Ça allait prendre un petit peu du temps ton tour vers Fatima via Padoue… ;))
Mais la photo de l’Ambassade du Portugal tu l’auras, comme tu as eu la maison de Stendhal; il faut quand même attendre un petit peu et ne jamais publier tout le matériel tout de suite… ;))
La cathédrale est dédiée à St. Stanislas, mais la chapelle la plus connue est celle de Saint Casimir Jagielo, un prince Polonais/Lithuanien de la dynastie Jagellon, qui est devenu le Saint Patron de Lituanie, Pologne et de la Jeunesse…

Great to read you back here! I’m happy to see that you’re also enjoying these «not so exotic» posts… ;))

Thanks for coming here and dropping a line! Take your time and enjoy! Obrigado!!

Welcome back! Just on time to keep a shared pole position with Ron as the only two visitors of Blogtrotter who have commented on all and each one my last forty posts… Thanks!!

Great to read that your PC is working again!! Good news for the Blogosphere!!
Your photos are great; I would love to have time to travel to the Photo festival! Meanwhile I’ve to keep myself confined to your wonderful blog!! Thanks for your support here!
Hope you have a lot of summer travels!!

Glad that you liked the pictures! I also thought that the first one would be a nice opening for this post!!

Light and Voices said...

I would like to step on the magic stone and turn around three times. What a unique experience that has got to be. Love the baroque architecture. Simply divine churches! Wonderful photographs!

Trotter said...

OK, but just three times, otherwise you may become a whirling dervish... ;)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

StAnne's reminds me of the Cathedral of Milan in Italy. What wonderful architecture!

My sister-in-law made a pilgrimage to Fatima from Southern Italy one year. A long journey indeed!

Trotter said...

St. Anne isn't so white as the Duomo in Milan and not so rich, but still a lovely building...
Long journey from Italy, imagine from Lithuania... ;))

lv2scpbk said...

More wonderful photos. I love how the cross is being held on top of the church. The sky in the background just brings it out.

Trotter said...

Those crosses make always great pictures against blue or cloudy skies...

Dina said...

Now, tell us the truth, Blogtrotter. Did you stand and turn on the magic stone? :)

Trotter said...

I'm not so keen on superstitions; like Woody Allen, I'm afraid it may bring bad luck... ;))

Lseco said...

Hi. Great blog and amazing country count, fellow portuguese. Are you going for the whole world? Congratulations on your life.


Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

I'd love to stop by that magical stone--hehe! And play that pipe organ.

Trotter said...


Careful with the stone; don't run the risk of whirling like a dervish... ,))

Unknown said...

Nice photos of green city!
In Vilnius there are over 40 churcies, another language Vilnius is city of churches :)

Trotter said...

Thanks for your visit and comment! Blogtrotter has ended; maybe you should try Blogtrotter Two to contiue to travel... ;)
Have a great holiday season!!