Cathedral Square is the historic heart of Vilnius. It's here, at the confluence of the rivers Neris and Vilnia, where the city was formed. Cathedral Square was also where the military and government were based for centuries. The most notable building is obviously the Vilnius Cathedral, but there are also several castles built to defend the land. Tiles of pink granite mark out where the city walls once stood and there's a statue honoring the founder of the city.
It is located on the other side of the river. It is a neighborhood full of history and a visit is recommended at night. This is an area where writers and artists formerly resided, considered a separate country with its own constitution and you are even asked for a passport to leave or enter it.
Worth the climb to the tower, but thereis a cable car if your energy is flagging for a small fee. The ascent through of the park and during Sventaragio allows you to enjoy the views. The slope is somewhat uncomfortable due to the cobbled street. Once up there, you can see the entire city of Vilnius and even visit the Tower of Gediminas.
This is a small pedestrianised street where there is an outdoor exhibition dedicated to writers, good artists in general commemorating the most important literature in the country. I loved it! It is a small corner of Vilnius you can't miss.
Gediminas lived from 1275 to 1341 and ruled the Grand Duchy of Lithuania for 25 years. He was the founder of the capital, Volna, which he had moved, and Trakai. He was known to maintain good diplomatic relations with Europe and managed to expand beyond the Eastern and Southern borders. The monument to the Grand Duke was created by the Lithuanian American artist Vytautas Kasuba.
St. Nicholas Church in Lithuanian, sv. Baznycia Mikalojaus, is the oldest church in Lithuania, built in the old town of Vilnius in the 14th century. It's mentioned in writings for the first time in 1387. Archaeologists believe that it's the same Catholic Church that has survived until today. The exterior is brick Gothic style, while the interior has been renovated several times. The Baroque steeple was built in the 17th century.
Like most major cities of Eastern Europe before WWII, Vilnius also had a guetto. It was a city where a fairly large number of Jews lived. When the Nazis expanded throughout Europe, the Jews were held in this neighbourhood, remembered today by plaques on the streets that ran along the same route as the neighbourhood's old streets, so that visitors can get an idea of the size it was.
The Theotokos Cathedral or the Cathedral of the Virgin, one of the oldest churches in Vilnius, was built before the Christianization of Lithuania in the fourteenth century, when the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a pagan European. Becoming an important spiritual center for the country's growing Christian population after the conversion of Lithuania to Roman Catholicism, the Cathedral was protected by Princes Konstanty Ostrogski and Wasyl Ostrogski ve restored it again after the collapse of the dome in 1506. After their death in 1609 the cathedral was taken over by the Greek Orthodox Church , ve rebuilt it in the typical regional style. In 1748, after an important fire, the cathedral was abandoned and the building used for other purposes. The cathedral was destroyed by the Russian army during World War II, restoration began in 1948, although the work was not completed until 1957. Today the cathedral belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church and was newly renovated in 1998. The religious services are attendedmainly by Russian and Belarusian residents of Vilnius.
The former palaces of the KGB on Gedemino Prospekt are today home to, among other things, a fascinating and interesting museum of the first genocide of the Lithuanian people by the Nazis, then by the Soviet Union. There are photo exhibits with captions in English, recalling the suffering of the Lithuanian people and the resistance. The exhibition is on the ground floor of the prison of the KGB, where you can see the interrogation room. The reconstruction of the control units of wiretaps are disturbing evidence of a sad and all-too-recent past.
You will know when you're entering Uzupis neighborhood because there are mirrors on the wall where the Constitution of Uzupis iswritten - Uzupis as a "neighborhood-independent state". There, written in different languages, each mirror is a different language, are the rights of the citizens of Uzupis. Such as, a right to smile, to celebrate the birthday, to have dogs, cats have ... It is a neighborhood of artists, so everything is very creative.
A baroque Catholic church, considered a masterpiece and one of the few remaining buildings of this type left standing during the Soviet era - most became museums or factories. Inside you can see 2000 figures in stucco.
Aukso Avis is my favorite store! Whenever I go to Vilnius (I've only been there 2 times) I go! It has precious things from earrings to brooches, to bracelets and necklaces. They're really beautiful and most of them are original since there's only one of each in the store! They're not very cheap! The brooches are worth 30€, but they're all so pretty! And they make all of them in their own workshop, so no two will be the same! The 2 times I went I bought 2 pins each time. The service is great, of course they speak English and you can see and touch everything all you want! It's a store with charm. It's very easy to identify from the outside, because there are always large hanging dolls.
The Choral Synagogue of Vilnius, built in 1903, is located near the train and bus stations. Before the arrival of the Nazis, Vilnius had more than one hundred synagogues and 100,000 Jews. Sadly, the majority were deported and mostly killed in various extermination camps.