Lithuania is one of three Baltic countries, with Vilnius as its capital. Although it’s not a very well-known state, it’s full of beautiful scenery, tons of architectural sightseeing points, and excellent food.
Historically, this urban center has served as an artistic hotspot and has been home to some of the most diverse populations. The city boasts Jewish roots and majestic Christian churches and a considerable number of artist settlements. If you’ve booked a tour to Lithuania and other Baltic states, it’s time to learn more about intriguing places you must visit in Vilnius.
The Republic of Užupis
One intriguing attraction in Vilnius is the independent Republic of Uzupis, which declared autonomy in 1998 and was awarded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the republic is really just a small neighborhood in Vilnius, with just about 7000 residents.
However, you have to visit the area for a Lithuanian experience, unlike anything else you’ve witnessed so far. The comical constitution of the republic has been placed for public viewing in Paupio street with articles such as, “A cat is not obliged to love its owner but must help in time of need,” or “Everyone has the right to understand nothing.” Hilarious, right?
Gediminas’ Tower is part of the castle complex, but it’s an icon in its own right. Legend has It that the Iron Wolf appeared to Gediminas in a dream in this tower, after which he was inspired to establish Vilnius.
The view from Gediminas’ Hill and Tower are spectacular! Gazing over the red-roofed homes and church towers in Old Vilnius is a sight you should treasure.
St. Anne’s and Bernardine Church Complex
This complex contains two main structures; the Church of St. Anne and the Church of St. Francis and Bernardine. Both these churches are unique examples of flamboyant Gothic architectural styles.
The high towers and arching interior ceilings are classic Gothic styles, but the exteriors are built with red brick, which offers a unique twist to the usual grey stone you’re familiar with. Make sure to notice the oldest Lithuanian crucifix in St. Francis and Bernardine.
Vilnius Castle Complex
The castle complex in Vilnius is probably one of the stranger-looking ones you’ll see in Europe. There are three main structures in the complex: the upper castle, the lower castle, and the Crooked. While the crooked castle was destroyed by knights in 1390 and never rebuilt, the upper castle eventually degraded, and some of the lower castle stands.
However, the castle complex has so much more than the castles. The Vilnius Cathedral is a whitewashed pillar of strength. Note the sculptures on the roof of St. Casimir, St. Stanislaus and St. Helena — these were restored as recently as 1997!
So, ready to explore the wonders of Lithuania yet? When you travel with our team at Pat Tours, you experience none of the stress of managing logistics! Our job as a Poland tour company is to make sure you have a great time. We’re now offering American Polish tours along with the Baltic States as well. Contact us today to book yours.