The starting point for our city walk in Vilnius is the Cathedral of St. Stanislaus. This time take a look inside, where a Holy Mass just takes place.
From the cathedral, we continue to the funicular tramway which brings us to the Gediminas mountain. We pass the National Museum of Lithuania, in front of which stands a monument to the Grand Duke Mindaugas.
He is regarded as the founder of Lithuania and even received the royal crown at the instigation of Pope Innocent IV, in 1253. He was murdered in 1263 because he had lost the support of the population.
From the top of Gediminas Mountain, we have a wonderful panoramic view over Vilnius. Countless churches determine the cityscape.
The steepness of the flanks of the mountain gives a sense of how difficult it was for attackers to take over the fortress. Gediminas’ Tower on the mountain now houses a museum and is the landmark of Vilnius.
Back at the foot of the mountain we go back to the cathedral and pass the castle. From there we turn into Pilies gatve. It is the main shopping street and the tourist center of Vilnius.
Along the street you find plenty of restaurants and shops. Approximately in the middle of the road, the Literary Street branches off to the left.
Literary Street – Literatu gatve
Innumerable bookstores and antiquarians lined the narrow lane once. The Lithuanian writer Adam Mickiewicz also lived here temporarily.
Egle Vertelkaite, the curator of the Modern Art Center, launched the project Literatų Street in 2009. About 150 artists pay homage to writers and poets who influenced Lithuanian literature. Therefore they created on the house walls about 200 tiles and plaques made of different materials, such as ceramics, wood, or glass. Also some unknown literati are immortalized here.
The road ends at the Cathedral of the Theotokos in the Maironio gatve.
The Republic of Uzupis
From here it is only a few steps to Uzupio gatve. The bridge over the Vilnia leads to Uzupis, one of the oldest districts of Vilnius. After Lithuania’s independence, it became more and more of a bohemian district. In 1997, the artists proclaimed the independent Republic of Uzupis.
Many restaurants, cafés, and bars line the Uzupio gatve and the shore of the Vilnia. Works of art are everywhere and invite to reflect. Today, the district is also referred to as Montmartre of Vilnius.
The Republic of Uzupis has its own constitution, documented in different languages on plaques at the Paupio Gatve. Furthermore, the Republic of Uzupis has its own flag, its own anthem, its own president, and its own media. Own ambassadors promote the exchange of art worldwide.
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