What to see in Vilnius, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including Cathedral of Saints Stanislaus and Ladislaus and Gediminas Tower.
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, located in the southeast of the country at the confluence of the Vilnia and Neris rivers.
Its historic center, of medieval structure, has preserved despite the partial destruction suffered over the centuries, a harmonious complex of buildings in different architectural styles, this is one of the reasons why it is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites .
The historical heart of the city is the square where the Cathedral of Saints Stanislaus and Ladislaus is located, built in neoclassical style and in whose crypt there are the relics of many noble characters, dukes and bishops, protagonists of the history related to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in addition to the interesting Chapel of San Casimiro.
In front of the Cathedral stands the Bell Tower, formerly an integral part of the defensive walls of Vilnius.
Behind the Cathedral stands the lower castle or Royal Palace, dating from the sixteenth century and rebuilt in 1800.
On the hill, in the surrounding area, there is the Upper Castle which, after the destruction suffered in the seventeenth century during the war with Russia, has preserved the Western Tower, known as the Gediminas Tower and home to a museum, symbol, together with the Cathedral , of the city of Vilnius.
The University is located in the historic center, consisting of a complex of buildings built in various architectural styles.
Founded in 1579, it is one of the oldest universities in Eastern Europe, in its library there are ancient writings, rare prints and prestigious collections.
It was the most important scientific and cultural center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and profoundly influenced its political, social and economic life.
Among the religious buildings stand out the Church of Sant'Anna, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Church of San Francesco and San Bernardino, originally in Gothic style, then renovated with the addition of architectural elements in Renaissance and Baroque style.Recommended readings
- Vilnius (Lithuania): what to see in the capital
- Lithuania: useful information
In addition to these, the Baroque Basilica of St. Peter and Paul, where masterpieces of Italian and Lithuanian art are preserved, the Church of the Holy Spirit, which is the most important Orthodox Church in Lithuania, with the exterior in Baroque style and the interior is in rococo style.
The Gate of Dawn was part of the ancient fortification of Vilnius, one of the gates that once opened in the walls.
Next to this door there is a chapel which houses an effigy of the Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy, an object of great devotion and a destination for pilgrimages.
The Discalced Carmelites, in the years 1633-1654, had the Church of Santa Teresa d'Avila built adjacent to the Chapel of the Porta dell'Aurora.
About 30 km from Vilnius is the small town of Trakai which, surrounded by picturesque landscapes, was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the residence of the Grand Duke.
On the island in the middle of Lake Galves is the 14th century castle.