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The Gate of Dawn
The Gate of Dawn is one of the most important religious, historical and cultural monuments in Vilnius which is a tourism object of even cosmic religious importance. The Gate of Dawn is widely well known for the miracle painting of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy located in the Gate of Dawn chapel.
Gate of Dawn was one of 9 defensive gates built in Vilnius in 1503-1522. It was the tallest one and was built in the most dangerous place in case of attacks. In 1799 Russians destroyed the defensive Vilnius wall together with all gates except of Gate of Dawn. It is thought that they were scared to demolish the place where the blessed painting was located. Thus, the Gate survived.
Story of the painting is shadowed by many unanswered questions. There is no even a reasoned version how the painting was brought to Vilnius city. Some sources tell that it was brought there by the Grand Duke Algirdas from Crimea. However, it is only one of several unreasoned answers. After the first scientific research in 1927 it was found out that the painting was created in the 16th century perhaps by Italian artists. The painting got a miracle image in the 17th century. It is also one of these rare paintings where the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother is pictured alone, without a baby on hands. The painting is known in all the world. There are many copies of it placed in various countries like Poland, France.
The appearance and name of the famous Gate of Dawn changed many times. Nowadays it is of late classicism style. The previous view of the Gate of Dawn was created in the 19th century after the reconstruction. Various names for the Gate came from old times. Firstly it was called Medininkai Gate, then-the Sharp Gate. The nowadays name was first mention in publications of 20th century only. Some state that the name is connected with the painting, as the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother is figuratively linked with dawn. Others say that it is because of Gate geographical location. Still and all, various opinions only strengthen the mystery and interest of the miracle place.
It must be considered that the chapel normally operates as a prayer house. Annual 8 days fests are held every year around the 16th of November, group prayers for Vilnius city are organized, priests celebrate Mass, listen to confessions. All in all, it is a religious place where it is said sainted powers make wonders. Some histories say it cures patients, others say it punishes evildoers. Visit the famous Gate of Dawn and ask for a miracle too.
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