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Vilnius Old Town
The heart of the Capital of Lithuania is the beautiful Vilnius Old Town included into UNESCO World heritage list. It is the oldest part of Vilnius on the left shore of river Neris. Nowadays Vilnius Old Town is not only a heritage of old Lithuanian civilization, but also an exclusive bystander of past cultural lifestyle traditions.
The Old town began formatting in medieval period already and nowadays it is one of the largest townscape complex in Eastern Europe. It seizes territory of 3,59 sq. km including 70 streets and 1487 buildings. The Vilnius Old Town includes many churches, museums, living houses and architectural monuments. A very interesting fact is that churches in the Old Town are of many various religions. Scattered really close to each other churches of Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy and Judaism do not surprise local inhabitants.
The germ of Vilnius was founded in Neolithic period near confluence of two rivers – Neris and Vilnelė. Firstly a wooden castle was erected on the hill (Castle hill). Later, straight from that place many narrow streets were paved combining the radial net of city streets. The authentic chaotic deployment of streets remained till nowadays. The oldest period of political and cultural life of Grand Duke of Lithuania is represented by the complex of representative buildings and defensive entrenchments located in national cultural reserve of Vilnius. The cultural and political center of Vilnius expanded apace despite the fact that it survived many fires and wars.
The Vilnius Old Town is rich in variety of architectural styles. Gothic, renaissance, baroque, classicism and a bit of modernism coalesce into one spectacular architectural ensemble. Perhaps the most impressive building is the Vilnius Cathedral and its Tower of classicism style located in Vilnius Old Town, in Cathedral Square. In addition, many other estates worth visiting are located around it. The recently rebuilt Royal Palace of Lithuania welcomes visitors to admire the authentic outside and interior. Gediminas castle erected on the Castle (Pilies, lit.) hill, an outstanding monument for the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas in the Cathedral square also attracts visitors. Visitors exploring Vilnius Old Town must path the famous Pilies (Castle)Street full of cosy restaurants and shops. The Pilies street leads straight to Town Hall Square where various events are usually held. Over there the famous Vokiečių (Germain) street is located.
There are many various excursions organized for tourists to explore the Vilnius Old Town. Some trips are oriented towards most famous highlights of Vilnius Old Town, others - towards architectural masterpieces. Also tourists may take an adventurous tour in catacombs of the Old Town or have a guided tour to most beautiful churches. Everyone may choose the most suitable way of Vilnius Old Town exploring. Whatever you choose, you will absolutely find this exclusive part of Vilnius city very attractive.
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St. Anne's Church is a church which will definitely leave an impression, maybe the same as it once left to Napoleon Bonaparte himself, who wanted to take it to Paris with him in the palm of his own hand if it were ever possible.
Church of St. John is an outstanding architectural monument of baroque famous in all Europe. Visited by kings, dukes, even by pope John Paul II the church purports meaningful turns in local history, science and art.
Vilnius University is not only the oldest university in Lithuania, but also and one of the oldest in Europe. The university is famous not only for education quality but and for its interesting history and marvelous appearance of the Old ensemble of Vilnius university located in the Old Town.