National Museum Of Lithuania

Lithuanian National Museum is the oldest museum in the country which is located in buildings of the complex of Vilnius castles. Although it includes many subdivisions, the main 3 are the New Arsenal, the Old Arsenal and the Tower of Gediminas Castle.  Thousands of people are passing by there every day and most of them do not even realize what curios and prehistoric relicts are kept in here.

History of Lithuanian National Museum started  in 1855. Then an Antiquity museum was opened in Vilnius University by Lithuanian historian and collector graph Eustachijus Tiškevičius. Nowadays we can only imagine, what exhibits could have been exposed there as antiques more than 150 years ago! The museum then collected, preserved and exposed  historical heritage of The Grand Duchy of Lithuania. However, after an uprising in 1863, Russians stopped the development of the museum and closed it for reconstruction.

The largest part of the most valuable exhibits was brought to Moscow. In 1965 the former Antiquity museum was opened as a public library. Only in 1918, one of the leaders of Lithuanian national liberation, Jonas Basanavičius on the ground of the former Antiquity museum started creating a museum of Lithuanian history and ethnography. This work was also interrupted by Poland occupants that took Vilnius city in 1920. Luckily, valuable collections were given to save for Vilnius University and according to these collections, in 1952 a famous culture historian Vincas Žilėnas formed a museum of History and Ethnography. In 1992 the museum was named as  Lithuanian National Museum because the most important Lithuanian historical, archeological and ethnical relicts were brought there.

Nowadays more than 998 thousand various historical materials here are kept. In addition, the museum organizes annual meetings of researchers of history, what is more, annual archeological expeditions are arranged. There is a restoration center ( the museum have restored more than a half of all relicts saved in all Lithuanian history museums), a specialized library, an archive, a photo laboratory,  specific Lithuanistic departments .  It is obvious that besides its` large collection of historical exhibits, the Lithuanian National Museum also involves an entire complex of past investigation. The main purpose of the Lithuanian National Museum nowadays is to popularize and develop historical self-awareness. In order to implement the purpose, various activities and events are  held there , moreover, special historical journals publishing the newest researches are printed.

The Lithuanian National Museum has many subdivisions, but the main 3 are located really close to each other.  In the New Arsenal there is the history of the Old Lithuania exposed (13th century - 1795). The Ethnic exposition involves Folk art and home comforts of Lithuanian rustics of the 18th-19th centuries.  The exposition located in the Old Arsenal is proud to have one of the biggest archeological expositions in Europe called “Lithuanian prehistory”. There unique exhibits of Balts` culture reflecting Lithuanian culture from 11th century before our era until Lithuania formed as a country in the 13th century. The Tower of Gediminas Castle includes an impressive collection of armament of 14th-17th centuries , models of complex of Vilnius castles. There is also an observation square on the top of the Tower of Gediminas Castle where visitors can admire wonderful views of Vilnius panorama opening.  By the way, on the base of Gediminas hill there is an elevator working every day 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM (5:00 PM). People can reach the top of the hill in a few minutes and also admire the views of Vilnius city through glass walls only for 2-3 litas.

Opening hours:
The New Arsenal: May 1 – September 30, Tue – Sat -  10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sun -10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
October 1 – April 30, Wen – Sun – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The Old Arsenal: May 1 – September 30, Tue – Sat -  10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sun -10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
October 1 – April 30, Wen – Sun – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM 
The Tower of Gediminas Castle: May 1 – September 30 - every day 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
October 1 – April 30: Tue – Sun 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Entrance: 2-5 litas