Vilnius Town Hall

In the very center of Vilnius city on the crossing of 2 famous streets – Didžioji (The Great) Street and Vokiečių (Germans) Street, for almost 600 years the Vilnius Town Hall stands in the middle of Town Hall Square. Of course, it is not the same building first built in the 15th century, however, this location has always been important for massing cultural, political and public events.

The History of Vilnius Town Hall began when it was mentioned for the first time in 1432. As Vilnius city got its city rights in 1387, Vilnius had to build an administrative office. Then citizens had to elect a magistrate who settled his administrative organs in the Town Hall.

The Town Hall included many public institutions then: conference rooms, courtroom, treasury, archive, trading marketplace, special premises for measuring devices, storerooms, even a prison. According to some later documents of the 16th century, the Town Hall then was of gothic style and included a tower. Actually, gothic ruins of base of the Town Hall left till nowadays.  Naturally, as years passed by,  the Town Hall was reconstructed many times so it has changed its` appearance not once. And although Vilnius Town Hall was devastated by fires and foreigners many times, citizens had always tried to rebuild it even more smart than it was before as they considered this building as the center  of events.  The Town Hall clock was the main landmark of time in Vilnius, in addition to this, Town Hall bells announced citizens of danger or important events. In 1749 a wooden tower with the clock burnt. Rebuilding works were unsuccessful then as 10 years later the tower collapsed because of weak basement. It also ruined one part of the Town Hall. Rebuilding works were entrust to famous architect L. S. Gucevičius. He managed reconstruction of the Town Hall which was implemented according to the simplest project that was chosen by the then ruling King of the Commonwealth of Lithuania and Poland. The new building was finished in 1799, 1 year after its architect died.

Nowadays Vilnius Town Hall is a compact building including 2 floors and really harmonic proportions. Cosy inside interior contrasts with the monumental exterior of the Town Hall. The main façade of the building is emphasized with a portico of 6 Doric pillars and a pretty low triangular gable. Windows positioned in equal intervals one from another on the flat walls of the Town Hall are decorated with subtle classicistic rims. The Town Hall is worth attention not only because of its` unique architecture, but also because it still is an attraction center of cultural and public events. Since 1995 various projects : concerts, exhibitions, meetings, evenings of creation and exceptional balls of nobility are here being arranged. So any time you bypass the Vilnius Town Hall, do not forget to check out if you are not missing some great occasion there.