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Vilnius Holidays Overview

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is one of the most bizarre yet stunningly beautiful cities in the world. It is particularly famous for its iconic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that is not only considered to be one of the largest in Europe, but is also known for its magnificent baroque, Renaissance and gothic era buildings. Despite the feeling of continuity offered by the architectural wonders of Vilnius, its history is as chequered as any other East European city. It rose to glory as the capital of the Lithuanian dukes in the Middle Ages and Poles, Russians and Jews have all left their marks in the city. The city has also been known to be a major cultural centre for each of these groups as well. Vilnius might be a major cosmopolitan city in Eastern Europe and might boast of a multicultural society as well, but it is still known to have a slow paced village like atmosphere.

The main beauty and charms of Vilnius lie in its old world cobblestone streets and Baroque architectures which help to transport tourists back into the 16th century. The breathtaking constructions, old world atmosphere and a slow paced lifestyle combine to offer visitors with one of the most magical settings. The development of post war skyscrapers and high rises along with the growth and expansion of restaurants, cafes, bars and a number of attractions also helps to ensure that tourists have more than enough to choose from.

Another reason why Vilnius is so famous on the tourist map is because it serves as a reminder of the miseries of the people of East Europe under the KGB rule. Vilnius is one of the best places and examples of the pain and loss that was suffered by the locals and the horrors of the KGB torture cells located here have their own story to tell.

Some of the most popular sights and attractions in the city include the KGB Genocide Museum, a 13th century Higher Castle, the Vilnius Cathedral and the Presidential Palace.

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Vilnius holidays - Top Places To Go

1. Gediminas Castle
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What is it? Standing sentinel over Vilnius since the 13th century, the landmark Gediminas Castle was built by the founder of the city, and has served as defence bastion, prison, and now major tourist attraction. Originally the castle was made of wood, later clad in 10ft (3m) thick stone walls, and then all but destroyed by Russian troops in the 17th century. Now completely and carefully restored to its former glory, the top of the majestic octagonal tower provides a breathtaking view of the old city. The castle also contains a museum depicting the history of Lithuania and Vilnius, exhibits including models of the city at various points in history and archaeological finds. Hours of Operation: Phone:(526) 17453



2. Cathedral
Katedros Square
What is it? The resplendent Vilnius Cathedral, which stands proudly on the central square of the Old City, has a chequered history that left it decaying and abandoned through the Soviet era. The Cathedral, which resembles a classical Greek temple more than it does a Christian church, is now once again the pride of the city, filled with awesome artworks, traditional icons and history. The cathedral, originally built in the 13th century, stands on the site of an ancient pagan temple, and has been rebuilt several times in the succeeding centuries after fires and storm damage. It contains more than 40 paintings and frescoes. Most noteworthy is the Casimir Chapel, first constructed in 1623, containing eight silver-plated statues and décor wrought by artist Constantino Tencallo. Hours of Operation: Phone:(526) 11127



3. European Park
What is it? A few miles north of Vilnius town centre Lithuanian sculptor Gintaras Karosas founded the Europos Parkas (European Park) on a 55-hectare site that encompasses the geographic centre of Europe, as determined by the French National Geographic Institute in 1989. The Park attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, who come to admire a permanent outdoor sculpture exhibition, set amid rolling hills, woods and fields dotted with natural springs. More than 90 works by artists from 27 countries are on display. Guided tours are available, and the site includes a restaurant, shop and post office. Hours of Operation: The museum is open for visitors throughout the year daily from 9am to sunset Phone:(523) 77077



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About This Page

Information on Vilnius Holidays, Vilnius Hotels, Holiday Packages in Vilnius (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Vilnius Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.