Monday, October 22, 2018

NORTHERN COUNTRY TOUR - VILNIUS - LITHUANIA

Here is a map of the whole tour and how it started.


The first time I heard about Vilnius was because a French singer had murdered his girlfriend a French actor. So a part from this drama I knew almost nothing about this town.

When we arrived and drove through the city I immediately liked it ! It looked so homely and the buildings and houses were just beautiful.

Of course I wanted to know a bit more and learned that the city was founded in 1323 by a grand duke who attracted Jewish and German tradesmen and merchants with generous tax exemptions.

For centuries it also became a destination for those fleeing religious persecution (there was even a Scottish Calvinist community in Vilnius) or tough trade guild regulations. The city’s coat of arms features Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers.

The same liberal attitude continued through the centuries, and today the city still has its Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Ruthenian Orthodox quarters. For two centuries from 1569, it was the co-capital of what was then Europe’s biggest empire – the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Later, Vilnius withstood Russian tsarist and Soviet occupation, and in 1991 gained its freedom and independence.



The Cathedral Square in Vilnius is the main square of the Vilnius Old Town, right in front of the neo-classical Vilnius Cathedral. It is a key location in city's public life, situated as it is at the crossing of the city's main streets and reflecting the city's diversity.

We even had the honor  to see a defilé of a group of Hare Krishna disciples !





Gate of Dawn
This 1500s city gate is a prominent landmark housing a chapel with an icon of the Virgin Mary.



St. Cathrine's church



St. Franciskus and Bernard





Vilnius market



a memorial of terrible times







A nice park



Nearly in the middle of Vilnius, we crossed a bridge and arrived in the (miniature) Independant Republic of Uzupis created by 12 Lithuanian Artists in 1995 on April's fool day ! It even has a 12-man army. It's a funny story which you can read  here. We met the new weds again, they posed on the bridge for their wedding pictures.





A sculpture of an angel was placed in the central square of Užupis in 2002. The bronze angel, also created by sculptor Romas Vilčiauskas, has become the symbol of Užupis.









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We walked through the charming little streets



until we arrived at this green house at the right.

 Here you could buy a stamped Constitution of the Republic of Uzhupis



A little extray of the constitution :

Everyone has the right to love.
Everyone has the right not to be loved, but not necessarily.
Everyone has the right to be undistinguished and unknown.
Everyone has the right to be idle.
Everyone has the right to love and take care of the cat.
Everyone has the right to look after the dog until one of them dies.
A dog has the right to be a dog.
A cat is not obliged to love its owner, but must help in time of nee (sic).

The text of the whole constitution is here



The shop was apparently owned by this very friendly ginger cat



Because his picture was on all posters or advertisings.



The constitution was written on a mirror, so I tried to take a picture of myself in the languages I know.

Another Baltic town I would like to visit again ! 



more participants here

12 comments:

Fun60 said...

Loved the photos and commentary. I really enjoy seeing photos of places I have visited.

Christina said...

A very fun place to visit who allows cats not to love their owners though I think most cats do. Reminds me of Tallinn with your pictures and you story. I wish you a good week!

Penelope Puddlisms said...

“Everyone has the right to be idle.” That’s a good one … and taken quite literally by those young men having a nap on the bench. :)

mamasmercantile said...

The architecture was a real delight, such a beautiful place to visit.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, looks like a pretty city to tour and visit. The buildings are beautiful. Have a great new week!

Maribeth said...

Very interesting. I have not been to Vilnius. Jack has. He took many driving trips with his former wife when they lived in Germany.

William Kendall said...

A beautiful city! The cat's adorable, of course!

Loree said...

Beautiful buildings!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh Gattina that cat probably owns the whole city! (Actually it could come over here and run the whole country and do a better job.....)......... it would be fun to live in that artist community wouldn't it? I am not artistic enough to qualify, but I bet you could!! The whole city looks very interesting and fun.

Wendy said...

Another interesting post from your grand tour.

Lea said...

Thank you for these great photos and history of this town I had never heard of until now! I enjoyed looking and reading.
Hope you are having a good week!

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Looks like a lovely place to visit!

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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