Vilniusa—a city of immense allure

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Vilnius, the baroque beauty of the Baltic, is a city of immense allure. It easily tops the country’s best-attraction bill, drawing tourists like moths to a flame with an easy, confident charm and a warm, golden glow that makes you wish for long midsummer evenings every day of the year.

Vilnius Cathedral

Known in full as the Cathedral of St Stanislav and St Vladislav, this national symbol occupies a spot originally used for the worship of Perkūnas, the Lithuanian thunder god. Seventeenth-century St Casimir’s Chapel, with its baroque cupola, colored marble and frescoes of the saint's life, is the showpiece, while the crypts are the final resting place of many prominent Lithuanians, including Vytautas the Great.

Vilnius University

Founded in 1579 during the Counter-Reformation, Vilnius University was run by Jesuits for two centuries and became one of the greatest centers of Polish learning. It produced many notable scholars but was closed by the Russians in 1832 and didn’t reopen until 1919. Today it has 23,000 students and Lithuania’s oldest library, shelving five million books (including one of two originals of The Catechism by Martynas Mažvydas, the first book ever published in Lithuanian).

Gediminas Castle & Museum

With its prime hilltop location above the junction of the Neris and Vilnia rivers, Gediminas Castle is the last of a series of settlements and fortified buildings occupying this site since Neolithic times. This brick version, built by Grand Duke Vytautas in the early 15th century, offers commanding 360-degree views of Vilnius, and an exhibition tracing the history of the castle across the centuries, complete with scale models.



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