Lietuvos (Lithuania) - Vilnius


Travel pictures from Lithuania

by Dr. Günther Eichhorn


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In June 2002 I visited Vilnius in Lithuania during a trip through Central Europe. Since the rental car company wouldn't allow me to drive to Lithuania, I had to fly to Vilnius from Warsaw, Poland. Because of that I was only able to see Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, nothing else. I stayed there two nights. The city is actually quite modern, with modern shops and parking meters, just like in any large city in western Europe. There is a bit of renovation construction going on, but not as much as in other central European countries. In one excavation for utility lines you could see old ruins in the ditch. They were performing archaeological investigations on these ruins.

As everywhere in central Europe, churches dominate the city. The large cathedral in the center of the city dominates the cathedral square. The first cathedral there was built in 1387. The current version was built in 1783 - 1801. On one side of the cathedral is a statue of Gediminas, the founder of Vilnius, with his horse. Looking over Vilnius is Gedimino Kalnas (Gediminas Hill), with an octagonal tower, part of the 14th century fortification of Vilnius. As far as churches go, for me the most impressive one was St. Anne's Church, a large 16th century Gothic red brick church.

The university of Vilnius was founded in 1579. I got a tour through the university, including a visit to the observatory, which is from the 18th century. The university library was very impressive. The door into the library has beautiful bronze panels. The interior is just what you expect from a really old library. The observatory was interesting to visit. They had quite a few old telescopes and other astronomical instruments on display, in particular the old transit instrument and the meridian circle.

The central part of Vilnius has some nice old houses, but once you are outside the old center, it becomes less interesting. One noteworthy monument is a statue of Frank Zappa, a famous US musician.

Lithuania definitely has more catching up to do than the other countries that I visited in that area, except România. From what I was told, the rest of Lithuania lags a lot further behind than the capital.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn.

street2Street scene in the old parts of Vilnius. (292k)
streetThe mix of old and modern houses in Vilnius. (40k)
street3The modern main street in Vilnius. (264k)
plazaPlaza in Vilnius with modern fountain. (188k)
digUtility dig on main street. There were old ruins in that trench and archaeologists were excavating them. (336k)
cathedralThe large Cathedral in the center of Vilnius. (207k)
gediminasStatue of Gediminas next to the cathedral. (177k)
towerOctagonal shaped tower on Gediminas Hill. (326k)
orthodox churchOrthodox Church in Vilnius. (231k)
baroqueBaroque church in Vilnius. (224k)
gothic overviewSt. Anne's Church from Gediminas Hill. (291k)
gothic church 2St. Anne's Church, a beautiful late Gothic church. (284k)
gothic church 1St. Anne's Church. (315k)
universityVilnius University. (188k)
observatoryThe observatory in the University of Vilnius. (243k)
doorDoor to the library in the University of Vilnius. (257k)
libraryVilnius University library. (246k)
globeAn old globe with star constellations in the observatory. (193k)
telescopeAn old telescope in the observatory. (118k)
telescope2Another old brass telescope. (259k)
transitTransit instrument in the observatory. (165k)
meridianMeridian circle in the observatory. (207k)
zappa2Frank Zappa memorial monument. (294k)
zappa1Statue of Frank Zappa. (276k)

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© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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