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Vilnius

Excursion tour in Vilnius. Top architecture - monuments, castles, temples and palaces

St. Anne Church, Gediminas Tower, St. Peter and St. Paul Church, and Presidential Palace are the main candidates that compete for the title of the major architectural symbol of Vilnius. Just like in the first part of the guide, you can watch each monument by viewing its colorful 3D model in the Vilnius flyover video on the left. Don’t forget to access our photo gallery and an overview of interesting facts regarding every monument. The map of the most important architecture sights of Vilnius (located below this guide) will help you to create your own sightseeing tour through Vilnius.

St. Anne Church, Vilnius

» The church is named after the Blessed Mother of the Virgin Mary. It was first mentioned in the historical chronicles in 1394.
» The exterior walls are plastered with red clay, which gives an impression that you see bricks of different shapes. Such an architectural style is called “Flamboyant”.
» You can see a stigma on one of the walls but no one has deciphered these signs.
» The length and width of the small rectangular building are 22 m and 10 m correspondingly. The facade is divided into 3 parts. The symmetry of the building is represented by equally tall elegant towers.
» Rectangles with crossing lines stretch from the ledge and create a rope ornament. Their edges depict a hammered vane, a cross and the Sun. There are only eight long lancet windows on the side thin walls. The ceiling is upheld by decorative crescent lance-shaped stone towers.
» The interior is quite modest: light walls without paintings, several icons, and the altar with a wooden cross.
» Napoleon’s Army burnt the wooden utensils during their attack. Although, the Emperor dreamed of “transporting the church to Paris on his palms”.

Gediminas Tower, Vilnius

» The octagonal high guard tower on top of the mountain is the only construction that remains of the castle built by Lithuanian King Gediminas and serving as a strong defensive construction. According to some sources, there were buildings already in the 13th century.
» In the late 18th century, the castle lost its strategic significance and started to deteriorate. Today, Gediminas’ Tower is a big three-floor building of rough natural stone and red brick with loopholes.
» It houses exhibits depicting Vilnius, armors, and archeological artifacts. You can also see models of castles and fortresses of the old times here.
» There is an observation platform upstairs, to which the ladder of 78 steps embedded in the wall leads.
» The colorful Lithuanian flag was first installed on the roof in 1919 as a state symbol. There is a good cafe.
» The urban services deforested plants around the tower. The mountain slid and could cause the destruction of the tower. Trees were planted on the hills.
» Every year, 150 thousand tourists visit the old tower to see the monument of medieval architecture and the symbol of the city.

St. Peter and St. Paul Church, Vilnius

» The commander of the Lithuanian troop bequeathed to bury him under the threshold of the church. He built it at his own expense. The construction began in 1668.
» 100 years later, the gravestone was struck by lightning. Then, the Hetman was buried in accordance with the Christian tradition. The ledger was cemented in one of the church stones.
» Italian masters building the church added a pleasing view to the interior by placing over 2 thousand gypsum statues. The white color dominates and provides a sense of the huge space.
» The altar image of the 18 century is special. The painting depicts terrible scenes of the plague. The sculpture of the Death and St. Christopher stands out among other sculptures.
» The big prolonged crystal chandelier is made of fancy metal items. Convex massive bas-reliefs resemble elephants’ heads.
» The church has the shape of the Latin cross. The facade is framed with two towers. The temple resembles a medieval castle with its exterior. Round columns are bulky from below and crowned with patterned molding from above. There is a dome with a lantern above the main entrance.
» The church was named after saint followers of Christ's teachings, Peter and Paul.

Presidential Palace, Vilnius

» Christianity was adopted in 1387. The palace was built in commemoration of this event.
» A few centuries after, the garden that is notable for diverse flora was planted here.
» At different times, eminent nobles stayed here. There is a preserved engraving of the 19th century depicting the memorable defeat of Napoleon’s army.
» The exterior of the Presidential Palace in the Empire style demonstrates the value of nationhood and power.
» The rooms on the ground floor are well equipped. With it, the architectural style of late classicism has been preserved, as the furniture is primarily of red color.
» The interior of main halls was restored according to the archival data. Historical pieces of furniture have been preserved. The second level of the western part was rebuilt.
» At the weekend, the rite of changing the state flag is held by the honor guard. Soldiers of the patrol wear medieval armors.
» In 1997, the President moved to the new palace.
» The palace is divided into halls: Conference Hall, White Hall for official meetings, Blue Hall for personal meetings, Green Hall for the President and his assistants’ meetings, and the Presidential Room for general meetings.
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Architectural sights of Vilnius - photostream

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