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Make the most of your visit to Vilnius with our fully customizable private tour. Choose what you want to see and when, and our expert managers will help you put together your perfect itinerary. Highly professional private tour guides, expert drivers and fast-track admission to museums will make your trip to Vilnius a truly memorable one!
The Old Town is where Vilnius began. It's full of medieval charm and beauty. It's 74 quarters large, with 70 streets and lanes numbering 1487 buildings. It is a place where some of Europe's most significant architectural styles—gothic, renaissance, baroque, and neoclassical—stand side by side and complement each other. Pilies Street is the Old Town's main artery and the hub of cafes and street market life. The main street of Vilnius, Gediminas Avenue, is partially located in the Old Town. The central squares in the Old Town are the Cathedral Square and the Town Hall Square.
The Cathedral Basilica of St Stanislaus and St Ladislaus of Vilnius is the heart of Catholic spiritual life in Lithuania. It's the main site for the coronations of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and the burial place for many famous people from Lithuanian and Polish history. Inside, there are more than forty works of art dating from the 16th through the 19th centuries, including frescoes and paintings of various sizes. During the restoration of the Cathedral, the altars of a presumed pagan temple and the original floor, laid during the reign of King Mindaugas, were uncovered. Besides, the remains of the Cathedral built in 1387 were also found. A mural dating from the end of the 14th century, the oldest known fresco painting in Lithuania, was found on the wall of one of the Cathedral's underground chapels.
Three Crosses is a monument, on the Hill of Three Crosses, formerly known as the Bald Hill in Kalnai Park. According to a legend, seven Franciscan friars were beheaded on top of this hill. Wooden crosses were built in the location since the early 17th century. It soon became a symbol of the city and an integral part of the city's skyline. As wood rots, the crosses needed to be periodically replaced. In 1916, a concrete monument was constructed, torn down in 1950 by the order of the Soviet authorities. The contemporary one was erected in its place in 1989.
St. Anne's Church is a Roman Catholic church, one of the most interesting examples of Gothic architecture in Lithuania. According to a well-known legend, Emperor Napoleon, after seeing the church during the Franco-Russian War in 1812, expressed a wish to carry the church home with him to Paris 'in the palm of his hand'. With the stunning gothic exterior, the interior is decorated in the Baroque style, as is its altar. The imitative neo-Gothic bell tower, constructed in the 1870s to Chagin's designs, stands nearby.
St. Peter and St. Paul's Church is a Roman Catholic church. It is the centerpiece of a former monastery complex of the Canons Regular of the Lateran. Its interior has masterful compositions of some 2,000 stucco figures by Giovanni Pietro Perti and ornamentation by Giovanni Maria Galli and is unique in Europe. The church is considered a masterpiece of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Baroque.
The Gate of Dawn or Ostra Brama (Sharp Gate) is a city gate, one of its most important religious, historical and cultural monuments. It was built between 1503 and 1522 as a part of defensive fortifications for the city of Vilnius. Of ten city gates, only the Gate of Dawn remains, while the others were destroyed by order of the government at the end of the 18th century. In the 16th-century, city gates often contained religious artifacts intended to guard the city against attacks and to bless travelers. The Chapel in the Gate of Dawn contains an icon of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy, said to have miraculous powers. For centuries the picture has been one of the symbols of the city and an object of worship for both Roman Catholic and Orthodox inhabitants.
Gediminas was 14th century Grand Duke of Lithuania. He is credited with founding this political entity and expanding its territory from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Also, he is one of the most significant individuals in early Lithuanian history, as he was responsible for both building Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and establishing a dynasty that can be traced to other European monarchies such as Poland, Hungary, and Bohemia. Gediminas also began the construction of the first fortifications. The three-floor tower was rebuilt in 1930 on the spot of the original medieval fort. Some remnants of the old castle have been restored, guided by archaeological research.
Pilies Street (literally, "Castle Street") is one of the main streets in the Old Town, running from Cathedral Square to the Town Hall Square. Souvenir shops offer amber goods and amber jewelry, as well as linen clothes. You can find the works of the local artists on the numerous stalls along the street. It is also known for the Kaziukas Fair when folk artists from all four corners of Lithuania gather here to display and sell their latest merchandise.
It was initially constructed in the 15th century for the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the future Kings of Poland. The palace, located in the lower castle of Vilnius, evolved over the years and prospered during the 16th and mid-17th centuries. For four centuries, the palace was the political, administrative and cultural center of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was demolished in 1801. Work on a new palace started in 2002 on the site of the original building, and it was opened in 2009.
Radziwiłł Palace is a Late Renaissance palace. It was the largest but second in importance of Radziwiłłs' palace in Vilnius. Most of it was destroyed in the late 17th century, only the northern wing of the palace survived. Eventually, it was restored in the 1980s, and a division of the Lithuanian Art Museum is located there today.
The Museum of Genocide Victims is located in the former KGB headquarters across from the Lukiškės Square; therefore, it is informally referred to as the KGB Museum. The museum is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting documents relating to the 50-year occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian resistance, and the victims of the arrests, deportations, and executions that took place during this period. The first exposition mentioning the extermination of Jews in Lithuania during World War II was opened in the museum in 2011.
Užupis is a neighborhood in Vilnius's old town. Užupis means "the other side of the river" in the Lithuanian language and refers to the Vilnia River. The district has been popular with artists for some time and has been compared to Montmartre in Paris due to its bohemian and laissez-faire atmosphere. On April 1, 1997, the district declared itself an independent republic (The Republic of Užupis). Užupis is quite small and isolated, being only about 148 acres (0.60 km2) in size; it has around 7,000 inhabitants, nearly 1,000 being artists.
Trakai Castle is located on an island in Lake Galvė, and some 30 minutes drive away from Vilnius. Trakai was one of the leading centers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the castle held great strategic importance. It is the most spectacular of Lithuania's remaining forts, with tall brick walls and wooden walkways.
According to your pre-selected museum preferences, your guide will already have a fully customized tour program which you will follow during your private exploration of Vilnius.
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