Vilnius After Dark

This is Gediminas. He was the Grand Duke of Lithuania in the 14th Century. He founded Vilnius too when, following a dream, he built a castle on the spot where Cathedral Square now stands. The wolf on the plinth alludes to this.

Gediminas, Vilnius
Statue of Gediminas in Cathedral Square

No one has explained to me why he is holding his sword by the blade, or why he is depicted as if he is feeling his way through the dark. I suppose the city was not as well-lit as it was back in the day.

The view of the old town from the Gediminas’ Tower

Vilnius old town at night

Vilnius was rather quiet for a capital city, more so than one would expect after experiencing Tallinn and Riga. After the quiet of Nida, I was expecting a lot more noise. There was plenty of space on the streets and no need to barge shoulders with anybody. There were plenty of people in the bars and the restaurants, but there was always room even in the popular ones. The light levels and the day of the week didn’t seem to matter.

It might have been a different story if I hadn’t visited at the end of the university’s exam period, but the relative peace suited me well. I liked being able to hear my friend speak and not having to raise my voice to be heard, and having more space around me as I checked off things to do in Vilnius.

On a street in Vilnius

Vilnius churches after dark

However, the city did a marvellous job of lighting up its many churches, monuments and shrines. The biggest was the white arch-cathedral which dominates the square next to Gediminas’ monument, and there were others throughout the city that are just as impressive.

Vilnius Cathedral
Vilnius Arch-Cathedral
The first painting of the Divine Mercy, which was commissioned by the Polish visionary Faustina Kowalska.
Vilnius town hall
Not a church – the Town Hall of Vilnius
Holy Trinity Church lies behind the Basilian Gate. The shadows made the reliefs stand out but the church is in terrible need of repairs
St Theresa’s Church is even more splendid inside. It’s also on a street with heaps of attractions…
Gate of Dawn, Vilnius
like the Gate of Dawn. In the day it is opened to display the icon of the Madonna of the Gate.

There’s more to Vilnius than religion, of course, but that’s a story for another post that covers the things that one did during the daylight hours.

See also  Solemn Reflections at Sugihara House, Kaunas