Vilnius – the capital of Lithuania

The first impression of Vilnius was that of a modern thriving city with a lot of modern buildings and big companies around town. The centre with its numerous churches showed us that we were in a very catholic country.

The roads through Lithuania are straight and seem to be endless, but finally we reached Vilnius the capital of Lithuania.

Old castle tower on top of a hill
Town Hall
Youngster in the air ūüėČ
Cathedral of Vilnius
Church of the Holy Theresa
Church of St. Casimir
Church of St. Anna
I had promised Edi we only have to visit 2 churches, in the end we went into 6 of the numerous catholic churches in the centre of Vilnius. Definitely a religious country.

Before World War II, Vilnius was one of the largest Jewish centres in Europe. Its Jewish influence has led to its nickname “the Jerusalem of Lithuania”. Napoleon called it “the Jerusalem of the North” as he was passing through in 1812. In 1939, the Lithuanian Consulate in Vilnius was the first in the world to grant Visas For Life for Jews fleeing the Nazi regime. But in 1941, when the Germans conquered Lithuania the Holocaust also started here. About 95% of the 265,000-strong Jewish population of Lithuania was murdered by the German units and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators.

Coffee break

Around town there are many modern buildings and high risers, a sign of economical development during the last decades. Modern apartments are built on the other side of the river – a big contrast to the poor villages we saw before.

View from the old castle
We had found a perfect parking next to the castle and very close to the centre where we spent the night with some other caravans, all from Germany ;-). The next day we visited the National museum to learn a little bit more about the Lithuanian history and traditions. Afterwards we got on the way to the Trakai Island Castle.
Old buses still in use

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