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Vilnius - Lithuania heart

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania. This town is known as the largest and the finest town in the country. MORE

Place of interest

Vilnius is really important historical, cultural and academic hub of Eastern Europe. MORE

Religion

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Majority of Lithuanians are Roman Catholics. However Lithuanians were mostly pagans in the Middle Ages and were the last nation in Europe that was Christianized. In 1385 Krėva’s agreement was signed, which also stated that Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogaila must christen himself, marry queen Jadvyga, later whole nation must be Christianized. Later Jogaila Christianized all noblemen and citizens of Vilnius in 1387. Several months later St. Stanislaus church was built (oncoming cathedral) and St. Johns church was started to built.

Nowadays Vilnius is the centre of Lithuanian Catholics, where main catholic institutions can be found: archdiocese and main Lithuanian temple – Vilnius arch-cathedral basilica. Vilnius has lots of churches, monasteries (monkeries) and religious schools. Architectural history of Vilnius churches involves styles of gothic, renaissance, baroque and classicism. Most churches are situated in heart of Vilnius – old town; decorative facades of churches, domes, campaniles refresh the scenery of hilly Vilnius.

Vilnius has not only churches but also Orthodox Church and Jewish synagogues. It proves that Vilnius is the reflection of various European streams of civilization, styles and nations‘ culture.

Vilnius’ Jewish brought their Judaism traditions and as a result Vilnius was also known as Lithuanian Jerusalem. Vilnius was a hometown for lots of famous Judaism scientists and rabbis from XVIIth century till World War II. Lithuania also had worldwide known spiritual academies – yeshivas. Lots of youth from Europe were coming to study here. Vilnius had more than 250 synagogues in different periods of time. It is sad but only one synagogue survived till nowadays – Vilnius choral synagogue.

Vilnius was like a home for eastern orthodox Christians from XIIth century. Very famous Russian orthodox monastery has survived till nowadays and it is near the Gates of Dawn (Ausros Vartai). Also chapel of Karaites can be found in Vilnius.