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Vilnius - Lithuania heart

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Vincas Kudirka Square

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Opening Hours: I-VII: 00.00-24.00
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Vincas Kudirka Square is a 1.4 ha open air space in Vilnius Old Town, which was formed in the 19th century. The Square is surrounded by Gediminas Avenue and Vilnius Street, also the office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania is located next to the Square.

The Square is already known from the times of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and was a suburb of Vilnius at the time. In 16th-17th centuries the location was predominated over by the St. George Church, another part of the Square was a garden. The Square got the name of St. George after the St. George Avenue was laid in 1836. During the occupation of the Russian Empire, following the wish of Muravyov the Chapel of Alexander Nevsky was built here in 1865. The funds for the construction works of the Chapel were raised by the rebel suppressors. The Chapel was demolished in 1919 and a fountain was built instead. The fountain was a monument dedicated to E. Ozeskiene, and the whole square got the name after this monument. In the beginning of the 20th century the buildings started to appear around the Square. The fountain was demolished during the World War II (in 1945) and the Square was named after I. Chernyakhovsky, and five years later a monument for him was unveiled (sculptor – Nikolai Tomsky). In 1976 the Square was renovated, and in 1989 it was named a Municipality Square. The monument to I. Chernyakhovsky and the remains beneath were removed from the Square in 1993, and the Square was again renewed in 2002. During this reconstruction an underground parking was built beneath the Square. The current title – Vinco Kudirkos – was granted to the Square in 2007, and two years later a monument was built.

Events organized in the Square: in 2009 the welcoming ceremony of the European Champions basketball club “Lietuvos Rytas”. The festival was organized to honor the champions and their coaches, who won the pass to the Euroleague of the following year. In 2010 the National Blood Centre organized an unpaid blood-donor action named “Good Thoughts Come During the Summer”.

Exhibitions on various topics and of various genres are constantly held here. In 2011 a mobile exhibition”Rainiai Tragedy: the Memory is Live” was brought to the V. Kudirka Square. The Exhibition was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Rainiai slaughter. There is a tradition to sing national anthem “Tautiska Giesme” annually on the 6th of July – the day when the King Mindaugas was crowned.

Periodically protests and public gatherings take place in the Square: on May 1st, 2010, the gathering of the Socialist People’s Front; in April, 2010, the National Green Movement remembered the disaster of the Chernobil Nuclear Power Plant in 1986, and protested against the plans to build new nuclear power plants in Visaginas, Astravyets, and Kaliningrad. A traditional spring festival – European Fair and the 5th anniversary the Lithuanian Membership in the EU – was organized in 2009.

V. Kudirka Square not only has a very interesting history, it also amuses with the variety of shows and leisure means, enjoy cultural events, or simply sit down in a quiet place surrounded by the trees.

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