Lithuanians were the last to convert to Christianity in Europe, yet the country is full of churches. Vilnius Cathedral is probably the most important - it is built on a place where once the thunder god was worshipped. Inevitably, it has been destroyed several times, and during the Soviet occupation its three saints were destroyed. Replicas were placed on the roof only in 1996.
What's more: the Cathedral didn't even function as such, but instead it was used as a gallery to protect it against possible Soviet action. The paintings are still there, and visiting the Cathedral is like visiting a curious museum. Wonder at the paintings while people around you kneel and pray. The main attraction inside is St Casimirs chapel, an ancient duke.
The Cathedral and its square, and the belfry tower close to it, are now an important meeting point for Lithuanians. It is here that young couples meet for a date, that people head for the Old Town, and also here that small markets are held at times. For the visitor, it is the obvious starting point for a walk in the city or up Gediminas Hill behind it.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Vilnius Cathedral. Read more about this site.