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Lithuania: Vilnius Cathedral

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Vilnius Cathedral | Lithuania | Europe

[Visited: March 2002]

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.

Picture of Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania): Statues on roof of Vilnius Cathedral

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.

Picture of Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania): Statue with cross on roof of Vilnius Cathedral

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.

Picture of Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania): Inside of Vilnius Cathedral
Picture of Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania): Roof of Vilnius Cathedral
Picture of Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania): Front of Vilnius Cathedral
Picture of Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania): Inside St. Casimir's chapel, Vilnius Cathedral
Picture of Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania): Belfry tower of Vilnius Cathedral
Picture of Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania): Inside Vilnius Cathedral
Picture of Vilnius Cathedral (Lithuania): Praying in Vilnius cathedral

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