Lithuania Off The Beaten Path

  • Nida - Typical houses
    Nida - Typical houses
    by HORSCHECK
  • Neris River  and city of Vilnius from overlook.
    Neris River and city of Vilnius from...
    by Agteacher
  • Nemunas river in Birštonas
    Nemunas river in Birštonas
    by Mikebond

Lithuania Off The Beaten Path

  • Sovietic-era buildings and other relicts

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    Grutas Park (Gruto Parkas) is a large outdoor park which exhibits all sorts of Soviet relicts, such as sculptures, monuments or vehicles. It was opened in 2001 by a private entrepreneur. The park is also home to a museum with paintings, photos and other Soviet propaganda documents. The more than 80 exhibits are positioned along an approximately 2...

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  • Trakai

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    Our half day tour to Trakai Castle was the individual highlight of our 2 days in Vilnius. The fortified castle built on an island by Grand Duke Vietautas during the 15th century and now fully restored is magnificent. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy this castle and the magificent lake which surrounds the castle. Make certain you take your...

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  • Districts of Vilnius

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    I agree that the buildings from the TV Tower look grey, but leave the tower and walk between the building and see the people. I've been staying with a young family for several weeks now.They are both professionals working in Vilnius. Life is anything but grey. They have a 3 year old daughter who is full of life, with another one on the way. They...

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  • Old town details

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    Walking south from the Town Walls and the Bastion we passed through some old streets with old houses really in bad conditions, which need absolutely some restorations, after which they could become really nice as they were before! This street should be Sv.Dviasios gatve, which is really close to the Gates of Dawn.

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  • Statues and fountains

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    This statue is in honour of the Lithuanian novelist Žemaitė (1845-1921). Her real name was Julija Beniuševičiūtė-Žymantienė. She was born into a poor Polish speaking family, but had aristocratic ancestors, which produced a nature of snobbishness in her family. She was banned from speaking Lithuanian as a child, as this...

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  • Churches

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    Since I talked about this church just here above, let's show it! ;-) It's really not too off the beaten path, since it lies in Lukiškių aikste, a big green square between the Parliament building ad Gedimino Prospekt, but I think it's not one of the main tourists spots. The present building of the church has survived from the 17th century,...

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  • TV tower

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    The skyline of Vilnius is dominated by TV Tower located in the suburbs, southwest of the centre/downtown. With the height of 326 m (1071 ft) it was the tallest tower in Lithuania and the second tallest in the Baltic states after TV tower in Riga, Latvia. At the height of 165 m there was a revolving cafe ("Paukaciu takas" = Milky Way) with an...

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  • Famous buildings

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    I took a morning walk from my Crowne Plaza Hotel. Walking eastwards M.K. Ciurlionio gatve (street) I could see this building with two white domes on my picture in a park on the left (north) at M.K.Ciurlionio 29. It was the Astronomical Observatory of the Vilnius University , also known as the Vilnius Astronomical Observatory, a departament of the...

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  • Europe park

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    Little known fact - The geographical centre of Europe is 15-20 km north of Vilnius. So, no, it's not Germany/Switzerland/Poland as one might have thought. We had hoped to get there, but apparently it's rather awkward to accomplish this by public transport.

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  • Zaliasis bridge

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    Across the river, check out the Stalin-era statues. Legend has it Lithuanians left the statues up as a way to poke fun of the old Soviet regime. The statue photo apparently pays tribute to industry and construction according to the guide, though maybe it's education. Anyway, you go, Stalin--show respect for the workers by giving them statues while...

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  • Modern buildings

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    I had to zoom when I was walking around the observation deck of Vilnius TV tower. And...in the middle of cement desert of Soviet-style identical grey apartments buildings I saw... look at my picture. Quite pretty oasis and sign of new times, am I wrong? More, please!

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  • Wooden architecture

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    I could see only a few wooden houses in Vilnius but exclusively outside the old town. Well, the compact urban area of the old town was wooden in the old past but was surely damaged by fires. Only wooden houses standing alone outside could survive. This secret wooden house on my picture was a little bit neglected and looked like a house from a...

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  • Kernave

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    There was a well-known Lithuanian capital in XIII century, but it's only a little city now. Anyway, it's important to know about past of Lithuania. There is a museum of history, old mounts, beautiful church and so on you must to see. You can see my information about Kernave in separate page.

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  • Cemeteries

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    The Bernadine Cemetery (Bernadinu kapines) was founded in 1810 by Bernadine monks on the site of an old cemetery. It was closed in the 1970's and since then remained almost unchanged. It contains graves of famous university professors, artists and scientists. Directions: The Bernadine cemetery is situated on an embankment on the Vilnia river,...

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  • Panoramas

    Vilnius Off The Beaten Path

    I always say that the best way to enjoy a town is just going around with no particular goal... in fact here we found this very nice view of the new town, with some older buildings in the front, the high towers of the Church of St. Philip and St. James and the new high skyscrapers on the other bank of the river Neris in the back. Old and new all...

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  • Senieji Trakai - homeland of Vytautas...

    Senieji Trakai is a village, known of its planning, still kept the same as from 16the century. Anyway, the main thing why people visit this place is a mound with a church. In medieval times, 14th century, Vytautas the Great born here, in nowadays not survived castle.Here stands the church, constructed in neo - gothic style in 1899. Nearby is a...

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  • Medininkai - square form medieval castle

    Medininkai is known for its castle from 13th century. It was one of the most significant castles in Grand Duchy of Lithuania and built on influence of Gothic and Romanic architectures. Even gates of Dawn of Vilnius old town sometimes are called "Medininkai gates", because here was the road from Vilnius castle to Medininkai castle. This defensive...

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  • Semeliskes - cozy town with old wooden...

    The place is known from 13th century. It is predicted that Grand Duke of Lithuanian Duchy Traidenis gave land here for Prussians and Western Lithuanians to live, as they were refugees of intensive war action in Western part of Lithuania. At that time crusaders tried to “christianise” Lithuania, occupying lands. Later, in 1501, first church was...

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  • Lentvaris - English style palace and...

    Mostly it started to develop from 19th century, when in 1861-1862 railroad Warsaw - St. Petersburg was driven. Lentvaris was the land, where famous landowner Tiskevicius had his minor. Part of minor still exists. In Lentvaris there are beautiful park and church, funded by Tiskevicius.It is quite interesting to me that all these must see places in...

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  • Grutas Soviet Statue's Park

    Grutas Park located in southern Lithuania near Druskininkai contains statues of communist "heroes" which were torn down all over Lithuania. One local enthusiast bought them and created this park. It is quite neat and it is built in forest. Other kinds of Soviet "art" are exhibitioned, not only statues. There is also hall of Soviet painings, in...

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  • Purnuskes - geographical centre of...

    Purnuskes is about 26 kilometers from Vilnius. The village itself is nothing special, but nearby it geographical centre of Europe is located, signed by flags of different Europe's countries and a column.Centre here was recognized by National France geographical institute in 1989. I should say there are more Europe's centers around, in Poland,...

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  • Taujenai - small town with big palace

    Taujenai is known from 1595 as a small town with manor. In end of 18th century the new manor was constructed with a help of an architect from Italy Pedro Rossini. First landowner was Mariconi, later Radziwili. It is one of fully reconstructed manors in Lithuania, the example of classicism style.Taujenai is also known for classicism style church of...

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  • Norviliskes - border village with castle

    Norviliskes is a border town with Belarus. Nearby wooden church that was built in 1929 you see the protected fence here and Belarus’ forest in other side of it.Norviliskes is the most known from a renaissance style castle from 16 – 17th centuries. For a long time it was used as monastery. Nowadays it is restored, used as a restaurant. Norviliskes...

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  • Sesuoleliai - English cottage style...

    This village amazed me by rare to Lithuania English cottage style palace. The manor was constructed in end of 19th century – beginning of 20th century. At interwar time Lithuanian president A. Smetona loved to meet the owner colonel J. Variakojis. Nowadays here is a luxurious hotel with beautiful landscape around.

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  • Liskiava - beautiful scenery with...

    Liskiava is known already from year of 1044. At the 13th century the castle was constructed here, but lost its importance in 1410, after famous battle of Grunewald (Zalgiris). Liskiava was always a small town (or so called “village”), but known as significant defensive site in medieval times.Nowadays it has great Baroque style monastery, mounds...

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  • Anyksciai - city of poets

    It is not so big town, having just about 11 000 of population, but is called as town of poets and writers, as quite many famous this kind of artists were born, lived or created their masterpieces here – A. Baranauskas, A. Vienuolis, J. Biliunas and others.Place is known from 1440 as a manor of Duke Aleksandras. Anyksciai is located on a hilly not...

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  • Uzutrakis - palace and great landscape...

    Uzutrakis is a part of Trakai city, located on the bank of Galve Lake, the same lake where Trakai island castle was built. From 14th century Uzutrakis territory was known and “Island of Duke Algirdas”. From 19th century land was bought by nobleman Juozapas Tiskevicius – the use of land was to build residential palace with the panorama to Galve lake...

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  • Ukmerge - town between Vilnius and...

    Town is located near Sventoji (“Saint”) river. First time place was mentioned in year of 1333. Ukmerge served a function of castle in medieval times. One, wooden, was destroyed in the very end of 14th century.Ukmerge is famous for its small, but nice old town with a few churches. Also there is a mound to climb and see panorama.For further...

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  • Suderve - stone sculptures' park

    Suderve is a village with a population of about 400 people. Village meets passenger with a round cupola of Holy Trinity Church, constructed in classicism style.Probably village name arose from a name of nearby small river Sudervele that’s flows to Neris. There is Vilnoja Lake near Suderve. One part of Vilnoja Lake bank at the moment is occupied of...

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  • Merkine - confluence of Merkys and...

    Merkine was first mentioned in year of 1359 as a castle place. In 15th – 17th centuries it was among the most significant top 10 cities in Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The place was known not only as strong defensive spot, but also as popular town for Grand dukes and kings to stay for hunting around.Nowadays it is silent town with a nice mound, where...

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  • Rokiskis - great Independence square and...

    Rokiskis is known from the very end of 15th century. The name of town comes from name Rokas, who was a hunter, stayed at a nice place near Laukupis river for a longer time. Passerbies were migrating here as well time by time, so place finnaly it was decided to name the place in behalf of Rokas.Place was not so known until landowners Tyzenhaus moved...

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  • Grutas - park of soviet sculptures

    Park is made in 2001 after some protests against it. Grutas park official name is "Museum of Soviet sculptures", but there are not only sculptures, that were put in Lithuania territory before Soviet Union crash, but also small museum of Soviet stuff, Soviet style library and picture gallery, even small ZOO, playground for children, Soviet bar. This...

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  • Kernave - first capital of Lithuania

    In 2004 Kernave was inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage list. This small village, but the first capital of Lithuania in the past, is worth of it. To sum up, this nice place takes to first steps of Lithuanian history and give a view of Lithuanian village. It is such feeling in Kernave that old castles and the first capital of Lithuania gone somewhere...

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  • Dukstos - pagan oak tree park

    Dukstos recently started to be famous for its Oak tree park - this park is fully prepared for walking (it is fine for disabled people as well). Park theme is a pagan times, when oak tree forests were like a house for old pagan Gods and people were coming here to greet them and give sacrifices.In Dukstos you could see nice looking neo-gothic style...

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  • Oaks in Dukstos

    Another nice place to visit (maybe on your way to Kernove) . A park of oak forest with wooden paths for visitors. It is said to be a home of many species but detailed information is unfortunately only in Lithuanian.To get there go A2 (Panevezys direction), at Bukiskis turn left into road No 171.Warning!Don't forget to take a mosquito repellent.

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  • Kernave - the first capital of Lithuania

    Situated not far from Vilnius (approx.37 km) easily accessible by car (road A2 Panevezys direction, at Bukiskis turn left into road No 171).Beautifully located on the Neris, the museum to see.A nice place for the picnic.

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  • Visit Belmontas!

    A great beer hall and restaurant just outside the city, by river and some sort of watermill! A sort of traditional style place with plenty of local people and fewer tourists!

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  • Eye Of The River

    It won't be a lie to say that the Ula river is one of the most beautiful in Lithuania. It's very popular among kayak and canoe fans because of it's rather wild( by our Lithuanian standarts) stream and the most picturesque banks. And if you are taking water trip in Dzukija national park or visiting Zervynos take a break in the Ula Valley where the...

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  • Zervynos-Step Back In Time

    Dzukija National Park is the biggest one in Lithuania. And, probabaly, the most unique because the nature is less touched and old traditions are more significant here.And Zervynos is most interesting among all those villages of the park. It's a protected by goverment and only few changes reached the place since the end of XIX century. Of course...

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  • Birzai

    One of the homes of one of the most powerful families in Lithuania and Poland - the Radziwills. The castle (surrounded by the park) was built in the 16th century and in the 17th transformed into palazzo di fortezza. Now it contains a museum, but a foreigner will not enjoy the exhibits as ALL the subtitles are in Lithuanian and no other info is...

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  • Kriziu Kalnas

    This is a must even if you are not a religious person, because it's so special and remarkable. The name can be as "the mountain of crosses". In fact people bring there crosses which symbolize people's intentions and thankfulness.The place can be easily found - while driving from Siauliai to Riga in Domantai (a bus stop) turn right and follow the...

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  • Siauliai

    The town on our way to Riga. The guidebook mentions a few object worth visiting (Renessaince cathedral, a uninque Muzeum of Bicycles and an old Guberniya Brewery) but we were a bit short of time so we only stopped for a while by the old municipal cemetery which was situated on the tiny hill just by the road.

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  • Kedainiai (IV)

    Out of the old town on the opposite bank of the river there's a St.George's church which was built by the Teutonic Knights in the beginning of the 16th century. It was also closed but to our surprise we found e few Polish graves around it.

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  • Kedainiai (III)

    The centre of the town is not very big so you can easily get to St.Joseph wooden baroque church which is mentioned as one of the most important monuments in the city. Unfortunately, it was closed and there's nobody to let us in.

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  • Kedainiai (II)

    The town has a very interesting layout constisting of 6 (SIX!) market squares. The most interesting is Great Market Square which is surrounded by 17th century houses.

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Lithuania Off The Beaten Path

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