At the Barbakanas Hill are some remains of the former Vilnius defensive walls. They were built in the beginning of the 16th century to protect the city from attack from Sweden and Russia. A bastion was added to the defensive walls in the 17th century, and it is now rebuilt and contains a small military museum - but everything was closed when I visited on a Easter Sunday...
Walking through the magnificent rococo Basilian Gate you might be expecting something out of the ordinary. The gate is so impressive I mistook it at first for the famous Gates of Dawn. In fact I'd say the Basilian Gate is more impressive than that. But inside the gate the Holy Trinity Church is almost a ruin, left to rot and unrenovated. Still you can see in its cracked walls a hint that at one time this church was something special also, but for now it looks wholly unloved.
This gate you can see from Ausros vartu street and it is in baroque style. Entering it you will see yard with a big defensive tower and Gothic Orthodox church of Holy Trinity. This place is not yet reconstructed.
As you walk along Ausros Vartu Street this amazing structure immediately catches your eye with its charming late baroque form. Built in 1748 by J. K. Glaubitz, the Basilian Gates are decorated with a composition depicting the Holy Trinity and lead to the yard of Holy Trinity Church.
The first wooden church was founded on this site in 1347 to commemorate three martyrs, Antanas, Jonas and Eustakijus, who had been hanged on the hill there for converting to the Orthodox faith. According to one source, the present church and monastery date back to the 18th century and were built by the Basilians. Another source, however, attributes the construction of the new church to Duke Konstanty Ostrogski to commemorate the victory over the Muscovite army at Orsza in 1514. I wish I were a historian to know which is true.
At the beginning of the 19th century the southern wing of the monastery was converted into a prison. It was here that the Polish national bard Adam Mickiewicz was imprisoned for his participation in the independence movement. And where the insurgents of the November 1831 and January 1863 Uprisings shared his fate.
The Basilian Gate and the Holy Trinity Church are part of an architectural ensemble which belongs to the Uniate Basilian monks (Greek Catholics).
The rococo-style gate was built in 1761 after designs of the architect J. K Glaubitz.
The Gothic Holy Trinity Church dates back to the early 16th century. Two rococo towers were added after a fire in the 18th century. The Soviets used the Church as a workshop and a prison.
The church especially is still undergoing massive restoration, both from the exterior and interior.
The Basilian Gate and the Holy Trinity Church are situated at Ausros vartu 7b; near the southern end of Vilnius' old town. From the street you only see the gate which leads you to the church.
This Rococo-style gate was built in the 18th century, and leads to the Basilian Monastery and the church of the Holy Trinity.
The gate has just been restored to its beauty, while both the church and the monastery still nedd some restoration.
When I passed by the building of Lithuanian National Philharmony I saw... look at my picture. The rococco Basilian gate was built in 1761 and was 17.9 m high (almost 6 store building nowadays). It looked so impressive that I had to go through it to discover Holy Trinity Church and Basilian Monastery behind (off the beaten path) - simply my recommendation!
Rococco style was born in France and was widely used in Europe in 18th century including for sure as I noticed Lithuania and Latvia (Riga).