Thursday, August 16, 2007

Vilnius and Trakai

Our trip to High Tatras started with the long journey through Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. In Lithuania, we swerved to see the capital of Lithuania - Vilnius - and the "must" tourist attraction - Trakai Castle. It is said, that the Old Town in Vilnius is one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe. Maybe it's true. For me, Vilnius charmes itself with many and many churches, most of them being small and cute. When we visited Vilnius in the end of July, there were a lot of construction working going on - to be ready for the European Culture Capital in 2009.
Cathedral Basilica - the main catholic church in Vilnius was established in 13th century, on the site of the former pagan sanctuary. Its belfry is 57 meter high and is built on the remains of the defensive tower of the Lower Castle.

This is my favourite building in Lithuania - a lovely tea shop (I love tea:)) with teapots mured right to the walls! I admire this shop every time I go to Vilnius...
The Church of St Anne - the most impressive building in Vilnius. Maybe it's true. But we didn't see anyone admiring it... Just us :). It's a Gothic style church, built at the end of the 15th century. Napoleon liked the St Anne's Church so much, that he wanted to carry it over to Paris... Wow. But he didn't.

Vilnius University - founded back in 1579. By the way, Lithuanian language belongs to Baltic group of the Indo-European language family (nothing in common with Estonian!). The photo is taken in front of the door of Vilnius University Library (founded in 1570) in Old Town.

And finally - Trakai Castle. We were there early in the morning, no other tourists yet, just two of us:) Trakai - the small town built on narrow peninsula dividing lakes Galve, Totoriskiai and Luka - was once a political and administrative centre of Lithuania. The Trakai Castle was built in 15th of century and is the only castle island in Eastern Europe.

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