81 Facts About Vilnius


Vilnius is situated in southeastern Lithuania and is the second-largest city in the Baltic states, but according to the Bank of Latvia is expected to become the largest before 2025.

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Vilnius is known for the architecture in its Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

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In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with Linz, Austria.

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Neighborhoods of Vilnius have names in other languages, which represent the languages spoken by various ethnic groups in the area.

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Vilnius fell soundly asleep and dreamed of a huge Iron Wolf standing on top a hill and howling as strong and loud as a hundred wolves.

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Vilnius's location offered practical advantages: it lay in the Lithuanian heartland at the confluence of two navigable rivers, surrounded by impenetrable forests and wetlands.

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Vilnius was the flourishing capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the residence of the Grand Duke.

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Vilnius was Sigismund's favorite city, his investments made it one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern and Central Europe.

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Vilnius's growth was due in part to the establishment of Alma Academia et Universitas Vilnensis Societatis Iesu by the Polish King and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stephen Bathory in 1579.

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Inhabitants expected Tsar Alexander I to grant them autonomy in response to Napoleon's promises to restore the Commonwealth, but Vilnius did not become autonomous, neither by itself nor as a part of Congress Poland.

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Vilnius changed hands again during the Polish–Soviet War and the Lithuanian Wars of Independence: it was taken by the Polish Army, only to fall to Soviet forces again.

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Vilnius University was reopened in 1919 under the name of Stefan Batory University.

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In July 1944, Vilnius was once more occupied by Soviet Army with the Vilnius offensive, during which it defeated the German garrison.

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Vilnius has been rapidly transforming, emerging as a modern European city.

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Vilnius was selected as a 2009 European Capital of Culture, along with Linz, the capital of Upper Austria.

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Vilnius is situated in southeastern Lithuania at the confluence of the Vilnia and Neris rivers.

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Vilnius is connected by highways to other major Lithuanian cities, such as Kaunas, Siauliai and Panevezys .

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Vilnius has eight protected nature reserves: Vokes Senslenio Slopes Geomorphological Reserve, Aukstagiris Geomorphological Reserve, Valakupiu Klonio Geomorphological Reserve, Verzuva Hydrographic Reserve, Voke Hydrographic Reserve, Cedronas Upstream Landscape Reserve, Tapeliai Landscape Reserve and Seskine Slopes Geomorphological Reserve.

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Centuries, Vilnius as a capital city was an art centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and has attracted artists from all across Europe.

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Eighteen statues around Vilnius interact with visitors in multiple languages by a telephone call to a smartphone.

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Vilnius delegated the management of the printing house to the Jesuits.

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Vilnius translated and published the Jakub Wujek's Postilla Catholica in 1599 .

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Vilnius is the only city with three choirs laureates at the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing.

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Vilnius was a hometown of such 18th century composers as Michal Kazimierz Oginski, Johann David Holland, Maciej Radziwill, Michal Kleofas Oginski.

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The first known daguerreotype portrait atelier in Vilnius was opened in 1843 by C Ziegler; such ateliers operated in Lithuania until 1859.

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In 1927, Jan Bulhak in Vilnius established the first photography club in the present territory of Lithuania.

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Therefore, all the official procedures in Vilnius must be proceeded in the Lithuanian language, however interpreter assistance is guaranteed by the state in some cases.

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Vilnius Magistrate was responsible for the city economy, was collecting taxes, taking care of the city treasury, was accumulating stocks of grain in order to avoid residents starvation in case of famine or wars.

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Vilnius acted as a notary in transactions, testaments and as a judge during the city residents conflicts that involved new buildings constructions and reconstructions.

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Since the 1522 privilege by Sigismund I the Old, Vilnius Magistrates had the responsibility to protect the city and its resident's tranquility by having 24 armed guards.

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Vilnius's competence included criminal cases and he had the right to impose a death penalty.

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Vilnius district has the highest terrains of Lithuania – Aukstojas, Juozapine and Kruopine Hills, which are raised over 290 metres above sea level and are considered very high in the country's flatlands.

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The tradition of making Vilnius palms is dated to the times of St Casimir, who is a patron saint of Lithuania and Lithuanian youth.

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The present-day Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania is located in Vilnius and meets at the Seimas Palace in Gediminas Avenue.

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Security of Vilnius is mainly the responsibility of the Vilniaus apskrities vyriausiasis policijos komisariatas, the highest police office in the city, and local police offices.

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Vilnius development was influenced by the West and East ideologies.

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Vilnius occupies an area of 401 square kilometers, of which only one fifth is developed and the remainder is green belt and water.

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Crypts of Vilnius Cathedral are a place where prominent figures of Lithuania and the Catholic Church are buried.

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Later Vilnius was part of the Kingdom of Lithuania territory, however King Mindaugas did not constantly reside in it, despite building the first Catholic Church in Lithuania there on the occasion of his coronation.

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Vilnius again grew in population by being the capital of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic .

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The variety of nations in Vilnius was further increased by Grand Duke Vytautas the Great, who introduced Litvak Jews, Tatars and Crimean Karaites.

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In 1675, Tito Livio Burattini lived in Vilnius and published a book Misura universale in which he suggested to use term metre for a unit of length for the first time.

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Laser Research Centre of Vilnius University is one of five departments in the Faculty of Physics, which prepares highly qualified physicists, laser physicists and laser technology specialists.

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Also, Corning Inc has bought the licence for the state-of-the-art glass cutting solutions from the Vilnius-based laser company Altechna and uses it for manufacturing billions of Gorilla Glasses.

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Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre is a scientific research centre, which consists of three institutes: Institute of Biochemistry, Institute of Biosciences and Institute of Biotechnology.

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Santara Valley is a second science and research valley in Vilnius, which focuses on the medicine, biopharmaceutical and bioinformatics areas.

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Jonas Kubilius, long-term rector of the Vilnius University is known for works in Probabilistic number theory, Kubilius model, Theorem of Kubilius and Turan–Kubilius inequality bear his name.

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Lithuania and its capital Vilnius is an attractive place for foreign companies to open their offices.

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In 2011, Vilnius had the fastest internet speed in the world and despite the fall in the rankings in recent years – it still remained as one of the fastest around the globe.

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Vilnius Airport has one of the fastest wireless public internet among the European airports.

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Lithuania and especially its capital Vilnius is a popular fintech companies hub due to the state's flexible regulations in the e-money licences field.

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The Ministry of Finance is located in Vilnius and is responsible for the development and enforcement of an efficient public financial policy with a view to ensuring the macroeconomic stability of the state and its economic growth.

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The Bank of Lithuania is headquartered in Vilnius and fosters a reliable financial system and ensures sustainable economic growth.

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Cathedral School of Vilnius, first mentioned in 1397, is the earliest known Lithuanian school.

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In Vilnius there are 7 elementary schools, 8 primary schools, 2 progymnasiums and 12 gymnasiums dedicated exceptionally for minorities children where lessons are conducted in minorities languages only.

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Lewkenor mentions that citizens of Vilnius included Catholics, Orthodox, followers of John Calvin and Martin Luther, Jews and Tartar Muslims.

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Today Vilnius is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vilnius, with the main church institutions and Archdiocesan Cathedral located here.

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Vilnius has been home to an Eastern Orthodox Christian presence since the 13th or even the 12th century.

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Once widely known as Yerushalayim D'Lita, Vilnius, since the 18th century, was a world centre for Torah study, and had a large Jewish population.

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Vilnius's writings have significant influence among Orthodox Jews to this day.

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Jewish life in Vilnius was destroyed during the Holocaust; there is a memorial stone dedicated to victims of Nazi genocide in the centre of the former Jewish Ghetto – now Mesiniu Street.

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Since the Christianization of Lithuania in 1387, Vilnius has become one of the main centres of Christianity in Lithuania and a Christian pilgrimage site.

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Many places in Vilnius are associated with divine miracles or marks significant events to the Christians.

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Vilnius became the birthplace of the Divine Mercy Devotion when Saint Faustina began her mission under the guidance and discernment of her new spiritual director, blessed Michal Sopocko.

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Vilnius is the only city in the Baltic states with an Apostolic Nunciature, in which Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis stayed during their visits to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

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Almost half of Vilnius is covered by green areas, such as parks, public gardens, natural reserves.

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Additionally, Vilnius is host to numerous lakes, where residents and visitors swim and have barbecues in the summer.

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Sections of the annual Vilnius Marathon pass along the public walkways on the banks of the Neris River.

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Two of the three Jewish cemeteries in Vilnius were destroyed by communist authorities during the Soviet era; the remains of the Vilna Gaon were moved to the remaining one.

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Best-rated tourist services in Vilnius are restaurants services quality, old town attractions, hotels services, trips to Trakai, parks, connection with the Vilnius Airport, food in hotels, restaurants, cafes.

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Vilnius Marathon is an international marathon with thousands of participants every year.

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Vilnius is one of the host cities for the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

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Vilnius Airport serves most Lithuanian international flights to many major European destinations.

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Vilnius railway station is an important hub serving direct passenger connections to Minsk, Kaliningrad, Moscow and Saint Petersburg as well as being a transit point of Pan-European Corridor IX.

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Vilnius is the starting point of the A1 motorway that runs across Lithuania and connects the three major cities and is a part of European route E85.

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The A2 motorway, connecting Vilnius with Panevezys, is a part of E272.

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In 2017, Vilnius started the historically largest upgrade of its bus services by purchasing 250 new low-floor buses.

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Vilnians took care of the cleanliness and health responsibly already during the Grand Duchy of Lithuania times as the city had public bathhouses and one fourth of houses in Vilnius had individual bathhouses, almost half of the houses had alcohol distilleries.

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In 1518, medicine doctor and canon Martynas Dusnickis established the first spitole in Vilnius, which was the first hospital-like institution in Lithuania and treated people who were not able to take care of themselves due to their health condition, age, and poverty.

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Ministry of Health is located in Vilnius and is responsible for the healthcare in Lithuania.

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Vilnius is home to numerous newspapers, magazines and publications including Lietuvos rytas, Lietuvos zinios, Verslo zinios, Respublika, Valstieciu laikrastis, Mokesciu zinios, Aktualijos, 15min, Vilniaus diena, Vilniaus Krastas, Lietuvos aidas, Valstybe, Veidas, Panele, Franciscan Bernardinai.

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