Europe has much more to offer than the Eiffel Tower, Colosseum and Westminster Abbey. Eastern Europe, that is. Here you will find relatively unknown destinations with surprising attractions. Take, for example, Vilnius – the capital of Lithuania, a city with many faces but where the past is never far away. Strolling through the Old Town, you will have a perfect break.
The history of Vilnius can be read as a beautiful story. It was Grand Duke Gediminas who founded the city in the 14th century. After a day of hunting, he was resting in the woods, fell asleep and dreamt about a ‘howling iron-clad wolf’. He interpreted his dream as a command of the gods to build a city on the site where the wolf had appeared. This would become a strong and even invisible city. And so it came to pass...
From the beginning, Vilnius experienced a turbulent growth which is visible to this day: there is an enormous variety of churches and cathedrals, built in the traditions of the baroque, Renaissance and Gothic periods. Gediminas Castle and Vilnius University exude history as well. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After a day of soaking up culture, the entertainment is diverse: you can attend classical music concerts at the Congress Concert Hall, and in the old centre you can find cosy cafes, trendy clubs and even the odd SkyBar.
It is said that ‘unknown makes unloved’. This also applies to some extent to Vilnius. Or would that have something to do with the vision of the ‘invisible city’? In any case, Vilnius is a surprising new destination for a city trip. And it is only two hours flying!
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