Vilnius the city who couldn’t really sleep and relax because of its many foreign rulers through history is of course provided with a lot of interesting museums. Lots of them reflecting the suppression of Vilnius through history still others showing the will to survive and proudly stand up through the expression of art and culture. In Vilnius you will certainly be able to find a museum that fits your interest. Indoor or outdoors in historical authentic buildings or more modern establishments is what to be exploits when here.
The higher castle museum (Gediminas’ Castle)
Where is a historical museum to be found if not in the very heart of the history? In Vilnius the ancient Gediminas Castle is the very history and you too will actually be able to be here and smell it. It was here Grand Duke Gediminas proclaimed Vilnius the capital of Lithuania in the early 13th century. In this historical castle there’s now a museum exposing thematic expositions many of which are archaeological findings of course. There are also very excellent models of Vilnius at various stages of its development and historical documents. Besides that you will find armours, old coins and other exited items related to the history of Lithuania.
If you haven’t had time to see all of Vilnius here’s the chance. From the top of the tower you will have a magnificent view over the city. This marvellous panorama of Vilnius and the surroundings will absolutely make Vilnius one of your top ten cities in the future on your travel list.
It’s not gold all that glitters but it sure looks like it, and for many people it’s as worthy as gold. It’s amber, the 50 million years old fossil resin produced by pine trees which once grew in Northern Europe.
It is now possible for you to look at these marvellous pieces at the Amber Museum in Vilnius. Some of the pieces weights more than 1 kilo the biggest over 3 kilo.
If a shell, a spider (Sosibijus Mizgiris) or why not a lizard captured in amber is something you have seen before, this may not be exiting but if you haven’t, you should take the opportunity to watch it here. This together with the rich collection of ancient artefacts made of amber will surely make a long lasting memory of your trip to Vilnius.
It’s not all kind of amber that glitters like gold, consequently the museum expose amber containing the colours of blue, white, green, and black. If you want to take part in this amber tradition, rare objects are to be purchased in a nice little shop in the museum.
Europos Parkas (Open air museum of the centre of Europe)
If you get lost when in Lithuania don’t panic. Just take a nice little trip to the great open-air museum located about 20 minutes from Vilnius. Here you will find a monument by Gintaras Karpas at the very spot of the geographical centre of Europe. On this monument you will find the name the direction and the distance to every European capitals, so how far is your capital from here? And in what direction you may wonder?
This marvellous park is one of the most visited in Lithuania, and was founded in 1991 by the Lithuanian sculptor Gintaras Karosa to attend the geographic centre of Europe. Here you can stroll peacefully on 55 hectares in a very expressive landscape and enjoy works coming from more than 27 countries in the world and from artists such as Abakanowicz, Oppenheim and LeWitt. All this embedded in woodlands and scattered countryside with beautiful natural springs ensures you a tour of great satisfaction. Romantic strolls with or without children in these surroundings is a must.
This enjoyment of the countryside along with cultural pleasure also contains a world record registered in the Guinness Book of World Records.
It’s the more than 3 000 TV set big “three” standing here in all of its splendour. Nothing is told about the remote controls however.
This extraordinary open-air museum has guided tours conducted in English, Russian and Lithuanian. The museum is open daily from 9:00 am to sunset.
Lithuanian National Museum
A city of such historical legacy as Vilnius has of course a museum displaying the history and its national heritage. Established as early as 1855 the museum now contains the largest collection of items belonging to Lithuania. You will find maps coins and all what are to be in this treasury chamber of Lithuanian history. And the best of all it’s arranged in a chronological order so when walking through the expositions it’s like walking alongside history. Among the more frightful episodes in Lithuanian history displayed here is the Tsarist period containing deportation to Russia Siberia during the 19th century. If the expositions don’t fulfil your need there will be a library as well.
This appealing museum also contains a very exiting and rich ethnography exposition in which you can follow the every day life of Lithuanians through history, the clothes the wore authentic interior kitchen utensils and many, many more items belonging to daily life in ancient and near present Lithuania.
Vilnius Picture Gallery
In a beautiful old palace build in the first half of the 17th century once belonged to Chodkevičius a Lithuanian family is the Vilnius Picture Gallery of today. The palace hasn’t always been a gallery though. Once it was the Academy of Medicine and Surgery and accommodation to the students and professors. But since 1994 it holds a very interesting and contemporary collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures from the 16th century to the 18th century. Lithuanian objects as well as foreign.
In the hall on the first floor is a very characteristic and classical hall of the 19th century bourgeoisie of Vilnius. It’s decorated with wall sculptures, portraits of well-known townsmen a view of old Vilnius, as it was typical for Lithuanian houses in those days. If interested and curious about Lithuanian painting this is the place to visit.