Town squares in Vilnius

Cathedral Square, Vilnius

EnMork and 52,269 more people have been here
8.1/10

The Cathedral Square (Lithuanian: Katedros aikštė) in Vilnius is the main square of the city's downtown, right in front of the neo-classical Vilnius Cathedral. It is a key location in city's public life, situated as it is at the crossing of the city's main streets and reflecting the city's diversity. Regularly held at this site are fairs and gatherings of townspeople, military parades, religious and official public events, attractions and large concerts, New Year’s salutes and exhibitions. It is not merely the most lively and important location in the city, but is also one of the most significant and widely-known symbols of Lithuania.

Details

banknotes. Marked in numbers: 1. Vilnius Cathedral 2. Cathedral's Belfry 3. Gediminas Tower 4. Hill of Three Crosses 5. Monument to Grand Duke Gediminas 6. Location where Royal Palace is being reconstructed. So the view is somewhat outdated.]] The cathedral square was founded as late as 19th century, during the reconstruction and refurbishment of the cathedral. Previously, the area was densely populated and built up with medieval and renaissance houses. Parts of the area were also occupied by the Lower Castle. Following the creation of a new square it became the main open space of the city's centre. It was there that the Russian military parades were held and where the annual St. Casimir's Fair was held. In 1905 a monument to Catherine the Great (by Mark Antokolski) was erected. After the city was occupied by Germany in 1915 and the local Polish administration was allowed to govern the city, the monument was destroyed and the St. Casimir's Fair was moved to the Łukiszki Square (Lukiškės Square). In modern times, fairs and festivities are regularly held at the site. It is there that the tallest Christmas tree in the city is erected, as well as a number of other Christmas decorations. It is also there that the yearly public celebrations of New Years Eve are held.

One of the most distinctive features of the square is the Cathedral's bell tower, situated several yards from the cathedral itself, a thing uncommon outside of Italy. According to many scholars,[1] the tower was in fact one of the towers of the ancient city walls of the mediæval Lower Castle that once stood near the modern square. According to another version, not supported by modern historians, the base of the tower was in fact a small pagan temple, demolished and then turned into the bell tower. Regardless of its origins, the lower parts of the tower are mediæval, with several small loop-holes preserved. Its oldest underground square section was built in the 13th century on the bottom of the old riverbed. Upper parts of the tower were added in 18th century while the neo-classical finish was added in 19th century, during the reconstruction of the cathedral.

.]] Other notable feature of the square is the monument to Gediminas, one of the first rulers of Lithuania, by Vytautas Kašuba, uncovered in 1996. Interestingly, the bronze used for the monument was donated by Lithuanian border guards who confiscated it on the border. The marble sockle was a gift of the government of Ukraine, while the sculpture itself was cast free of charge in Tallinn. Nearby is a magical place, a small stone marking the place where, according to a local urban legend, the human chain of Baltic Way was started linking Vilnius with Riga and Tallinn, an event that marked the beginning of national liberation of the Baltic States. It is said that if a person steps on this stone and turns around three times, his or her wish will be granted.

The paving of the square has been extensively renovated in 2000. The new tiles were made of light granite. Excavated remains of former fortifications of the Lower Castle have been highlighted in the paving by using red-couloured granite.

Notes

  1. ^  Kłos, Juliusz (1929, 1991). "Wilno; przewodnik krajoznawczy Juljusza Kłosa". Wilno: Wydawnictwo Wileńskiego Oddziału PTTK (reprinted by Gdańska Oficyna Wydawnicza). ISBN . 

References

Categories:
Post a comment
Tips & Hints
Arrange By:
Vytautas Juzėnas
20 March 2012
This is the place where the history of Vilnius begins. Long before Lithuania converted to Christianity (this happened in 1387), this place had been the main pagan sanctuary in the country.
Adomas R.
17 November 2011
The heart of the city.P.S. Don't forget "Stebuklas" ("the Miracle" tile). Make a wish, and turn around for 3 times ;)
Load more comments
foursquare.com
Location
Map
Address

Šventaragio gatvė 4, Vilnius 01143, Lithuania

Get directions
Contact
References

Cathedral Square (Katedros aikštė) on Foursquare

Cathedral Square, Vilnius on Facebook

Hotels nearby

See all hotels See all
Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square

starting $314

Pogo Hostel

starting $17

Dvaras - Manor House

starting $91

Amberton

starting $102

Hotel Tilto

starting $100

Skapo Apartments

starting $53

Recommended sights nearby

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Vilnius Cathedral
Lithuania

The Cathedral of Vilnius (lietuvių. Vilniaus Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vl

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Royal Palace of Lithuania
Lithuania

The Royal Palace of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Valdovų rūmai) was a p

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
National Museum of Lithuania
Lithuania

The National Museum of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos nacionalinis

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Presidential Palace, Vilnius
Lithuania

The Presidential Palace (Lithuanian: Prezidentūra), located in

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Lithuanian National Drama Theatre
Lithuania

Lithuanian National Drama Theatre (Lithuanian Lietuvos Nacionalinis

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Gediminas' Tower
Lithuania

Gediminas' Tower is the only remaining part of the Upper Castle in

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Vilnius University Library
Lithuania

Vilnius University Library or VU Library (also VUL) is the oldest and

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Mindaugas Bridge
Lithuania

Mindaugas Bridge crosses Neris River and connects Žirmūnai elderate w

Similar tourist attractions

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Grand Place
Belgium

The Grote Markt (·) (Dutch) or Grand Place (French) is the central

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Piazza Navona
Italy

Piazza Navona is a city square in Rome, Italy. It is built on the

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Market Square (Lviv)
Ukraine

The Market Square in Lviv (Ukrainian: Площа Ринок, Polish: Rynek we

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Place des Vosges
France

The Place des Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris.

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Piazza San Marco
Italy

Piazza San Marco (often known in English as St Mark's Square), is the

See all similar places