понедельник, 19 января 2009 г.

Postcard from Lithuania




Vilnius is the largest city and the capital of Lithuania, with a population of 555,613 (847,954 together with Vilnius County) as of 2008. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County. Currently Vilnius is the European Capital of Culture.
Vilnius is a cosmopolitan city with diverse architecture. There are more than 40 churches in Vilnius.
Aušros Vartai Street. The icon of The Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy is venerated in a chapel at the medieval gate at the top of this street.

Like most medieval towns, Vilnius was developed around its Town Hall. The main artery, Pilies Street, links the Royal Palace with Town Hall. Other streets meander through the palaces of feudal lords and landlords, churches, shops and craftsmen's workrooms. Narrow, curved streets and intimate courtyards developed in the radial layout of medieval Vilnius. Vilnius Old Town, the historical centre of Vilnius, is one of the largest in Europe (3.6 km²). The most valuable historic and cultural sites are concentrated here. The buildings in the old town — there are nearly 1,500 — were built over several centuries, creating a blend of many different architectural styles. Although Vilnius is known as a Baroque city, there are examples of Gothic (e.g. St Anne's Church), Renaissance, and other styles. Their combination is also a gateway to the historic centre of the capital. Owing to its uniqueness, the Old Town of Vilnius was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. In 1995, the first bronze cast of Frank Zappa in the world was installed near the center of Vilnius with the permission of the government.
The flag of Vilnius

The Vilnius Castle Complex, a group of defensive, cultural, and religious buildings that includes Gediminas Tower, Cathedral Square, the Royal Palace of Lithuania, and the remains of several medieval castles, is part of the National Museum of Lithuania. Lithuania's largest art collection is housed in the Lithuanian Art Museum. The House of the Signatories, where the 1918 Act of Independence of Lithuania was signed, is now a historic landmark.

The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, named for the author of the first book printed in the Lithuanian language, holds 6,912,266 physical items.

On 2007 November 10 the Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center was opened by avant-garde film-maker Jonas Mekas. Its premiere exhibition was entitled The Avant-Garde: From Futurism to Fluxus. The Guggenheim-Hermitage museum, designed by Zaha Hadid, is scheduled to open in 2011. The museum will host exhibitions featuring works from Saint Petersburg's Hermitage Museum and the Guggenheim Museums, along with non-commercial avant-garde cinema, a library, a museum of Lithuanian Jewish culture, and collections of works by Jonas Mekas and Jurgis Mačiūnas.

Info from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilnius

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