Vilnius has many names, many faces and many mysteries. Seeming to be in the remote corner of Europe, it is, in fact, located less than 20 kilometres from the geographical centre of Europe. And, indeed, Vilnius is like a miniature Europe in one town and you can find here everything – from Italian Baroque to Russian Orthodox churches, from German Gothic to Austrian Rococo architecture and traces of the Jewish past. It is a city, where one street can tell you a thousand stories.
No wonder, for several centuries it is the best kept secret of the world famous artists and the secret source of their inspiration – from great poets and writers, from Adam Mickiewicz, Czesław Miłosz and Romain Gary, to the great painters Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, as well as the composers Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis and Rodion Shchedrin.
We have promised – the picturesque Vilnius is a city of many faces, many names and curiosities.
Come to Vilnius to find the Europe, come to Vilnius to find your inspiration. Come to Vilnius to fall in love.
Novelist and art historian, laureate of Vilnius’ Saint Christopher’s Award
The Centenary in Vilnius
The Act of Independence signed in Vilnius on 16 February 1918 laid the foundations for the modern state of Lithuania with Vilnius as its capital. This is one of the most important dates in the history of the nation and represents the establishment of a new, democratically-ruled country. The act helped create a state based on the principles of equality, freedom, and welfare, in which different nations and social groups could coexist peacefully.
The centenary of the State of Lithuania will be commemorated throughout 2018, though the most important events will be held in February. From 9-18 February, the Old Town of Vilnius will travel back in time a whole century to the year 1918. The walls of Vilnius’ buildings may tell endless stories about numerous generations that used to live here. Some of these stories have helped to change the course of history in Lithuania. City guests will be able to discover these stories by going around the city on a special Centenary Route and participate in guided Centenary sightseeing tours.
The new art museum and the Centenary Song Celebration
All year round there will be plenty of events and exhibitions in Vilnius dedicated to the Centenary of the Restauration of the State. The biggest among them is Lithuania’s Centenary Song Celebration, which will culminate in the capital from 1-6 July. Owing to its massive size and visual appeal, the impressive festival of songs and dances held during the warm summer evenings in the city’s parks and public stages is bound to attract the attention of a great number of Lithuanians and visitors to the country.
In autumn of 2018, a new Lithuanian modern art museum – the MO Museum – will open its doors. The building’s unique architecture was co-designed by the international architecture Studio Libeskind and the Lithuanian Do Architects studio. The MO museum will exhibit a private collection of modern and contemporary visual art – covering the period from 1960 to the present day – compiled by the famous Lithuanian patron family of Danguolė and Viktoras Butkai.