Vilnius – at the geographical centre of Europe21.08.2015
Vilnius is a city that offers a mixture of traditional and modern-day life for an exciting travel experience. As the biggest city in Lithuania and the oldest Baltic state, Vilnius boasts numerous highlights no visitor should miss. And according to scientists at the French National Geographic Institute in the Europos Parkas (‘Park of Europe’), the geographical centre of Europe can be found around 26 kilometres north of the city of Vilnius, marked by a composition by the famous Lithuanian sculptor Gediminas Jokūbonis.
A stroll through history
The Old Town of the Lithuanian capital, which rises up the banks of the River Neris, boasts impressive, well-preserved Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical buildings and a maze of medieval-style streets. Numerous medieval events and armour-clad knights offer the opportunity to look back on 100 years of history. In 1994, The Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is defined by numerous sculptures and landmarks, representing Lithuania’s restored independence and the regaining of power in the city. One particular attraction is the ‘Road of Freedom’ sculpture, which is symbolic of a live chain of people, reminiscent of the fight for independence and represents freedom and solidarity for future generations. Six abstract stainless-steel sculptures, attached underneath the bridges of the Neris in the city centre as ‘Signs of Vilnius’, represent the past, the present and the future of the state. They were dedicated to the city in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of restored Lithuanian independence.
A wonderful view of the city is afforded by the Cathedral Basilica bell tower, one of the oldest and tallest towers in the Old Town and part of the defensive wall in the 13th century.
Discover the young Lithuania
Despite or rather due to its rich tradition and history, the city attracts a lot of young people. Vilnius University is the biggest in Lithuania and the oldest in Eastern Europe. A total of 23,000 students are enrolled at the university. Numerous parks, shopping streets and recreational activities also attract many youngsters to Vilnius.
Vilnius’ modern architecture provides a contrast to the traditional and historic Old Town. For example, at 326.5 metres high, the TV Tower is amongst the tallest buildings in Eastern Europe. Visitors can enjoy the view from a height of 165 metres in the 'Milky Way' cafe or the revolving platform – and on clear days, even see within a 50-kilometre radius of Vilnius.
How to get there
Vilnius International Airport is the largest of four international airports in Lithuania. It is around seven kilometres from Vilnius city centre and is easily reachable by train, bus or taxi. Starting from 3 September, AirBaltic will operate three weekly flights – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – between Berlin Tegel and the Lithuanian capital. The flight time is just under two hours.
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