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Monday, October 28, 2013

Pilies Street

Pilies Street in Vilnius is one of the Old Town's main streets and the hub of cafe and street market life, with a lively atmosphere.  

Jonava - Santarvés Square - St.Jacob’s Church

Jonava - Santarvés Square- memorial to a compatriot and a pioneer of Lithuanian writing, Abraomas Kulvietis. It is a large square in front of the Town hall, a recreational area for the townpeople.  

Jonava – St.Jacob’s Church, was built in 1775. Remains of the bishop and the establishers of Jonava lie at rest in the catacombs. 

Gediminas' Tower

Gediminas' Tower  is the only remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius. The first fortifications were built of wood by Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Gediminas. Later the first brick castle was completed in 1409 by Grand Duke Vytautas. Third floor tower was rebuilt in 1930, by polish architects Jan Borowski.  It is possible to climb to the top of the hill on foot or by taking a funicular. It is an excellent vantage point, from where the panorama of Vilnius' Old Town can be admired. Gediminas' Tower is an important state and historic symbol of the city of Vilnius and of Lithuania itself. It is depicted on the national currency, the litas, and is mentioned in numerous Lithuanian patriotic poems and folk songs. The Flag of Lithuania was re-hoisted atop the tower on October 7, 1988, during the independence movement that was finalized by the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania on March 11, 1990. 

The monument to Gediminas

The monument to Gediminas, one of the first rulers of Lithuania, by Vytautas Kašuba, uncovered in 1996.  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

Cathedral's bell tower

One of the most distinctive features of Cathedral square is the Cathedral's bell tower, a few meters  from the cathedral itself. According to many scholars, 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, the base of the tower was in fact a small pagan temple, demolished and then turned into the bell tower. 

Cathedral Square

The Cathedral Square  is the main square of the Vilnius Old Town, 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. The cathedral square was founded in the 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 was erected. 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.


Trakai is a historic city and lake resort in Lithuania. It lies 28 kilometres  west of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.  Trakai is a popular tourist destination.  The town covers 497.1 km2 of area and, according to 2007 estimates, is inhabited by 5,357 people. A notable feature of Trakai is that the town was built and preserved by people of different nationalities. Historically, communities of Karaims, Tatars, Lithuanians, Russians, Jews and Poles lived here.
Trakai Island Castle  is an island castle located in Trakai on an island in Lake Galvė. The castle is sometimes referred to as "Little Marienburg". The construction of the stone castle was begun in the 14th century by Kęstutis, and around 1409 major works were completed by his son Vytautas the Great, who died in this castle in 1430. Trakai was one of the main centres of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the castle held great strategic importance. The principal construction material was so-called red Gothic bricks. Stone blocks were used only in the foundations and the upper parts of buildings, towers and walls. The castle was decorated in a variety of ways, including glazed roof tiling, burned bricks, and stained glass windows. Its  style  is Gothic with some Romanesque features.

St. Michael the Archangel's Church

St. Michael the Archangel's Church or the Garrison Church  is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Kaunas, Lithuania, closing the perspective of the Laisvės alėja, the main pedestrian street. It was built between 1891 and 1895 in Neo-Byzantine style.

Laisvės Alėja

Laisvės Alėja ( Liberty Avenue) is a pedestrian street in the city of Kaunas. It stretches between the St. Michael the Archangel's Byzantine-style church to the Central Post Office around  Kaunas Old Town, the oldest section of Kaunas. For a long time it was the main commercial district of Kaunas. With its 1.6 kilometres, Laisvės Alėja is the longest pedestrian street in Eastern Europe. Motor vehicles cannot travel along Laisvės Alėja, but can cross it at intersections with other streets where motor traffic is permitted. The boulevard is separated into two walkways by a median strip lined with linden trees. In 1982, Laisvės Alėja was reconstructed according to plans of architects V. Palauskas and V. Paleckienė, and completely transformed into pedestrian area.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Kernavė was a medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and today is a tourist attraction and an archeological site. It is  located in southeast Lithuania. A Lithuanian state cultural reserve was established in Kernavė in 1989. In 2004 Kernavė Archaeological Site was included into UNESCO world heritage list. Celebrations and folk festivals are organized. Kernavė is famous for national celebrations of Mindaugas coronation day on 6 July. On that day a festival is held, where medieval authentic crafts, war games and folk music are presented. 
Kernavé Church The present-day church was built between 1910 and 1920. Neo-gothic elements are dominant in the architecture.

M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum

The M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum is dedicated to exhibiting and publicizing the works of the painter and musician M.K. Čiurlionis (1875–1911). The museum was founded in 1921. Čiurlionis contributed to symbolism and art nouveau and was representative of the fin de siècle epoch. During his short life he composed about 250 pieces of music and created about 300 paintings. The majority of his paintings are housed in the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Kaunas. His works have had a profound influence on modern Lithuanian culture. The asteroid 2420 Čiurlionis is named after him.

Žmuidzinavičius Museum

Devils' Museum in Kaunas, Lithuania, is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting sculptures and carvings of devils from all over the world. It contains about 3,000 exhibits. The collection was initiated by painter Antanas Žmuidzinavičius (1876–1966). A memorial museum was established in his house after his death. At the time the devil collection had only 260 sculptures. As the collection grew, enriched by a number of gifts presented to the museum by its visitors, a separate three-storey extension was built in 1982. The devils, collected from different cultures, are diverse: some are just works of art, while others are incorporated into useful objects, some represent folk myths, while others express modern political ideas. For example, one sculpture depicts Hitler and Stalin as devils in a dance of death over a playground littered with human bones

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Magic stone

The Magic Stone, which is in Cathedral Square, Vilnius marks the place where the human chain of Baltic Way started linking Vilnius with Riga and Tallinn. This event marked the beginning of national liberattion of the Baltic States. It is said, if a person steps on this stone and turns around three times, his or her wish will be granted.


 First, the plane was  cancelled, so we went to Vienna by bus. The bus was too slow and we missed the plane… So we waited for hours, but finally we landed in Lithuania.
Our host families and friends were waiting for us. It was great to see them again.
The first day we went to school. There were a lot of beautiful girls and a lot of friendly people. We showed our presentations, and in the afternoon we went to the Town Hall. In the evening there was a school event, where we danced Lithuanian folk danced and tasted Lithuanian food from different regions of the country.
The next day we had workshops and in the afternoon we went to Kaunas to buy souvenirs in a big shopping mall.
On Friday we went on a trip to Vilnius, the capital city. On our way there we visited Kernavé and Trakaji. I liked the castle in the middle of the lake!
Saturday came too quickly and we had to say good bye. I enjoyed being in Lithuania! It was so nice! I made a lot of new friends. I hope to keep in touch and meet again. Thank you for everything!

Róbert Brunczvik


The beginning was not the best but when we were in Lithuania it was amazing. When we arrived our hosts were so happy that they started to shout .After a little talk we went home and later met in Donata’s house for a little welcome party. The next day at school I was surprised to see so many beautiful girls!
 The Lithuanians are very friendly.  And so are all the others we met: the Italians, the Finnish and the Spanish people. We were welcomed by the headmistress of the school. We presented our work about creativity and advertizing, I think it was cool. One manager came to school and explained how we can make a good idea become true. After this we went to the Town Hall where we met the Mayor of Jonava. He is very young and he used to be a student at Jonavos Senamiescio Gimnazija. His teachers must be very proud of him!
In the evening our hosts showed us how colorful country Lithuania is. We had to learn four kinds of dance (I got the most beautiful girls as dance partners!) It was very nice.
On Thursday we met a real businessman. We worked in groups, in mixed teams trying to promote and sell different products, of course it was just a game.  After school our host took us to Kaunas the second biggest city in Lithuania. It is very nice, it looks like Pécs in Hungary. When we went back to Jonava while in the bus we just sang songs the atmosphere was the best I think.
 On Friday we had to wake up early because we went to Kernavé, which is beautiful, especially in autumn. After that we went to Trakaji. Its castle looks like a romantic place. My English teacher went to stocks and I took a picture about it.
 I shot with a crossbow, I’m not the best at it I have to admit. I think it was great. After that we went to Vilnius. We had lunch in a restaurant and we tried to find some gifts for our family.  When we arrived back to Jonova we had a farewell party.
In the morning we said good bye to our new families. We went to school and hugged each other and said good bye. That was the best trip I have ever had. Thank you for the unforgettable days we spent, for your hospitality and friendship.
 Ákos Dobó


What comes to your mind hearing the word Lithuania? Speaking sincerely and frankly nothing came to my mind until February  this year, when I was invited in an agreeable job concerning Comenius SO ECO GREEN project.  Slowly my knowledge of Lithuania has extended from month to month. In this process the day of 8-th of October was the cornerstone when I started to know personally Lithuania.
 Let’s go in chronological order. Tuesday early morning I got up at 3 o’clock. At 5 o’clock we were at the airport. At 5.30 we had the first unpleasant surprise, our flight to Vienna was cancelled. At 6.30 we started to run by bus to Vienna airport. The second unpleasant surprise was in Vienna, we arrived too late for Vilnius flight.
 Then we flew through Warsaw to Vilnius and arrived in Jonava in dark and cool night, but we were given a warm reception in the school. They waited for us the whole day. It was the third, but very pleasant surprise.
The next day we, the exchange students, and Lithuanian school girls and boys took part in workshops. We heard a presentation concerning the secret of successful business. Later we assembled in random groups and created a product promoting it.  This afternoon we paid a visit to the office of Mayor in Jonava town. The Mayor greeted us and talked about actual investment processes. This evening  an interesting event happened at school. The local girls and boys performed traditional national dances and brought us their traditional foods and national costumes. The guests of visitor countries performed their own traditions too, of course in fragments only. Our Hungarian fragment was a traditional Hungarian folk song “Spring breeze floods water” singing together with our teachers.
On Thursday we gathered in groups once again so called “Fair of ideas” then we demonstrated our products. In the afternoon we travelled to Kaunas. This town is the second biggest after Vilnius. Approximately half of the country’s students study at the University of Kaunas. This is the town of students. On Friday we paid a visit to the capital. On the way to Vilnius we could see Kernavé and Trakaji, which is a small town. Its castle stands on an island in the middle of a lake.  It was built in the 14th century.
About Vilnius: it was referred to as the capital of Lithuania in 1323. By the 16th century Vilnius was  one of the  largest cities in Europe. We visited the “Museum of money”. Here we could understand the development of Lithuanian money. We printed some paper money with our portrait.
Summarizing: Lithuania is a small country with great traditions and history, and with untouched, wonderful nature, with nice and friendly people.
It was a great pleasure to be there with our host, old and new friends. Thank you!
Maximillián Pál

Monday, October 21, 2013

Church of St. Anne, Vilnius

Church of St Anne Gothic Church of Vilnius The construction of the church began in 1394. after being completed in a few years, was destroyed by fire in 1419. took charge of restructuring the Grand Duke Aleksandras Jogailaitis and early 1500s the church of St Anne acquired its present appearance. The church is located in Vilnius, the Lithuania’s capital. St. Anne's Church is a place of worship and important and this building was built for the queen wanted in the city there was a temple which can accommodate German Catholics This church is really one of the best churches I have ever seen, I liked its colours, form and all its details of construction. Federico Capone

Vilnius Cathedral

Cathedral of Vilnius of St. Stanislaus and St. Ladislaus, Lithuania. Church. This church was built between 1779 and 1783. Its architect was Laurynas Gucevičius. The church is located in the centre of Vilnius. It is the main place of Catholic worship in Vilnius, Lithuania, bishop of the Archdiocese of the same name. As all Vilnius is declared heritage of UNESCO. The church is really beautiful. It is in a square in which all monuments are fantastic. I was impressed by columns and the beauty of its statues Federico Capone

Aleksotas hill Kaunas

1-     Lookout on the bridge Aleksotas, in the city of Kaunas .
2-     From this place we could enjoy wonderful views over the river Nemunas and of Kaunas downtown
3-     There is the Aleksotas Funicular, built in 1935, that connects the Old Town with Aleksotas district, takes people up to Aleksotas hill. From here is probably the best view of Kaunas downtown.
4-      Caught our attention some loving couples rose there to enjoy the view over the city. Walking around there that evening we could see a few people celebrating  a wedding.  It was a young couple with only four friends and a young son of the couple. A musician was playing the accordion and a bottle of champagne enlivened the party. All this completed a truly romantic image of this city.
5-     In my city Barcelona, ​​There are places with similar attractive, especially for couples in love, like Tibidabo Mountain in the upper part of the city, or the Breakwater near the harbour.
Antonio Milan

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Two Lithuanian heroes 
Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas

While walking on the guided tour the first day in Kaunas we stopped in front of  a model plane named Lituanica. I was told the sad story of  two famous Lithuanian pilots I have never  known about  before. They are still  remembered nowadays as national heroes, also on the 10 litas banknotes.

On July 15, 1933, the pilot Steponas Darius and  Stasys Girėnas  attempted a nonstop flight from New York CityUSA to Kaunas, in a Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker airplane named Lituanica. They  had successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 37 hours and 11 minutes and they had almost achieved their great  adventure, only 650 km short of their final destination, when they  crashed on July 17.   Both were killed in the crash. The reason of the crash is still unkwnown. most probably because of difficult weather conditions and engine problems.

How sad the story was! I admire them for their great courage and  their desire of challenging human limits!
                                   Patrizia Coppola

Pilis Mounds in Kernavé


The landscape in Kernavé is decorated with mounds, natural or man made, used by the Balts as defensive fortifications. Other mounds served as fire hills to warn approaching enemies, as the smoke could be seen kilometres away.

I was stunned by such a unique site. It was so so colourful, surrounded by red, yellow and green trees, and from the top of the mounds you could enjoy a vast view of a natural landscape all around

I had never seen mounds before. They seemed to me strange and different from the other natural hills. They all had the same shape.  

The landscape is unique. 

Noemi Tedeschi
Gediminas  Tower

Gediminas’ Tower is the only remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius.

You can climb to the top on foot. 
In 2003, a funicular railway started operating in Vilnius, which takes people from the foot of Gediminas Hill to the top. It takes 35 seconds for the funicular railway to cover a 71-meter long distance, and the entire ascending process, including getting on and off the funicular, takes about one minute.

From the tower there is a beautiful view of the old part of the city. The tower is an important symbol of the Lithuan state and it is also represented on the Litas.
The view of the city is very attractive, rich of monuments, churches and parks.

                                                                                    Noemi Tedeschi


Trakai was built in the 13th century and in the Middle ages was the Lithuanian capital.

This town lies 28 kilometres west of Vilnius. For this proximity to Vilnius, Trakai is a popular tourist destination.

The higher attractiveness of this small town is Trakai castle. This is the only peninsular castle situated in the east part of Europa. After the transfer of the capital in Vilnius this castle became a grand-ducal residence. Nowadays this castle is a museum and in summertime hosts many events. When we arrived, we saw the exhibition of a lot of objects that were used by the rich people who lived in the Middle Ages and a lot of antique furniture elements.
The style of this castle is gothic. There is a tower  six floors high. The entry is formed by a doorway leading to the courtyard and a drawbridge.

We liked this castle very much.  But we were much more impressed by the beautiful scenery all around. The magnificent location and the singularity of the landscape are extraordinary, and the reflection of the tower, the trees and the castle in the lake  is a fascinating and remarkable sight.


  Benedetta Felici e Noemi Tedeschi

Trakai Island Castle

1- Trakai Island Castle in Lake Galvė. Trakai, Lithuania.
2- The castle is sometimes referred to as "Little Marienburg".
3- The construction of the stone castle was begun in the 14th century by Kęstutis, and around 1409 major works were completed by his son Vytautas the Great, who died in this castle in 1430.
 4- Trakai was one of the main centres of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the castle held great strategic importance.
5- During the 19th century, castle reconstruction plans were prepared. Its original frescos were preserved and copied by Wincenty Smokowski. The major portion of the reconstruction was finished in 1961 in a 15th-century style.
6- Trakai Island Castle is now a major tourist attraction.
7.- I liked that castle because, visit feel like making a trip back in time to the Middle Ages and thus better understand how was the life of our ancestors 600 years ago.
8.-  By visiting this site I remembered some places in my country. Cities and medieval castles are also in Catalonia and in the cities of Montblanc (Tarragona) or Besalu (Girona).
Antonio Milán

Kernavė Archaeological Site

1-     Kernavė Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavė). 
2-     Historical part of Lithuania where has been find some old ruins, archaeological ones. 
3-     The first mention of Kernave occurred in 1279 and many believe that it was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania led by Grand Duke Mindaugas. In medieval times, Kernave suffered several attacks, including by the Teutonic Order in 1365 and another in 1390 which destroyed the town, it subsequently never being rebuilt. The final reconstruction finished at 1199 AC. 
4-      Remains of the medieval town of Kernave in eastern Lithuania as well as remnants of habitation of the site dating back approximately ten millennia. 
5-      In 2004, the Kernave Archaeological Site gained UNESCO World Heritage status and is now a popular tourist destination. 
6-     I didn’t know anything about this place, I’ve been always interested by archaeological sites, and this new discovery it’s a fantastic thing to know about. I love visiting these ruins and that's because I'm interested in the archeological places. This place gives me the insight into the site's history and displays artefacts found there.

       Elena Baños

Trakai Island Castle

1-     Trakai Island Castle (Lituania: Trakų salos pilis). 
2-      It is an island castle located in Trakai, Lithuania on an island in Lake Galvė. 
3-      The construction of the stone castle was begun in the 14th century by Kęstutis, and around 1409 major works were completed by his son Vytautas the Great. 
4-     The castle could be described as Gothic with some Romanesque features. 
5-     Trakai Island Castle is now a major tourist attraction. In the environment of medieval castles variety of events, such as the day of ancient craft or knight tournaments and various concerts takes place. 
6-     I didn’t know anything about this fantastic castle island in Tarkai, but knowing a little bit more of it, was a new vision of gothic art. 

7-     Trakai Island castles waiting for each tourist, where one will find interesting visuals and impressions, where nature and architecture harmonically supplement each other. For me have had the pleasure to see and visit it, was an incredible experience.     
      Elena Baños