Alternative Vilnius tour
What to see in Vilnius besides city center
I was walking in the area I grew up, actually not walking, but riding a bicycle and realized that there are a lot of impressive houses. I started taking pictures and came up with a collection of beautiful images.
Zverynas neighborhood serenity
Zverynas is quite an old neighborhood. The name means a Zoo. It was an area where the Grand Duke and local nobles had their hunting lots. One can still find remnants of the zoo, which was built by the end of the 19th century
Later the zoo was abandoned, and the neighborhood became a residential area. We can still find a lot of wooden houses, and some of them seem are in the same shape and color as they were 150 years ago. Next, to them, you can see Modern villas or nicely refurbished old houses.
To live in Zverynas means to live in a village which is in the very center of Lithuanian capital. Expensive, prestigious, and at the same time very calm compared to the very downtown, which is just 10 minutes’ walk away.
This walk can be combined with a Vilnius City tour.
Most wanted place to live in Vilnius
The biggest park in Vilnius, Neris river, and nature reservoir surround the Zverynas area. So it is a green and very central area. As I have mentioned earlier, you can walk to the city center in 10- 15 minutes, depending on where you head.
It is still not a very touristic area of the city, and this helps to keep the authentic atmosphere.
I like the Zverynas community. People there adore the neighborhood. You can feel it even in the way they walk – “here walks a person who likes his neighborhood.” Many can seem very snobbish. But indeed they are very friendly.
I think that they must like the combination of the old and the new, as the architecture is very diverse in this area.
There are few excellent schools and kindergartens, and the infrastructure is well developed.
Is this a perfect place, most probably not. The drawback is pollution because Zverynas is in the lowes point of Vilnius topography. Another drawback/advantage is the crazy price of the real estate.
You can go there on your own after a Vilnius tour.
Old wooden architecture
There was a clear difference between the simple wooden houses and the manor estates. Peasants lived in simple houses with almost no architectural value, and the nobles lived in better conditions and much more elaborate homes.
At the end of the 19th century, there were quite a lot of people of a middle class, and they could afford an investment into the exterior decoration of the dwellings.
They started adding more and bigger windows to the houses and also decorating them with wooden carvings. People painted houses, which did not take place in the past.
In this picture, you see an old and abandoned house on one of the main streets in Zverynas. It is a state-protected architectural monument, and it is costly to preserve it in the same shape and size. I think this is the reason why there was no investor to buy it and restore it.
Modern homes as a contrast to the old ones
When you take a walk around the Zverynas neighborhood, you will see quite a lot of newly built houses. The housing on the picture is just a few minutes’ walk from the blue clapboard home on the previous image.
The famous local architect planned and built these three-floor apartment homes. In the original plan, there were small apartments, and they could not materialize them.
Then one of the partners felt that people who are capable of buying an apartment in such a prestigious area of the city do not want to have a small size home. So he insisted on replanning the layout of the apartments.
Apartments became two-three times more expensive, but developers sold all of them surprisingly quickly.