Day 1. Vilnius – Introduction to history and religion
We will start Vilnius tour from its cradle – Gediminas Castle Hill and the remnants of the upper castle. Continue to the Cathedral square where one can observe the beautiful Neo-Classical Cathedral of Saints Stanislaus and Ladislaus. Then will whisk out through the narrow street to another square to observe the Presidential Palace and the Old Vilnius University, founded in 1579.
Walk along medieval Castle street in the heart of the Vilnius Old City. One of the most breathtaking sights is “gothic triangle” which includes St. Anne’s church. Just next to it there is the Russian Orthodox Church of Blessed Mother God and the former Russian city, which today houses the artists’ Republic of Uzupis.
We will continue Vilnius sightseeing outside the borders of the old historical part by driving to the pearl of Baroque architecture – St. Peter and Paul’s Church. This unique church has more than 2000 statues and bas-relieves in its interior decoration. It was hard to keep churches open during the Soviet period, but this one remained untouched and served as a Cathedral.
Drive to Gediminas boulevard to see the Parliament and an impressive monument in honor of revolutionary events of 1991. Next stop in on a nice spacious square where once was a suburb of Tatars and many fairs and markets took place. Today here we often refer to a former KGB building and the sad story of Stalin’s repressions.
Then back to the Old City to see the City hall square, numerous art and amber galleries, linen and souvenir shops. We will
reach the southern border of the, ones walled, city with the Russian monastery of Holy Spirit, Greek – Catholic church of Holy Trinity and the zenith of Christian Vilnius – “Gates of Dawn” – The Chapel in the City Gate which contains an icon of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy, believed to have miraculous powers.
Day 2. Vilnius – Lithuanian Jerusalem
Visit Vilnius Synagogue built in 1903 in Moorish- Romanesque style. Visit the Jewish State museum – called Tolerance Centre. Walking in the medieval Jewish Quarter of Vilnius, called Lithuanian Jerusalem. Music school where Jasha Heifetz did his first steps in the music career, the building of the famous ORT school, the building of the famous Tarbut Gimnazia and nowadays JCC. Former Yiddish theatre, rabbis’ council and the place of Theodor Herzl visit to Vilnius. Benedictine convent and story of saving 12 Jewish souls by Lithuanian Righteous Among the Nations. Vilnius Ghetto streets and Vilna Gaon’s house; the spot of the Great Synagogue. The Big Ghetto and the story of suffering, resistance, and partisans. Judenrat office and the story of “choiceless choices”. Ghetto theatre as the center of Spiritual resistance. Drive to Ponar forest and Holocaust memorial – the sight of extermination of 100 thousand people among which 70 thousand were Jews.
Day 3. Vilnius – Trakai – Kaunas
Trakai – the land of lakes and forests. The ancient capital and the residence of Grand Dukes of Lithuania with its 14th-century insular castle – today the museum of Lithuanian history. Karaite museum represents the story of this small ethnic group, brought from Crimea 600 years ago. Visit unique Karaite cemetery. Drive through Slobodka – Jewish neighborhood since 1500′. The building of the famous Slobodka Yeshiva. The History Museum and the Memorial in the Ninth Fort – the place where Nazis and their collaborators killed over 50 thousand people, most of them were Jews.
The Old Town of Kaunas with its Catholic churches, narrow streets and cobbled squares, cozy cafes and art galleries. Continue walking along the main pedestrian street, Laisves aleja, with its 2-3 story buildings just as they looked before the war. The Art Gallery of M. K. Ciurlionis, the outstanding Lithuanian painter, and composer.
Destination Management Company JeruLita operates individual private tours as well as small and medium size groups in cooperation with our partners. We will be glad to accommodate you in a private tour or will direct you to travel expert in your country who will register you to the groups we operate.