Uzhupis Republic in Vilnius
Virtual tour to Uzhupis
Yulik Gurvitch, the guide of the “Jerulita Travel”, invites for a walk in the so-called Republic of Uzhupis. In 1998 the residents of this district of Vilnius proclaimed the independent Republic of Uzhupis. Many of the “citizens” of this republic belong to the free professions: artists, musicians, poets, writers, actors, etc.
< Click on the video to watch a virtual tour
This is a real state that has all the attributes of an independent country: its own flag, president, the cabinet of ministers, a constitution, an anthem, and an army of approximately 11 men. The National Holiday is, of course, April‘s Fool Day.
The visitors will find here various pieces of art, serious and funny, street exhibitions, graffiti, street concerts, and happenings. Quite vibrant Jewish community existed in Uzhupis (Zarechye) before WWII. There were six synagogues in the neighborhood. In the Zarecher Beit Midrash Rabbi Israel Salanter, the founder of the Musar movement headed his Yeshiva in the 1840s. R’ Kareliz (Hazon Ish) lived here before his aliya to Eretz Israel.
Not accidentally Chaim Grade placed the heroes of his wonderful novel “The Agunah” in this area of Vilna. We will finish our walk in the Republic of Uzhupis at the wall where the plaques of its Constitution are presented in 40 languages. The latest in Hebrew was unveiled in November 2020.