Monday, June 3, 2013


City of Black Angels
A visit to the Baltic country of Lithuania and its capital of Vilnius inspires this collection of photos.

Check out Wikipedia for some detailed info on this interesting city with a chequered history. Radiating out from the now-restored Cathedral are a medieval hilltop castle in one direction, a restored old town with a venerable University (with a library founded in 1570) in another, and a wide boulevarde of handsome 19th century buildings in yet another direction.

Between the buildings you can find cobbled side streets and many churches decorated with the distinctive Lithuanian crosses. You can also find reminders of the recent Soviet past such as sports stadiums and apartment blocks in practical 'brutalist' style. The strange legends of Lithuania - the black angels, the saints and the medieval knights - pop up as reminders of the past; and the quirky art works of Vilnius's design students represent the present.

Viva Vilnius!

Contemoprary design in public art.

Serene religious statuary in the Church of St John.

Reading Room in the Library of the University of Vilnius

Icon of St Casimir (three hands?)

The Church of St. Anne is a masterpiece of the late Gothic period.
The church has survived without damage for over 500 years and has become a symbol of Vilnius.

The Rare Book Department of the Library of Vilnius University has accumulated over 160,000 items from the 15th–21st centuries. It is the largest depository of old books in Lithuania and rivals the most famous libraries of Eastern Europe in its significance. The collection contains the largest collections of incunabula and post-incunabula in Lithuania; 16th–18th century books; and the world's richest collection of old Lithuanian books, especially valuable old atlases and maps.

Design students add some pizzazz to Vilnius's streets:
Here, a 'Writers' Wall'

A survivor from the past, in Vilnius's suburbs.

Soviet-era sports stadium.

19th century building with a dark past: was once KGB headquarters.
The names of those whose disappeared into its basement are now
engraved along the walls.

The Cathedral of Vilnius.

Sunny street cafe.

Attractive northern architecture.

The weather in April.

Lithuanian Litas

Lithuanian Locator

The quiet Old Town of Vilnius.

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