Vilnius, Lithuania: As We Travel Europe

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We’re in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. It’s really cute here. There are many places of worship. We’re going to start the day by visiting the Gate of Dawn. This 16th Century gate is the only gate of the town wall still standing, and this is probably because it houses the Chapel of the Virgin Mary and a black and gold Virgin Mary icon, which the people here believe brings them miracles. When the Russians came here and invaded, they refused to destroy this, because they were afraid it would bring them bad luck. We can barely even see the miracle icon from down here, but it’s still such a special. It’s really quaint. It’s not just a gate, there’s also a chapel on top of the gate and there’s a mass going on. There’s singing, there’s a lot of prayer. It’s a very special vibe here. It’s really cool to see people walking through the gate and people doing the crossing on their chest. Yeah. Every single person does that. There’s definitely a special atmosphere around here. Amazing.

We’re in Cathedral Square, probably the most popular and most recognizable square in the whole of Lithuania. It’s has three attractions, the Vilnius Cathedral, the Bell Tower, and the Stebuklas, a very special tile. Let’s have a closer look. It really does look like a lighthouse. It’s not a lighthouse though, we’re at the Bell Tower, and in 17th century, they installed a clock here without a minute hand, so you could only tell the time every 15 minutes. It’s kind of funny, I think. And once a week, the guy had to walk up the 92 steps to re-wind up the clock so it would continue working for the rest of the week. The first thing we notice when we walk into the church were all the paintings around here, there are so many of them. We thought it was kind of strange, but we found out that this church was built as a church 700 years ago, and then it was turned into—do you hear how loud she’s singing?—it was turned into an art gallery, and also a car repair workshop. That’s kind of funny. And, then in the 80s, it was turned back into a church again, so I guess that explains all the paintings around here. It’s kind of funny, huh? Ok, so here it is, the miracle tile, Stebuklas. I actually thought it was going to be a bit bigger, but it’s actually just the same size as any other tile around here. So, what you do is that you make a wish, and then you turn clockwise three times, and apparently your dreams will come true, so here we go. A bit dizzy.

Ok, so I made my wish. Let’s go and get some lunch.
Having some lunch, we ordered some pancakes, very popular in this part of Europe. You get savory pancakes and sweet, and they’re really, really nice. Also ordered some local Lithuanian beer. Perfect lunch. The beer here is cheaper than a Coke, crazy. We’re walking up to Gediminas Castle which is from the 14th century, and it was used to protect the city. Today it’s very popular to come up here and get a great view over the city, so let’s go check it out.