My dear travelers, welcome to the new adventure on the Mr.M blog. Today we start a series of new posts about the largest Baltic state in northern Europe – the Republic of Lithuania. I must admit that I felt great pleasure and happiness when I published the first Instagram story from the airport when I asked you to guess where I was going with one small hint that I would complete my adventure in that region with this trip.
Many of you have listed Latvia and Estonia with the assumption that I went to Lithuania this time. I am glad to have such a wonderful community that has been building an online travel diary with me, such as Mr.M.
Before I start with a travelogue about the capital of Lithuania, I would like to introduce you to an interesting brand of luggage and travel accessories with which you will feel the comfort and beauty of travel! I believe that you remember this navy backpack from one of the previous fashion stories and I believe that the FPM Milano brand is not unknown to you, but let’s remind ourselves of some details for people who did not manage to read my one of my previous fashion stories.
This exclusive Italian brand of leather goods and luggage was founded in 1946. This brand is an artistic expression of the best Italian talent and aesthetics, as well as excellent expertise. Traditional handmade with the use of top materials, today is combined with innovations of avant-garde metals and modern design.
FPM Milano luggage and accessories offers travelers convenience and style, all in one suitcase and backpack. Designed by Marc Sadler, these lightweight, aluminum-reinforced suitcases are inspired by antique suitcases, specifically designed to give you the endurance you need when traveling. The combination of Avante-Garde materials and motifs of Italian design, give these FPM suitcases a robust and safe look.
In today’s post I present you a backpack from the Bank on the Road collection, as well as Bank Spinner 53 cabin suitcase from the Bank collection, both collections are made entirely in Italy, ideal for people from the business world and for those who want to enjoy maximum in their leisure and leisure time, designed to satisfy every practical, functional or aesthetic need. The convenient internal pocket allows you to charge your tablet and smartphone anytime, anywhere. Modern, elegant line of ranches, made of high quality and waterproof nylon with special attention to leather and metal details. The aluminum personalization is reminiscent of the innovative creativity of the FPM Bank collection.
If you want to be updated and find out which models of suitcases and travel accessories the FPM Milano brand has in its offer, visit their official online store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.
It is time to start this first travelogue about the capital of Lithuania, so let’s see what is hidden in the heart of this unusual northern European country. Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Europe, which consists of 3 countries: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. This country lies on the east coast of the Baltic Sea, geographically Lithuania borders Latvia in the north, Belarus in the east and south, Poland in the south and the Kaliningrad region of Russia in the southwest.
Also, this country has a maritime border with Sweden in the west on the Baltic Sea. Lithuania covers an area of about 65,000 km2, with a current population of almost 3 million. The main and largest city is Vilnius, while the other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipeda. Lithuanians belong to the Baltic ethno-linguistic group and speak Lithuanian, one of only a few living Baltic languages.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Vilnius Tourism Board for the wonderful welcome, as well as the content program that helped me get to know this exceptional city in a completely different way.
How will “Letters from Lithuania” be organized? Due to a better understanding of Lithuanian culture and history, I decided to dedicate the first post to the first part of the Castle Complex in Vilnius – the Palace of the Grand Duke. This complex is extremely important for the history of this largest Baltic state, which was created with a rich history, and that is why I thought it best to introduce you to the Palace of the Grand Duke first.
The castle complex in Vilnius is a group of cultural and historical buildings on the left bank of the Neris River, near its confluence with the Vilnius River. The buildings, which were built and constantly modernized between the 10th and 18th centuries, were one of the main defense structures of Lithuania.
The complex consisted of three castles: Upper, Lower and Crooked Castle. The crooked castle was burned by the Teutonic Knights in 1390 and was never rebuilt. The castles of Vilnius were attacked several times by the Teutonic Order after 1390, but they failed to occupy the entire complex. His complete capture took place for the first time during the Battle of Vilnius in 1655. Soon after, heavily damaged castles lost their significance, and many buildings were abandoned. During the Imperial Annexation, several historic buildings were demolished; many more were damaged during the construction of the fortress in the 19th century.
Today, the remaining Gediminas (Crooked Tower) is the main symbol of the city of Vilnius and the nation itself. Every year, on January 1, the Lithuanian tricolor is raised on Gediminas’ Crooked Tower in memory of Flag Day. The complex is part of the National Museum of Lithuania, one of the largest museums in the country.
The Palace of the Grand Duke in the Lower Castle has evolved over the years and architecturally advanced during the 16th and mid-17th centuries. The palace has been the political, administrative and cultural center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania for more than four centuries. In the 13th and 14th centuries, there were stone constructions inside the palace, and a large number of archaeologists believe that there was also a wooden palace. The stone Royal Palace was built in the 15th century, apparently after the great fire of 1419.
The existing stone buildings and defensive structures of the Lower Castle that blocked the construction were demolished. The royal palace was built in the Gothic style. The flag of the Upper Castle, as well as the Royal Palace, was to host the coronation of Vytautas the Great. The Gothic palace had three wings, some archaeological research suggests that it was a two-story building with a basement.
The Grand Duke of Lithuania, Alexander, who later became King of Poland, moved his residence to the Royal Palace, where he met with the ambassadors. He ordered the restoration of the palace. After his marriage to the daughter of Moscow’s Grand Duke Ivan III, the royal couple lived and died in the palace.
Sigismund I the Old, after his ascension to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, conducted his affairs in the Royal Court as well as in the Vilnius Cathedral. During the reign of Sigismund, the palace was significantly expanded in order to meet the new needs of the Grand Duke – another wing was added, as well as the third floor, and new gardens were added. The plan for the reconstruction of the palace was probably made by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Berrecci da Pontassieve, who also designed several other projects in the Kingdom of Poland. In this palace, Sigismund the Old welcomed the envoy of the Holy Roman Empire, who in 1517 introduced Sigismund to his second wife, Bona Sforza.
Sigismund’s son Sigismund II Augustus was crowned Grand Duke of Lithuania at the Royal Court. Augustus continued to develop the palace and lived there with his first wife Elizabeth of Austria, the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, who now rests in Vilnius Cathedral. Sigismund II’s second wife, Barbara Radziwill, also lived in the palace. According to modern reports from the Holy See’s envoys, the Royal Court at the time contained more treasures than the Vatican. Sigismund II also compiled one of the largest collections of books in Europe.
The palace was remodeled in the Renaissance style in the 16th century. The plan was prepared by several Italian architects, including Giovanni Cini da Siena, Bernardino de Gianotis Zanobi and others. The palace was visited by Ipolito Aldobrandini, who later became Pope Clement VIII. Another great development took place during the reign of the Vasa family. The royal court was renovated in the early Baroque style during the reign of Sigismund III Vasa. Mateo Castello, Jacopo Tencala and other artists took part in the 17th century renovation.
During the reign of the Vasa family, several important ceremonies were held in the palace, including the wedding of Duke John, who later became King John III of Sweden, as well as the sister of Sigismund Augustus – Catherine. The first opera in Lithuania was set up in the palace in 1634. Marco Sccachi and Virgilio Puciteli were an opera impresario.
After the Russian invasion in 1655, the state began to weaken, which negatively affected the Royal Court. The palace was badly damaged by the war, and its treasure was looted. After the recapture of the city of Vilnius in 1660-1661, the palace was no longer a suitable state residence and was abandoned for almost 150 years.
At the end of the 18th century, after the fall of the Polish-Lithuanian community, several families lived in parts of the ruined palace. Shortly after the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was incorporated into the Russian Empire, tsarist officials ordered the demolition of the remaining parts of the Royal Court. The palace was almost completely demolished at the beginning of the 19th century. The bricks of the former palace were sold in 1799 to a merchant from Kremenchug.
In 2000, the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) passed a law deciding to renovate the Royal Palace for the Millennium Ceremony since the first mention of the name of the Republic of Lithuania in 2009.
During my visit to the Palace of the Grand Duke, there was a special exhibition that is of great importance for Lithuania – the Children’s Armor of Sigismund Augustus.
The coronation was performed “vivente rege”, during the life of the reigning King Sigismund the Old, with the aim of ensuring a possible unhindered takeover of power, but the young prince did not have to immediately assume all the obligations of governing and governing the country. The ceremonial armor for the 13-year-old, preserved to this day, has been used in tournaments and testifies to the skill of the gunsmiths and proof of how tall Sigismund Augustus was as a teenager.
He met the taste of true power and all the troubles closely connected with it after the death of his father, Sigismund I the Elder, in 1548. Another thing is that a few years before the death of the aged king, most decisions were made by his wife or young Sigismund Augustus, who tried to expand his autonomy, especially in the hereditary Grand Duchy, where he initially sought an agreement with magnate families. He also tried to reform the management of the estates that were in the royal domain of the so-called There, the king married for the second time, and the conflict between affection and duty was, fortunately, Shakespearean, not Harlequin.
The view from the safety tower that is part of the Palace of the Grand Duke is amazing, you just have the opportunity to see Vilnius in the palm of your hand. Unfortunately, during my visit to this city, the weather forecast was not quite favorable, but it did not spoil my overall impression of this charming and unusual city.
The Palace of the Grand Duke as a museum is divided into 3 parts where you can see how the Palace has modernized over time and what it looked like during its golden age. In addition to the amazing furniture, you can also see exceptional examples of royal jewelry and take a peek at a piece of valuables that they owned in these noble families. You are probably wondering how long it takes to visit this museum, I think it takes between 2 to 4 hours, depending on your interests, physical condition and speed, to visit this Palace.
My dear travelers and adventurers, we have come to the end of this special post about the most famous symbol of Lithuania and Vilnius – the Palace of the Grand Duke, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Vilnius Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners. traditions. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience from Lithuania.
If you are planning a visit to the capital of Lithuania, try to get a Vilnius Pass, with which you can explore this magical city for less money. Even if you decide to visit Vilnius for only a day, two or three days, Vilnius Pass will help you make the most of your trip.
Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.
I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual Baltic country in North Europe in a completely different way.
How did you like this story of mine about my experience in Vilnius? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit Lithuania before? Share with me your experiences, I would be glad to hear!
If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story!
Warm greetings from Lithuania,
This post is sponsored by the Vilnius Tourism Board. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.