Our morning started with a walk to the university, which was founded in 1579. Despite it was closed we were allowed to visit the historic library, founded by jesuits more than 500 years ago.
We learned about the position of the Lithuanian language in the research of the roman language cluster: one of the most preserved languages! With a quite complex grammar. From the library we took the climb to the observatory, mainly financed by a woman in the 17th(?) century. One of the few which did research on sun activities centuries ago.
A special treed of the old university (other then the modern campus at the edge of the city) are the 13 court yard, each with its own character and use. The one right behind the observatory was for (medical) herbs. The next one, in front of the church, aula and bel tower, shows impressive wall paintings (some still to repair). The bell tower not only has an amazing view; you will find there another feature: a pendulum, which was the early proof of the rotation of the earth. Did I mention the view? You just realise what a beautiful city Vilnius is.
Our next stop was the Cathedral Square. Had a quick look at a baptizing ceremony, followed the line of the former city wall, looked up to the castle (because of reconstruction of the hill sides it’s not
reachable… there was an land slide last year).
Finally, we went to St. Peter and Paul church. I already talked about that one. Strange to step over somebodies grave to enter the church. But every step is worth it!
On our way out off the city, we passed the parliament, where still parts of the barricades from 1991 can be find. Perhaps, of all what was going on in East Germany back then, I hardly remember any news about the (singing) revolution of the Baltic states. Confronting.
Our next destination was Trakai. Had lunch in a Karaiten Restaurant, learning about traditional recipes, tread and commons of the Karaiten people (turk speaking jewish culture) Wooden houses, lovely gardens, about 5 lakes to explore. We visited an medieval castle.
Impressive, the strategic choices they made back then already and what foreside they had.
Nowadays, politicians can learn from that. Seriously.
Back in Vilnius, we took our own tour to the Uzupis Republic, a quarter in town, to enter via 7 bridges, where peolple live to their own rules, have their own holidays and celebrations. After roaming the modern, trend setting community, we choose a very traditional dinner at Lokys, a restaurant which re-invented farmers and feudal food of which recipes seems to be lost.