Two museums and other sights in Vilnius

After walking all morning through Vilnius, I decided to spend some time in a museum. Vilnius has two museums which I really wanted to see and both are close together. Maybe take that into account when you go see them. One is the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights and the other the Holocaust Museum aka the Green House. I started with the Holocaust museum and spent such a long time there that the second museum was already closed.

the Green House aka the Holocaust Museum @Vilnius

As you can see on the map below Jewish residences were all over Lithuania. The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania willing allowed Jewish people to settle, so no wonder the Nazis later built most of their extermination camps here. This was were the people were. And the managed to do an ‘outstanding job’, killing over 90% of the Lithuanian Jewish population. That’s such an outrageous number that I can’t really think about it.

Jewish settlement in Lithuania before WWII @Vilnius

The next morning I walked back for the Resistance museum, some five minutes away from the Holocaust museum. It has a small memorial site in front of the entrance.

small memorial in front of Resistance museum @Vilnius

It’s not an easy museum visit since so many Lithuanians have been deported, relocated, or tortured in the cells below. But the fight for independence from the Soviet Union never really stopped.

resistance fighters against Soviet occupation @Vilnius

one of the cells below @Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights

Besides the two museums I made time to stroll through the Hall Market. Unfortunately compared with the Central Market in Riga this one was a disappointment. It might be the oldest and largest in Vilnius but looked rather abandoned.

Halės turgus aka Hall Market @Vilnius

inside the Hall Market @Vilnius

Another site, which is not to be missed when in Vilnius, is the Gate of Dawn. This major Christian pilgrimage site is not only a city gate but also an important religious and historical monument. From the old town side it was at moment under construction, so this picture is the best I could do.

Gate of Dawn from outside the old town @Vilnius

Gate of Dawn @Vilnius

Of course I also had to hike up to the Gediminas Castle Tower. I mean how often do you have the chance to climb a mountain which is in reality only a puny hill?

Gediminas Castle Tower @Vilnius

The view from the top is worth the power walk even though there were a lot of steps to take. And the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania looks grand indeed. It houses the National Museum and is probably worth to see. Maybe next time, I couldn’t do it all in one and half days.

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania @Vilnius

a view over the old town @Vilnius

I am glad this was not my first time in Vilnius, so I didn’t rush. The city is full of backyards hidden places for which you need enough leisure to discover them. In brief, it was wonderful being back here. Yours, Pollybert

one of the many backyards @Vilnius

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