Pictures of Vilnius, Lithuania

You can see here gallery of black and white and color digital pictures taken by Ryszard Lebmor.
Photos of Cathedral in Vilnius, St. Ann's Church and the church of the Bernardine Monastery, the New City Center, Gediminas tower, Church of the Holy Mother of God, panoramas, Vilnius by night.
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Camera: Digital Camera: Fuji S2 PRO
Lens: AF Nikkor ED 80-200/2.8, Sigma EX ASP 24 - 70/2.8, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 EX DC

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free daily photo: Old Vilnius panorama

Old Vilnius panorama


Vilnius or in Polish: Wilno, and in German: Vilna is a beautiful old city, the capital of the Republic of Lithuania which declared in 1990 its independence from the Soviet Union.

As almost everywhere in Europe, Vilnius has an Old Town, a district with old townhouses, small streets, old churches and historical monuments. Well, in Vilnius the Old Town is one of the biggest of them all - it takes 350 ha. and it counts in total more than 1.5 thousand of old houses and almost 100 churches. Because of its uniqueness, the Vilnius Old Town was included into the UNESCO list of the World Heritage.

Established in the 13th century, Vilnius has been an important city in the 16th century. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania formed with the Kingdom of Poland, The Polish-Lithuanian Union with one monarch elected in an equal vote by all the nobles in both countries. The court of the monarch of the Union was moved to Vilnius in 1544 for a period of time and the first university in this part of Europe was established here in 1597. The importance of Vilnius of that time made its population grow. The immigrants came not only from other parts of Lithuania and Poland, but also from other parts of Europe. The development of Vilnius of that period had been reflected in its architecture. Today, Vilnius is often called the Baroque City. Nevertheless, the most famous monument in Vilnius – the St. Anne church has been built in a late gothic style. It is a small church, which had burnt in fire in 1419. Its reconstruction was carried out more than century later, giving the unusual example of the gothic architecture built with the knowledge of baroque. Napoleon waging the war against Russia in 1812, was so impressed by the beauty of St. Anne that he decided to dismantle the church and to rebuild it on a new place – in Paris. History had crossed his plans, as his return to Paris from the Moscow campaign was too abrupt to move any heavy object along.

Vilnius took part with rest of Poland in a struggle against the occupying powers of Russia, Prussia and Austria during the 19th c. to restore the Polish-Lithuanian state. Its inhabitants fought in all independence efforts of Poland of that time and the first leader of the Independent Poland in the 20th century Józef Piłsudski, was born near Vilnius and attended to school in town. The National poet of Poland Adam Mickiewicz has been also born nearby and studied in the city. His monument stands today in Vilnius.

Before the WWII, Vilnius belonged to the Republic of Poland, as the most of the city population has been Polish. Vilnius was also an important centre of Jewish culture, using Yiddish as their language. Other nationalities in Vilnius were Russians, Germans, Ukrainians and in a small percentage Lithuanians. As during the WWII, Jews were almost completely exterminated by the Nazi Germany and its collaborators, they count today less than 1% of the city population. The majority of the population of Vilnius is today Lithuanian.

Vilnius being a relatively small city (ca 540 000 inhabitants), with its new districts built far away from the Old Town, is very pleasant to visit. The most important monuments are: the only remaining old city gate called Gate of Dawn with the miraculous painting of the Maria, the baroque Cathedral, the St. Anna church, the medieval Gedyminas castle and the St. Peter and Paul baroque church.

Photographer's Vilnius

Vilnius is full of small places of the unique beauty, giving the photographer the feeling of moving back in time. Its architecture is very intimate; the scale of its buildings is never big.

Photographing Vilnius means searching for the atmospheres of the town's past, almost like trying to meet the ghosts of its former inhabitants.

Many of the black and white photographs of Vilnius could have been made fifty or hundred years ago. Its inhabitants have changed, but Vilnius seems an eternal city as if its man laid stones could also have memory.