17 Jan 2016

From Palace to Palace: Sunday Stroll With "Gatvės gyvos"


I have been living in Antakalnis for almost four years and still there are some places that remained a mistery to me. Although I pass some historical buildings every day (I work and study in Antakalnis too), I knew that someday, somehow and somewhere I will come to know more about them, without the help from almighty "Google". So today was the day! I joined a tour guided by Albertas from "Gatvės gyvos" (Eng. "Streets Alive") and tried to (re)discover the space that, I thought, I'm most familiar with. I would like to share with you some moments from the tour, dedicated to one of the most prestige districts in Vilnius. 




We started our tour in Petras Vileišis street, looking at gigantic palace of Sluškai family. Although I have passed this place many times on my bike, I never noticed the majestic pediment with an angel on it. Well, this mistake is fixed now.


Sluškai palace
The majestic pediment that I happened to overlook somehow
Then we went to see to another building, that now belongs to the Apostolic Nunciature, but before that it was dedicated to more mundane purposes.


The Apostolic Nunciature
Next to it is another object worth tourist's attention - a house built in 1888. It belonged to rich merchant who made his money by renting rooms in another building, which later was made into fire station. 







Abandoned fire station
From this tower, before the time of telephones,
 firefighters observed the city and located fires from the rising smoke

This place above now belongs to the Embassy of Denmark and Netherlands, but long before that in this place stood a palace built for one of the XVIIth century richest families in Lithuania - Pacai. 


Embassy of Great Britain and palace from XIXth century



It appears that Antakalnis district even had two public gardens/parks! One of them was called "China" because it was planned according to all the requirements of oriental garden (I have no idea what those are), the other one was called Tivoli garden - named after famous tavern next to it. 


Wooden Antakalnis manor
Vileišiai palace is a beautiful example of Art Nouveau and no wonder that it attracts both tourists and film makers. 

The main building of Vileišiai palace



Then it was time to visit the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, which, by the way, not long ago was anounced to be the most beautiful church in the world! Well, the outer walls are pretty plain looking, but inside is really worth your attention!

Church of St. Peter and St. Paul


Next to this church is an old monastery, which is no longer in use.


We also visited the Saulės cemetery, after which our guide led us to the Church of Our Savior. 

The Church of Our Savior
We finished our tour in the Sapiegos palace. This building, as I remember it, was falling apart just few years ago, and now it's restoration had begun. I do hope that it will be turned into museum, because I liked the atmosphere there more than in the rebuilt Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.

Sapiegos palace
Inside the palace







This tour is really worth your attention, no matter if you live in Antakalnis or not. I wanted to see the rumoured splendor of Sapiegos palace and now each time I'll pass this building with my bike on my way to work, I will know how it looks on the inside. 


P.S. There is no fee for this tour (of course, if you liked it you can leave few euros in Albertas backpack after the tour), therefore money is not the problem here! So go, explore and discover!



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