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Churches
 

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The Orthodox Church of St. Michael and St. Constantine (Lithuanian: Šv. Konstantino ir Michailo Cerkvė) is a Russian Orthodox church in Vilnius, Lithuania.It was built in 1913 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty.It was built by I. Kolesnikov, and incorporates the Rostov and Suzdall architectural styles. On its consecration day of May 13, the church was visited by the former royal figure Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, known at the time of consecration as "Sister Elizaveta", now a martyr within the Russian Orthodox Church.

 

 

 

 

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St_Raphael_1Šnipiškių St. 1 
Tel. +370 5 272 4164

This is a stylish monument of the late Baroque built in the first half of the 18th century. The towers of the church were built in the middle of the 18th century, they are crowned with rococo helmets and lanterns. 

The church and the adjacent monastery belonged to the Jesuits. After the Society of Jesus had been dissolved, in 1993 the church was given to the Order of Catholic monks (Ordo Clericorum Regularium Pauperum Matris Dei Scholarum) established in Rome in 1597 to teach children of poor families. 

Later the church was converted into the barracks and the warehouse of the military. In 1860 the Church was returned to the Catholics. 

The painting St Raphael the Archangel adorns its high altar. This Church has benches (in the middle aisle) made in the first half of the 18th century, which were moved from the Church of Bernardino into it.

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Our Lady of the Sign Church is an Orthodox church in the Žvėrynas district of Vilnius, built in 1903.

The idea of building a new Orthodox church in Vilnius came from Orthodox Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit, which also organised a collection of funds in the whole Russian Empire. The church, constructed in the most popular Neo-Byzantine style, was consecrated in 1903 by Iuvenaliy, the Orthodox archbishop of Vilnius. He also opened a school for poor children and a library which were to be run by the church's clergy. In order to conmemorate the day, he granted to the newly established parish a copy of Our Lady of Kursk icon.

Unlike many other Orthodox churches in Vilnius, the church was not closed during the World War I, nor the World War II. The Soviet government agreed to register it as a parish church in 1948. Before 1956, the church was robbed a few times, losing part of the icons from the original iconostasis which had to be replaced by a far humbler one. The church was fully restored inside and outside in 2009.

 

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Didžioji g. 34

LT-2001 Vilnius

tel. (370-5) 2121715, fax: (370-5) 2121876

 

 

Founded by the Jesuits and dedicated to St. Casimir, construction of the church began in 1604. Povilas Bokša, the assistant provincial and Jan Prockowicz, a Jesuit architect oversaw the work. The church was finished and consecrated in 1635. It burned down in 1655, when the Russian army entered Vilnius. The church was twice more destroyed by fire in 1707 and 1749.

The famous architect and astronomer Tomas Žebrauskas, SJ, headed the reconstruction of the church in 1749-55. His work can be seen in the graded cupola and the main altar. From 1751 to 1753 Hans Kierner, a Prussian sculptor, decorated the interior. Frescos of St. Casimir's life were painted by the Czech artist Joseph Obst.

In 1919 Blessed George Matulaitis returned the church to the Jesuits. Its restoration in 1925 was overseen by the architect Jan Borovski.

From 1940 the Lithuanian Jesuits worked in the church. In 1942 the crown on the cupola, a symbol of Lithuanian independence, was restored under the architect Jonas Mulokas.

In 1949 the church was again closed, this time by the Soviets, who stored grain in it. At this time the entire inventory of the church was destroyed, including the altars, organ, and bells. In 1963 the church was turned into a museum of atheism.

The church was returned to the Roman Catholic community in 1988. After intense restoration the church was reconsecrated in 1991, and the Jesuits again work in it.

 

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St. Paraskeva Church is an Orthodox church in Vilnius.

The first Orthodox church of St. Paraskeva was constructed on demand of prince Algirdas' first wife, a Vitebsk princess Maria, who was subsequently buried there in 1346. According to the legend, the church was built on the site of a temple to the pagan god, Ragutis. This church was completely destroyed by fire in 1557 and rebuilt three years later, but burned down again in 1611. Although ruined, it was given to the uniate parish. In 1655, it was given back to the Orthodox parish and renovated.

During the Great Northern War, in 1705, the church was visited by the Russian tsar Peter the Great, who prayed there for the military victory. During the same service, Abram Petrovich Gannibal was baptised, with the tsar serving as the godfather. Three years later, the victorius tsar decided to grant some of the conquered Swedish flags to St. Paraskeva's church.

In 1748, the building was again destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1795. However, it stood closed during the following forty years, slowly falling into decline. In 1864, on the orders of the Russian local government, it was rebuilt and enlarged in Neo-Byzantine style by Nikolay Chagin.

The church was devastated during the II World War. Although it was renovated again, the Stalinist government didn't allow the Russian Orthodox Church to start holding its services there. At first, a Museum of Atheism was to be opened there, but in the end the church was turned into a gallery of Lithuanian folk art. The church was given back to the Orthodox Church only in 1990 and reconsecrated by Metropolitan Khrisostom the following year. Since then it has been an auxiliary church of the Cathedral of the Theotokos.

 

 

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Didžioji st. 12

 

 

St. Nicholas Church is one of the oldest Orthodox churches in Vilnius, Lithuania.

According to a popular legend, the first wooden Orthodox chapel located on the place of today's St. Nicholas church was built around 1340. Seven years later, the Vilnius martyrs were supposedly buried there. However, in 1350, Uliana of Tver, the second wife of prince Algirdas, ordered to build a new brick church. In 1514 this church was again replaced with a larger one. It remained Orthodox up to 1609, when, like most of Vilnius Orthodox churches, it was given to the Uniates on a personal order of the king Sigismund III Vasa.

Around 1740 the church was completely destroyed by fire and rebuilt in Baroque style. In 1839 the Russian local government closed the Uniate parish and given the building back to the Orthodox. After the failed Polish January Uprising, it was completely rebuilt in Neo-Byzantine style on the personal initiative of general-governor of Vilnius Mikhail Nikolayevich Muravyov-Vilensky. The renewed church was to be another sign of Russian domination in the city, becoming the fifth Orthodox church in the Old Town of Vilnius. Muraviev ordered also the construction of St. Michael the Archangel chapel which was to commemorate his victory over the Polish uprising. In 1866 the whole church was reconsecrated. The general-governor's role in the reconstruction of the church was described on a marble plaque on the western wall of the church.

After World War II the church was closed, but in 1947 the Stalinist government agreed to reopen it as a parish church. The general renovation of the building took place before 1956.

 

 

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Tel. +370 5 261 6087

 

 

To the west of the President’s Office is the Church of the Holy Cross, built on the site of the martydom of a group of Franciscan friars in the 14th century. In the 16th century, a Gothic chapel of the Holy Cross was built here by the Bishop of Vilnius Povilas Alšėniškis. Soon the adjoining house was converted into a Baroque church which was given to the Bonifari.

The Bonifari church was famous for the well in its basement whose water had wonder-working healing powers (especially for eyes) and the painting of St Mary Snow (Bonifari Mother of God) on the high altar, which was said to have miracle –working powers.

In 1976 the Church was converted into a concert hall, and known as the Small Baroque Hall. Nowadays the Church has been returned to the Catholic Church.

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Šv. Jono St. 12, Vilnius

Tel. +370 5 212 1715

www.jonai.lt

 

 

 

One of the picturesque parts of the Vilnius University building is the Church of Sts. Johns and its bell tower. The full name of the church is the Church of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.The construction of this church lasted for almost 40 years and was completed in 1426. At that time it was a Gothic building. In 1571 the church was transferred to the Order of Jesuits and became a part of the university complexes.

Besides masses, the Church of Sts. Johns has also witnessed student protests, theatre performances, and welcoming ceremonies for kings. In Soviet times, it was turned into a warehouse. Later, the University Museum was established here.

Today, the Church of Sts. Johns performs its main functions once again. It was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1993.

The bell tower of the church, which is 68 meters high, is among the highest buildings in the Old Town. From the June of 2011 visitors are invited to admire and enjoy the panoramic view of the Old town of Vilnius from the bell tower of St. John's Church.

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trakai_curcheThe church of Trakai parish was funded by the Grand Duke Vytautas right after the construction of Trakai Island Castle was completed. Vytautas also funded the congregational school – first known congregational school in Lithuania. The inside of the church was painted in frescos of Byzantine style, the fragments of which were found while repairing in 2007. The records testify that portray of the church funder Grand Duke Vytautas was also painted among other frescos. The church has many values of ecclesiastical art: 500 objects of fine art are registered as well as the unique part of a cross of 15-16th centuries.

The picture of the Trakai Mother of God, which according to the legend was donated by Vytautas, is revered from old times. It was the most revered picture in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and it became the first picture of Mary crowned by the Pope. The prominent ecclesiastic man who descended from Trakai was Mr. Motiejus Trakiškis, the first bishop of Samogitia (1417-1422) and the 5th bishop of Vilnius (1422-1453).

Tel. +370 41 528077
The Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul's Cathedral is the first one to welcome each visitor. It seems that all roads leading to Šiauliai point directly towards this cathedral's 70-meter-high tower. Wars, fires and storms constantly devastated the cathedral, however after each restoration it appeared almost unchanged from the early XVII century - plastered in white, with a high tower and red tile roof. The renaissance-style building in the ambience of trees has many elements typical of medieval construction. It is not just so that famous Lithuanian writer Motiejus Valanèius called it "the most marvelous in Þemaièiai land", it is not just so that words like "splendid architecture" occurred in the laconic visitation acts of the XIX century. Forms of renaissance and mannerism as well as defensive elements are masterfully interlaced with each other in this building. Local traditions are perfectly combined with the experience of Central and Northern European countries. A metal cross commemorates a wooden chapel that once stood in this place. The southern part of the cathedral is decorated with the oldest sundial in Lithuania - the only clock of its kind showing the precise local time.
A Neo-Byzantine-style building with all the architectural traits of a Russian Orthodox church. It was designed by Russian architects and built for the Kaunas Garrison. During the Soviet years, the church was turned into an Art Gallery. Presently it is a Catholic church.
It ranks among the most beautiful Baroque-style buildings in Lithuania. The church and monastery were built for Camaldolese (Benedictine) monks in the 17th century under the supervision of Italian masters from Florence (Michelangelo Palloni, Joan Merli, and Pietro Perti). Pažaislis music festivals are held here in summer.
The church was constructed in late Baroque style in the early 18th century. In 1787, the church was given to the Order of Franciscan Monks, later it served as an Orthodox Church, as A. Nevsky's Cathedral and as a technical college. In 1990, the Church was returned to the Jesuit community, who opened a Jesuit gymnasium in the former college building.
The church was constructed in the 15th century. It is one of the first Gothic brick buildings in Kaunas. The church belonged to Franciscan monks. During the Napoleonic Wars it was turned into a war ammunition warehouse; while in 1850-1899, an Orthodox Church was operating here. The writer, canon J.Tumas-Vaižgantas is buried here.
It is the only church in Lithuania in the Gothic style of basilica design. After several reconstructions, it also acquired Renaissance and Baroque architectural features. The Cathedral has 9 altars; the sacristy has crystal-type arches. The tomb of Lithuanian priest and poet J. Mačiulis-Maironis is in the southern wall of the building. Simonas Daukantas and Vincentas Sladkevičius, the first cardinal of Lithuania, are also buried in the Cathedral.
It is the biggest basilica-type church in the Baltic states. The church was built in 1932–1940. After Lithuania proclaimed independence in 1918, the idea to build a church as a symbol of thanks to God for regained freedom arose in Kaunas, which was the capital of Lithuania at the time. Construction was stopped by the Soviet occupation. The building was confiscated and used as premises for the Radio factory after the war. In 1990 the church was returned to worshippers. During the restoration of the church, some changes were made in the project. The space in the church is in the style of a basilica with three naves. The architecture is monumental and laconic. The tower is 70 meters high. Visitors have the possibility to go to the observation deck on the church roof to enjoy the panoramic view of the city.
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Aušros Vartų St. 12 , Vilnius
www.ausrosvartai.lt
The Gates of Dawn is one of the most visited shrines in Vilnius that is famous not only in Lithuania but also abroad, worshipped by the representatives of other creeds too. This is the only surviving gate of the first original five gates in the city wall that was built between 1503 and 1522. The gates were first mentioned in 1514. At first the Gates of Dawn were called the Medininkai Gate, as it is on the road to Medininkai, in Polish Ostra Brama, the “Sharp Gate” because they were in the southern end of the city, which was called the Sharp. Later, due to the cult of the Virgin Mary they could be related to the sunrise, dawn. The painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, in the Chapel of the Gates of Dawn is known all over the world. Many churches in other countries have copies of this painting. The picture, which is also called “Vilnius Madonna”, was painted in 17th century. It is painted in the Renaissance style, in tempera on oak boards, later repainted in oil. Since the middle of the 17th century it has been said to have miracle-working powers. The Holy Mother of God of the Gates of Dawn has been granted the title of Mother of Mercy twice.

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Aušros Vartų St. 7B , Vilnius
Tel. +370 5 212 2578

 

The Church is a square basilica shape, with elements of Gothic, Baroque and Russian Byzantine styles. The first church on the site was built to mark the spot where three Lithuanian Christians martyrs Anthony, John and Eustace were martyred. Legend has it that in 1937 Grand Duke Algirdas’ wife Julijona built a wooden Orthodox Church in their honour. In the 16th century the Church was funded by Constantin Ostrogishki as the Orthodox Church. Between 1608 and 1827 the Church belonged to the Uniates of the Basilian Order. Later the Church was given to the Orthodox Church and after independence it was returned to the Uniates.

Dominikonų St. 8 , Vilnius
Tel. +370 5 262 9595
This is one of the oldest and most lavishly decorated churches in Vilnius, which belongs to the period of mature and late Baroque. It is thought that the first church stood there in the times of Gediminas, even before the country’s conversion to Christianity. At the beginning of the 15th century Grand Duke Vytautas built the Church of the Holy Spirit, which later was given to the Dominican monasticism, which was oldest in Lithuania. In 1679-1688 the Church was extended and reconstructed. In the middle of the 19th century the Tsar authorities closed down the monastery, and turned the Church into a parish one.
Today it is a parish church of the city’s Polish community. The inside of the church is lavishly decorated with a profusion of Rococo faux marble, stucco, frescoes and paintings, its interior is one of the most valuable of all churches in Lithuania. The vestibule, which forms a passage leading at a right angle from the street, contains several old frescos, and portal cartouches with coat-of-arms. There is an abundance of decoration, and 16 separate altars. The impressive organ, perhaps the only almost original instrument of the 18th century, draws everybody’s attention. The church contains 45 paintings, which are considered to be monuments. The most famous of them, the 20th-century painting entitled God’s Compassion, which is said to be miracle-working, depicts an apparition seen by Sister Faustyna Kowolska and was painted by a local artist Eugenij Kazimirowski. Copies of this picture are spread all over the world.
The Church is famed for its crypt, with its nine side chambers, crammed with about 2 000 mummified corpses from the 17th-18th century. It is thought that among them there are bodies of the plague victims and copses from the Napoleonic Wars. In 1501 a Dominican friary was established at the Church. However at the beginning of the 19th century it was converted into a prison. Philaretes (members of an illegal anti-Tsarist Society of students of Vilnius University,

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