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Sunday, 23 November 2008

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About Vilnius

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania. This town was established on the confluence of two rivers - Neris and Vilnelė.

City has many faces. On one side of the river Neris there is an old town and on another – new Vilnius with buildings of glass: skyscrapers, hotels and business centres. However a few meters away from new town there is an area, that citizens call Shanghai. This name was given because buildings around that place are very old, mostly wooden, built not tightly and peoples’ who live there lifestyle is similar to Chinese one.

Vilnius is proud of one of the oldest and largest Old Towns in Northern Europe. Narrow streets, restored buildings and mysterious yards – that’s our Old Town’s face. It covers the area of 359 hectares (887 acres). There are 1487 buildings with a total floor area of 1,497,000 sq. meters. Vilnius Old town is large, but compact, because everything you can reach by foot. From every corner of Old Town it is seen at least one tower of church. In 1994 the Old Town of Vilnius was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, in recognition of its universal value and originality. In summer its streets becomes terraces of cafes, where people eat, drink and discuss.

It has always been multicultural city. Here lived many nationalities which had professed various religions. In XIX century Vilnius informally was called „Jerusalem of North“, because then about 40 percent of Vilnius citizens were Jewish. Lithuania was not always independent; it belonged to Russians, Poles and Germans. Therefore Vilnius became city of totally different architecture styles.

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