Cover picture © Credits to fotoman-kharkov
Cover picture © Credits to fotoman-kharkov

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A former 15th-17th centuries diplomatic and cultural center in Vilnius reborn

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It is hard to imagine that several years ago, at the place where nowadays The Palace of Grand Dukes of Lithuania is standing, there was a park. Just this summer, the palace that was destroyed in 1801 was finally reopened to visitors. This former 15th-17th centuries diplomatic and cultural center in Vilnius, was an outstanding and very important place in Europe of that time, where the most important diplomatic and cultural events were held. Its reconstruction started in 2002, and it was the biggest and the most expensive project in our country. Even if the buildings are completely new, the foundations are original and the speculations about incredible hidden treasures are one of the most interesting topics among adventures and history lovers. So, let’s see how the Palace Of The Grand Dukes Of Lithuania, a former 15th-17th centuries diplomatic and cultural center in Vilnius was reborn.

Picture © Credits to Loretam

The origin of the palace

At that time, when Lithuania and Poland were merged as Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, a formal dualistic state, the residence for the Lithuanian and Polish Grand Dukes was built in Vilnius. The architects from Lithuania, Poland, and Italy designed the palace in a Renaissance style, and later on, the building has got more Baroque style elements. During the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth times, the palace was a very important diplomatic center in this part of Eastern Europe. The most important international meetings were held here. The archive and the Lithuanian treasury were saved in a mansion. The 16th-17th centuries were the “golden time” of the palace, where a valuable and generous library, famous paintings, treasuries, a gold, and expensive tapestry were the biggest riches of the dwelling. When Russia occupied Lithuania, and Commonwealth between Poland and Lithuania ended, the palace was destroyed and robbed. In the 18th century, this place was occupied by poor people and their workshops. So, the incredible rich times, when the palace was full of intellectuals and diplomats had ended. Sadly, in 1801, the ruins of the palace were totally destroyed.

Picture © Credits to lana_lana

The rebirth

Although the palace was no more existing in the capital of Lithuania, the idea of rebuilding it was always in our hearts. The Lithuanian Cultural Fund was the first that started to talk about it in public, and the resources were collected. In 2002, the first reconstruction works stared. In 2009, when Lithuania was celebrating 1000 years of first mentioned name, the first corps of the palace were opened. This year, when we celebrate 100 years of restored independence, the complex was officially reborn and established as the National Museum of Palace Of The Grand Dukes Of Lithuania. Finally, the whole place is reopened to visitors and cultural events. Every summer, there takes place an open sky cinema, many concerts and theatre performance. The visitors are welcomed to explore the exhibition of the palace from 5€ regular ticket and 3,5 € for students, children, and seniors.

Picture © Credits to Severas

The biggest project in Lithuania is successfully finished, and now we are very happy and proud that we have the former 15th-17th centuries diplomatic and cultural center in Vilnius - Palace Of The Grand Dukes Of Lithuania reborn.

Picture © Credits to flavijus

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

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The author

Monika Grinevičiūtė

Monika Grinevičiūtė

I am Monika and I am passionate traveler, an engineer, books reader and desserts lover. I live in a beautiful and colorful country called Lithuania. I will use my Lithuanian superpowers to show you that this small Baltic pearl has much more than you can imagine

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