Cover picture © Credits to iStock/Birute
Cover picture © Credits to iStock/Birute

Two most famous abandoned churches in Vilnius

3 minutes to read

Imagine an abandoned church in the middle of the Old Town, full of golden relics, icons, and stained glass. The old walls with forgotten threadbare paintings will remind you that once the place was full of praying people. Vilnius is proud of its famous Gate of Dawn and beautiful, interesting churches which attract hundreds of tourists and believers every year. But Vilnius also has other ones, abandoned churches, full of old relics, documents, and other interesting things. If you are adventure lover and abandoned places fanatic, keep reading and get to know where in the Vilnius city center you can find two most famous abandoned churches.

Picture © Credits to iStock/Jorisvo
Picture © Credits to iStock/Jorisvo

Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is probably the most famous abandoned church in Vilnius. The main reason is simple: everybody is saying how beautiful this church is from the inside, but just a few people know how to get in there. And yes, unfortunately, it is forbidden and not allowed to go inside the church. It was built in the middle of the 18th century with the purpose to build a church and a monastery for monks. Till the Soviet Era, this church was run by female monks. Like every other religious object, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was turned into the warehouse when the Soviets came to Lithuania. Later on, in the territory of the church, the prison was built, and the church served as an office for the prison workers. Over time, the church was forgotten and become abandoned. A few years ago, some artists tried to make an exhibition there, but it did not succeed as they wanted.

Picture © Credits to iStock/bruev
Picture © Credits to iStock/bruev

Nowadays, they say that from the cupola of the church, you can see the most beautiful sunset in the whole Vilnius. There, you can find good looking stained glass, hundreds of old videotapes and old archives. This church is beautiful from the outside too, but when you know what you can see inside, it starts to be more interesting.

Picture © Credits to iStock/Birute
Picture © Credits to iStock/Birute
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Vilnius
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Vilnius

Church of Ascension in Vilnius

The Church of Ascension was built during 35 years by missionaries monks. From the beginning in 1659, the construction process was interrupted by many things: lack of money, invasion of the Swedes and finally plague epidemic. The church is a part of the Missionaries monastery ensemble which is also abandoned. In the middle of the 19th century, all monastery ensemble was closed. Over time, the monastery and the church served as the barracks for soldiers, a psychiatric hospital, a gymnasium, and other different services. Later on, the National Museum of Lithuania gained the rights to use the monastery. But untill today, this place stays abandoned. Despite this fact, all the monastery complex, including the church, is considered one of the most beautiful abandoned places in Vilnius. The territory of the church and monastery is strictly protected, but from the outside, the church is always catching the eye.

Picture © Credits to iStock/Krivinis
Picture © Credits to iStock/Krivinis

The Church of Ascension and the Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus are the two most famous abandoned churches in Vilnius. Abandoned from the outside, but still warm and beautiful from the inside, those places are strictly protected, but hopefully, one day, they will open the doors for visitors, and everyone will enjoy the beauty of these abandoned beauties in Vilnius.

Picture © Credits to iStock/Krivinis
Picture © Credits to iStock/Krivinis
Church of Ascension in Vilnius
Church of Ascension in Vilnius

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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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