Vilnius University is the oldest university in Eastern Europe, established in 1579. Extremely majestic aura of history is a reminder of the most advanced scientific ideas and the brightest graduates can be filled by everyone who comes to this shrine of science. The architectural ensemble of Vilnius University, which consists not only of old buildings, but also of St. Johns Church and its bell tower, is the exclusive object in the UNESCO-protected Old Town of Vilnius.
Prosperity and downfalls shaped the centuries of history
History of Vilnius University is very rich and controversial, yet making an integral part of the overall history of Lithuania. Being the only higher education institution in Lithuania for a long time, Vilnius University had a significant impact to the cultural life not only in Lithuania, but also in neighbouring countries, and nurtured a number of famous scholars, poets, and cultural workers. Many things have happened in more than 400 years: the University survived declines, and uphills, was even closed, but came alive again. Currently Vilnius University is the largest in the country, bringing together the brightest youth of Lithuania here to learn and improve.
Vilnius University architecture
The Vilnius University complex built in the 16th – 19th centuries consists of 16 buildings and 13 different sized courtyards. Their inextricable labyrinth is a puzzle not only for tourists, but even for the university students, looking for lecture halls, so make sure to get a map.
The purposes of the university buildings, plans and forms were repeatedly changing during the four centuries. So, the wide-ranging ensemble represents all major architectural styles that predominated in Lithuania: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism.
Impressive ensemble of Vilnius University buildings in Lithuania is represented by the “Mini Europe” in the Brussels Park.
The University ensemble also includes the majestic church of St. Johns
In one of the most beautiful courtyards of the University you will find St. Johns’ Church, dating back to the days when Jesuits, university professors and students were praying in this place. This church is considered an architectural monument of late Baroque, having no analogues in the entire Europe.
The construction of the church of St. Johns lasted for nearly 40 years in the 14th and 15th centuries. Today it is not just a house of worship, but also a science museum, a venue for solemn ceremonies and concerts; here the Vilnius University graduates have their diploma ceremony in spring.
During its long history the church has seen and experienced a lot, and was visited by kings, princes, along with raging fires and wars. The importance and value of the
Vilnius from the church bell of St. Johns’ Church
St. The bell tower of the St. Johns’ Church is the tallest building in the Old Town of Vilnius. The historical belfry is now equipped with a modern elevator, so visitors will not get tired and easily get the observation deck 45 m high from which they can continue admiring immense Vilnius panoramas. Enjoy the views of red roofs of Vilnius Old Town, the Cathedral, Gediminas Castle, the Hill of Three Crosses. The attention of tourists is attracted by Foucault pendulum, illustrating the effects of the Earth's rotation around its axis.