It is said that Gediminas Castle was built when the Duke of Lithuania Gediminas had a prophetic dream. This small but powerful castle withstood numerous Crusader attacks. Now Vilnius is unthinkable without it, and the tower of the castle became a symbol of not only the capital city, but also of Lithuania. And it is not surprising that this red-brick building overlooking the magnificent panorama of the capital city of Lithuania is a must in the list of many tourists coming to our country.
Legend about the creation of Vilnius
Long, long ago, the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas was hunting in the woods of Sventaragis valley. The hunting was a success, but a very tiring one. The duke stayed there and spent a night. Gediminas had a dream that on top of the hill, where he had hunted down a taurus that day, a large iron wolf is standing and howling so hard and loud, like a hundred wolves.
The Duke asked the mage Lizdeika to explain the dream. He explained that this is an omen indicating to build a city in this place, which would later become known around the world and will become a magnificent capital city of Lithuania.
The Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, obeying to the will of the gods, began to build the future capital city, and a castle in the centre of it. The city was named Vilnius after the nearby river Vilnia.
The story of Gediminas Castle
Gediminas Castle was built and to date is one of the most beautiful Old Town embellishments. It is clearly visible from every place. Like Vilnius, the castle was first mentioned in 1323. By the way, during the reign of Gediminas, the Castle was not only a political centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but also part of the defensive complex. On 1 January 1919, after the restoration of the state of Lithuania, the flag of Lithuania was officially raised for the first time on the Gediminas Castle Tower.
The castle and its museum are visited abundantly
Gediminas Castle is liked by tourists. You can rise to the hill on which it stands, with a funicular railway, or climb by foot along the ancient cobbled path. It offers a panorama of the city of indescribable beauty, and red roofs of the Old Town delight the eye. Climb up the hill, and go the castle. There is a museum where the guides will introduce you to the models of Vilnius castles from the 14th to the 17th centuries, and with armament, and iconographic material of the Old Vilnius.
And should you decide to visit the castle at night, when the museum is closed, then quietly sit down on the fence surrounding it – for some time it has been a favourite spot for romantic rendezvous and chats.
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