Pilies Street is the oldest and most flamboyant street in the Old Town. It reveals the full beauty of the expressive Old Town’s architecture, houses standing here tell the history about the creation of the capital city. Lithuania's most famous street is full of little shops with Lithuanian souvenirs, ornaments, clothing, also cafes and restaurants. It's always good to walk here, and listen to street musicians.
How Pilies street looked like before
The street appeared in place of the main road to the castle of Vilnius, from the Polish and Russian lands. The name of Pilies (“castle”) street was mentioned in historical sources of the 16th century. Kings’ carriages, papal legates, and envoys from other countries were driving down this street to the castle.
Not surprisingly, the Pilies Street block in the past has been one of the most prestigious areas of the capital city where noblemen built their houses, and wealthy city dwellers and old Vilnius University professors lived. Markets and traders were swarming in the broadest parts of the street, and especially in the Town Hall Square at the end of the street.
Harmony of magnificent buildings and small courtyards
Although Vilnius was burned down for a number of times, but Pilies Street retained its unique look and the feel of ancient architecture: small courtyards, arches, arcades, original staircases and basements. Buildings of different architectural styles adorn Pilies Street, giving it impressiveness and comfort. Today, in this street, at any time of the year you can find many groups of tourists who cannot stop admiring the splendour of the street, interwoven with simplicity.
Signatories House very important in the history of the Lithuania is also located in Pilies Street – the Lithuanian Independence Act was signed here on 16 February 1918. Now there is a museum displaying a copy of the Act of Independence.
Pilies Street – gifts for the home
The primary and most important function of Pilies Street was commerce. These traditions have survived to this day: here you can meet traders offering a variety of Lithuanian souvenirs, kindly talk to them and learn about traditional and professional Lithuanian crafts refined by ancestry. You will easily find fairing gifts to bring home from your trip, just maybe it will hard to choose – everything is so beautiful, everything you will want.