St. Peter and Paul Church is a recognized Baroque gem of Lithuania. Stepping inside the church, feels like stepping into a mysterious world of characters, baroque worldview and philosophy. While there are plenty of individual details, they have been merged into a unified whole, with encrypted secrets and history of the church.
Interior of the church is a real miracle
St. Peter and Paul Church is famous for its interior décor – here you can find about two thousand stucco statues, expressive frescoes and paintings, impressive reliefs, and fancy liturgical items. The church has 13 ornate chapels, a baroque marble baptistery, rococo gilt pulpit built in the nineteenth century, and a ceiling chandelier resembling ship. Pilgrims highly appreciate the paintings of Holy Mary and Vilnius Fever, and call them the great miracles.
Beautiful church history
In the beginning of the sixteenth century, there was a wooden church in the place of the current St. Peter and Paul's church, which was destroyed in the wars with Moscow in the end of the same century. The construction of the current church, like the mausoleum of the glorious Pacas family of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, began in the seventeenth century. The appearance was created by the Polish architect Jonas Zaoras, and the construction was completed in 1676, and then stuccos with frescoes by famous Italian artists of the time adorned the church. St. Peter and Paul Church is one of the few churches in Vilnius, which was not closed in the years of the Soviet occupation. At that time, the remains of the Lithuania’s patron St. Casimir were moved to the church from Vilnius Cathedral.
The builder immortalized himself in the church
The builder of the Baroque church Mykolas Kazimieras Pacas wanted to be immortalized in the church and ordered to be buried under the threshold of the church, and to make an inscription on the tombstone. In the end of the seventeenth century a plate with the inscription was moved on the wall, and above the entrance to the church, you will now will see the unique coat of arms of Pacas family.
Opposite the church is a square named after Pope John Paul II, dedicated for his visit to Lithuania.
Traces of Italianate style
Traces of Italiana architectural style can be seen also in other buildings located near the church. The surroundings were formed by the villas and houses of nobility, large and medium-sized nobles, priests, and other wealthy city dwellers. The most prominent estates were built in Italianate Mannerist style, with both Renaissance and Baroque styles.