The Royal Palace proudly stands right in the centre of Vilnius, in the Cathedral Square known as the heart of the city. Its history dates back to the country's most majestic times, and many of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania that were once residing here. The Palace has been burned down more than once, has changed is architectural appearance, and finally was demolished – but after 200 years of nothingness the Palace was newly revived again and invites you to visit it.
Palace Pride
The foothill of Gediminas Hill was inhabited during the fourth century. While creating the State of Lithuania, Vilnius became one of the most important political centres, later the city became a capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Instead of the reinforced wooden village a powerful stone castle was built in the end of the thirteenth century, the first in Lithuania, which now is one of the most significant buildings of the Lower Castle territory. In the end of the fifteenth century the construction of the defensive castle began converting it to the Late Gothic representative residence of Grand Dukes of Lithuania. In the sixteenth century professionals and well-known locals, as well as Italian, Polish and other architects, artists and other artisans remade the Royal Palace into a luxurious renaissance residence, which later acquired the features of early Baroque. The palace was a residence of the Lithuanian and Polish rulers.
The 16th and the 17th centuries are called the golden era of the Palace. Vilnius at that time was an important central European centre, and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland, which were under the reign of the monarchs of Jogaila and Vasa dynasties, was the influential state in the region. So the Palace hosted a lot of historical events important for entire Europe. It accepted foreign envoys, held the Seimas, took oaths for the Grand Duke of Lithuania, signed international treaties, enforced the courts, edited the Lithuanian Statute, and stored the state treasury and the archive. Also, the Palace boasted one of the richest in Europe's libraries, extraordinary collections of weapons, armour and hunting trophies. It collected the values ​​of art – tapestries, paintings, jewels, employed well-known artists, and had intense cultural life. The flourishing times ended in the middle of the seventeenth century. The Palace was destroyed by the occupation army of Moscow and in the beginning of the 19th century was completely destroyed.

Reborn during the Lithuanian millennium
The idea to restore the Palace of Rulers was born along with the movement of the Lithuanian liberation in the end of the twentieth century. Detailed archaeological investigations of the palace started in 1987. About 0.5 million unique finds were found here. They became the basis for the palace restoration. In 2002, the restoration of the destroyed Palace of Rulers began. Usually the commemoration of the Millennium of the name of Lithuania on 6 July 2009 a symbolic opening of the restored Palace of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes took place. The Palace again became the symbol of the Lithuanian statehood and national pride, and a centre for the presentation of civic education, history and cultural heritage.
The restored Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and the permanent exhibitions should be open for visitors in the middle of 2013. While the Palace is under reconstruction, its exhibitions and events are organized in the Museum of Applied Arts (Arsenalo g. 3A) or in other cultural places of Vilnius and Lithuania.