One of the truly unspoiled cities of Europe Vilnius has only been truly accessible to tourists since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990. As a result the city still has many of its own world charms, complete with the old town, which remains the historical heart of Vilnius. And despite surviving occupation under Imperial Russia, Poland, the Soviet Union and the Nazis the city still has thousands of older buildings that were built over the course of the last several hundred years.

The mix of architecture today is apparent around every corner, and visitors can find a mixture of late Gothic and Romanesque buildings, Renaissance style construction (albeit with an Eastern flare) is also evident. This lives happily along side the later Baroque city.

The city’s inhabitants are mostly Lithuanian, but this cosmopolitan city is also home to Russians, Poles and Belarusians. Sadly the diverse Jewish population, which was so great in influencing the city’s evolution, was the victims of Nazi atrocities during World War II. The city was the site of two Jewish ghettos in the old town during the war, and the scene of a failed uprising in September of 1943.

The city of Vilnius is home to more than 40 Christian churches, as well as the Gediminas Castle and several museums. Despite everything it had to overcome Vilnius is very much vibrant and alive today!