Vilnius, which is titled one of the most magical Christmas cities in Europe, introduced a 5-week winter holiday programme, as impressive and full of miracles and surprises as always. So what magic can residents and guests of the city expect this year in the Christmas capital?
As the political centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from the 13th to the end of the 18th century, Vilnius has had a profound influence on the cultural and architectural development of much of eastern Europe. The historic centre includes buildings in the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical styles which have been well preserved over time. It is also home to one of the greatest love stories in Baltic history.
At the height of its power in the 15th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe. Appropriately, its capital of Vilnius became a city of grandeur and harmony. The architecture of the historic centre left the deepest and most impressive mark as the city flourished during the peaceful period of the late 17th and 18th centuries.
Vilnius is an excellent example of a European city that grew with influences from multiple cultures, religions, and languages—and has been well preserved. In turn, it also influenced the cultural and architectural development of much of Eastern Europe.
For visitors and locals alike, one of the most important vehicles for discovery here—and throughout the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth—is the royal love story between the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Žygimantas Augustas, and Barbora.
The Old Town of Vilnius follows the medieval layout and it’s easy to walk the streets and see the stunning collection of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical buildings. Up on a grassy hill near the river, visit Gediminas tower- a reminder of the first castle built here in the 15th century. On the ground below are royal palace buildings and the cathedral where Lithuania’s beloved Grand Duchess Barbara Radziwill was buried. If you are looking to visit Vilnius’ more alternative side, you can take a tour through the self-proclaimed ‘Republic’ of Užupis – the city’s Bohemian and artistic district. In the warmer months , festivals, music, art and theatre fill the streets, theatres and galleries of Vilnius.
f Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidentė Dalia Grybauskaitė antradienį, birželio 19d., susitiko su oficialaus vizito į Lietuvą atvykusiu Airijos Respublikos Prezidentu Michaeliu D. Higginsu. Susitikime aptarti dvišaliai Lietuvos ir Airijos santykiai, bendradarbiavimas Europos Sąjungoje, saugumo klausimai. Į Lietuvą Airijos vadovas atvyko kartu su pirmąja šios šalies ponia Sabina Mary Higgins.
Prezidentės teigimu, Airija – artima Lietuvai. Esame panašūs savo šalių dydžiu, interesais, vertybėmis. Todėl mums Airija yra svarbus atsakingos politikos, sėkmingos ekonominės raidos ir gebėjimo susigrąžinti išvykusius žmones pavyzdys.
Prieš 30 metų Airijos politinės partijos, profesinės sąjungos, darbdavių organizacijos įsipareigojo vieningai vykdyti nacionalines ekonominio atsigavimo ir socialinės pažangos programas. Atsakingai ir laiku įgyvendintos mokesčių ir ekonomikos reformos, kova su socialine atskirtimi užtikrino sėkmingą Airijos raidą. Šiandien tai – pažangi, inovatyvi ir sparčiausiai auganti ES ekonomika.
Didelę emigraciją patyrusi Airija yra pavyzdys, kaip sėkmingai susigrąžinti išvykusius piliečius namo. Šalyje įgyvendinama paramos emigrantams programa, o visame pasaulyje gyvenantys airiai raginami padėti valstybei pritraukti užsienio investicijas. Lietuva taip pat kviečia sugrįžti iš mūsų šalies išvykusius žmones. Tam skirta ir pernai Prezidentės inicijuota programa „Rinkis Lietuvą“, kuri jau duoda pirmuosius rezultatus. Per pirmus 5 šių metų mėnesius į Lietuvą sugrįžo per 10 tūkst. mūsų šalies žmonių – tai daugiau nei per visus praėjusius metus.
Lietuvą ir Airiją glaudžiai sieja ir gausi Airijos lietuvių bendruomenė – trečia didžiausia tautinė bendrija šioje šalyje. Aktyvūs ir pilietiški Airijos lietuviai išsaugojo ryšį su tėvyne: vykdo įvairiais labdaringas iniciatyvas padėdami Lietuvos vaikams, puoselėja lietuviškas tradicijas, kalbą ir kultūrą. Airijoje veikia net 14 lituanistinių mokyklų, o nuo pernai metų lietuvių kalba įtraukta į Airijos bendrojo lavinimo mokyklų programą kaip galima antroji užsienio kalba.
Valstybių bendradarbiavimą dar labiau sustiprins vizito metu pasirašomi trys susitarimai mokslo ir švietimo srityje: tarp Lietuvos sveikatos mokslų universiteto ir Airijos nacionalinio universiteto, Kauno ir Korko miestų mokytojų rengimo centrų bei Kauno mokytojų namų ir Korko lietuviškosios mokyklos. Šiuo metu Lietuvos ir Airijos mokslininkai įgyvendina net 75 bendrus ES finansuojamus tyrimų projektus.
Daug potencialo turi ir ekonominis bendradarbiavimas, ypač IT, „Fintech“, gyvybės mokslų srityse. Naujų galimybių teikia ir energetikos sektorius – Airijai ketinant statyti SGD terminalą, Lietuva pasirengusi pasidalyti savo patirtimi. Šiuo metu Airijos investicijos Lietuvoje yra sukūrusios per 2000 darbo vietų.
Susitikime šalių vadovai aptarė ir bendradarbiavimą Europos Sąjungoje. Pasak šalies vadovės, Lietuva ir Airija vienodai supranta ES kylančius migracijos, ekonomikos, saugumo, „Brexit“ iššūkius ir kartu juos sprendžia. „Brexit“ derybose Lietuva ir Airija pasisako už kuo gaudesnių ryšių tarp ES ir Jungtinės Karalystės išsaugojimą. Taip pat palaikome Airijos siekį užtikrinti, kad „Brexit“ nesukurtų naujų sienų Europoje. Sutampa ir abiejų šalių interesai artėjančiose derybose dėl naujo daugiamečio ES biudžeto. Lietuvai ir Airijai aktualu, kad būtų išsaugomas adekvatus finansavimas sanglaudos ir žemės ūkio politikai.
Susitikime pasikeista ir oficialiomis dovanomis. Prezidentė poezija ir filosofija besidominčiam Airijos vadovui padovanojo Lietuvos poetų eilėraščių knygą anglų kalba, taip pat „Lietuvos kultūros gidą“, kuriame pristatoma mūsų šalies architektūra, dizainas, kinas, muzika, teatras, šokis, vizualieji menai. Airijos Prezidento dovana – Airijos menininko sukurtas medinis dubuo.
Vizito metu Airijos Prezidentui taip pat bus suteiktas Kauno Vytauto Didžiojo universiteto garbės daktaro vardas.
- “The smallest republic in the world, Užupis, located in the capital of Lithuania, is a must-see for any visitor to Europe”, the biggest German national broadcaster “Deutsche Welle” announces as it introduces a video commentary on Užupis in its website that has a readership of 1.3 million. Soon Lithuania will also be covered in an enormously popular “NTV” cooking show “Poedem, poedim!” (“Let’s go, let’s eat!”). It has taken two years for the Department of Tourism to arrange an fam trip with the host of the show John Warren from Great Britain. Lithuania will be visited and covered by “Forbes”, “The Telegraph”, “National Geographic” as well as by journalists from other famous magazines from priority incoming tourism markets. Lithuanian tourism stories are of particular interest to global media giants this year
“We can already see that this year is going to be special because of the importance of the press that journalists represent who are coming to Lithuania. It is the result of consistent work and high quality contacts that Lithuania is going to be introduced as an attractive tourist destination in all world-famous media channels. By planning fam trips for journalists for this year, we were carrying out strict selection and consulting our foreign representatives and embassies, since we cannot invite everyone willing to come and visit us, unfortunately. Besides, we develop the agenda of each visit independently, we consult closely with tourism information centres in an effort to fully meet the journalists’ interests and to prepare a highly exceptional agenda of their stay”, says Indrė Trakimaitė-Šeškuvienė, the acting director of the Department of Tourism.
In the upcoming tourism season, the team of the Department of Tourism is impatiently looking forward to planned introductory tours for journalists from Great Britain who represent national daily newspapers “The Telegraph”, “The Guardian”, “The Express”, as well as “National Geographic”.
David Lyndo, also known as Urban Birder in the UK, is also expected to pay a visit to Lithuania. He is an enthusiast of bird watching, a photographer, a filmer and an author of bird watching and its possibilities. Lithuania caught his particular interest during a niche exhibition in Rutland (UK) last year. The United Kingdom is known for a number of tourists who take an interest in bird watching, therefore, a message spread about birds breeding in Lithuania or migrating through it could draw the attention of the British tourists.
France is planning to give some attention to Lithuania in its morning show “Télématin“ on “France 2” TV channel, as well as in a women’s magazine “Biba” with a circulation of 306 thousand, and in a Parisian lifestyle weekly “Telerama Sortir” or in a montly travel journal for professionals “L‘Echo Touristique” among others. Already at the end of April the Department of Tourism is going to organise an introductory tour to a journalist of TV show “La Quotidienne“ of “France 5” who is going to make a commentary about possibilities of a weekend trip to Vilnius and its surroundings.
Introductory tours will be organised to Italian journalists from “Elle”, “Style Magazine” published with “Corriere della Sera”, “La Stampa”, “Vanity Fair”, “La Repubblica”, Nationalgeographic.it; Lithuania also has the attention of gastronomy magazines like “Viaggi del Gusto” and a gastronomy guide “Gambero Rosso”.
High-end Lithuanian restaurants and local chefs are of interest to Jim Dobson, a journalist of the influential US businesses magazine “Forbes”; an introductory tour to this journalist at the end of June is being thoroughly arranged.
Visits of journalists of flight magazines “Blue Wings” (available in “Finnair” planes) and “Skyward” (available in “Japan Airlines” planes) to Lithuania are also important.
We also have a goal to invite “China Daily” journalists to Lithuania, as well as the Finnish travel magazine “Mondo”, the German national newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, one of the key daily newspapers of Berlin “Der Tagesspiegel”, “Deutschlandradio”, one of the key weeklies in Sweden “Aftonbladet”, another top Swedish weekly “Icakurirer”, negotiations with the British travel magazine “Wanderlust”, which announced Lithuania one of the hottest travel destinations of 2018, are ongoing.
International hotel chain Clarion plans to settle in a building being developed by investment company Lords LB Asset Management in central Vilnius, Lords LB Asset Management spokesman Justas Vaitkevicius confirmed it to BNS Lithuania, cites LETA
Clarion is operated by US hotel operator Choice Hotels International, and Clarion hotels in the Scandinavian and Baltic countries are managed by Norway’s Nordic Choce Hotels under a franchise agreement.
Lords LB Asset Management plans to invest 45 million euros into the project that is set to be finished by the middle of 2020. According to previous reports, the project will involve a hotel with 299 rooms, offices and a conference center.
Two Hilton hotels as well as an Ibis hotel will be opened in Vilnius in the upcoming years, with a Marriott hotel already operating in the Lithuanian capital.
This is a special year for Lithuania. As the country celebrates the 100th anniversary of the re-establishment of its independence, the United States Embassy is pleased to mark this milestone with a special museum exhibit showcasing 100 years of U.S.-Lithuanian friendship through photos, stories, and multimedia. On April 17, the grand opening of the exhibit is at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library; from Vilnius, the exhibit will travel to over ten locations throughout Lithuania. We are extremely grateful to the dedicated staff at the Valdas Adamkus Presidential Library and American Fulbright Scholar Charles Perrin for their partnership in this endeavor. I hope everyone who visits the exhibit walks away with a deep appreciation of our shared history and values.
Lithuania has overcome so much in the last 100 years. After regaining independence in 1918, Lithuania suffered through another brutal World War and the devastating Soviet occupation that followed. But today, Lithuania has assumed international roles that could have only been dreamed of 25 years ago. It has led the European Union and the United Nations Security Council, and met the NATO benchmark of 2% of GDP on defense spending. It has become a European leader in energy diversification and independence, developed successful industries in the life sciences, biotech, and IT sectors, and has a thriving innovation ecosystem. These are extraordinary accomplishments for any country, and especially so given the short amount of time that has passed since Lithuania regained its sovereignty.
Today, the relationship between Lithuania and the U.S. is the strongest it has ever been. The recent U.S.-Baltic Presidential Summit is a clear signal of the importance of the Baltic states for President Trump and the American people. The Summit was the latest in a series of recent high-level engagements, including with Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Mattis, and numerous high-ranking congressional leaders. Furthermore, the Joint Declaration that all four presidents released during the Summit affirms our continued collaboration in the areas of security, business, and cultural ties.
The U.S. and Lithuania will continue to partner to confront threats to our mutual security interests. This summer more than 5,000 U.S. troops will join multinational forces in the Saber Strike 2018 military exercise, the largest event of its kind to ever take place in the Baltics. Saber Strike and other bilateral military cooperation will definitively demonstrate our commitment to Baltic and European security and NATO’s Article V of the Washington Treaty. Our collective defense will remain ironclad. In addition to ongoing U.S. troop rotations in Lithuania, the U.S. will continue to provide assistance for training and equipment to improve Lithuania’s defensive capabilities. An important element of that support is the 25-year relationship between the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
The economic ties and trade that Lithuania and the U.S. enjoy is another area that benefits from our strong relationship. In the past seven years, U.S. companies created more Lithuanian jobs through investment than any other country; today, 85 U.S. companies in Lithuania employ 11,500 people. The U.S. is Lithuania’s 5th largest export market. During the Business Summit that ran during the U.S.-Baltic Presidential Summit in Washington, over 300 U.S. companies participated, recognizing the potential of doing business in the Baltics. Freeport LNG of Texas got things started by signing agreements with two Lithuanian firms.
Our shared values and democratic ideals are strengthened through people-to-people connections. I am proud of the work the U.S. Embassy has done to expand and deepen these connections through our public outreach, cultural events, and exchange programs. In this centennial year, the U.S. State Department has committed to sending 100 youth from the Baltic countries on various exchange programs to the U.S. Engaging with each other will build the friendship and partnership of the 21st century.
Vilnius is a city best known for its historical charm, particularly its Unesco-listed Old Town. Yet there are few European capitals modernising quite so rapidly. Today, for every preserved baroque church there’s an achingly hip café; for every old cobbled street, a modernist work of art.
This fascinating contrast of the time-honoured and the on-trend make Lithuania’s capital a refreshing and rewarding weekend break. Here are 10 of the best things to see and do during a visit.
Enjoy the view
A sea of red-tiled roofs and lush green parkland, punctuated by dozens of church spires: Vilnius looks spectacular from on high. The loveliest panorama in the city – particularly at sunset – is from the Three Crosses, a monument set atop the cheerily-named Bleak Hill, but it’s a steep walk. Gediminas’ Tower offers an almost-equally striking view, and is easily reached by funicular, or else take a lift up to the stylish rooftop Skybar (radissonblu.com) to gaze out over the city with a cocktail in
Tour a breakaway republic
Užupis, which means “the other side of the river”, is a neighbourhood that sits apart from the rest of Vilnius – both physically and politically. In 1997, Užupis declared itself an independent republic, with its own flag, anthem and president, and two decades on it retains its distinctive vibe. This bohemian district has some great riverside pubs and cafes, alternative artists’ workshops and a prominent, wall-mounted constitution featuring idiosyncratic articles such as “People have the right to have no rights”.
Try a local delicacy
Two dishes dominate dining here: cepelinai and kibinai. The first are filling, zeppelin-shaped dumplings of grated potato, stuffed with mince or curd, slathered in sour cream and served on huge plates. The latter are traditional pastries – not dissimilar to Cornish pasties – typically filled with mutton and onion and sold in every Vilnius bakery (though the best ones are in Trakai, a great day trip from the capital).
See the city’s street art
Vilnius has many fine contemporary art galleries, but to really see how artists here express themselves, simply step outside. There are quirky al fresco works of art across Vilnius, from a bronze bust of Frank Zappa to a street lined with hundreds of tiny paintings, prints and ceramics, but it’s the colourful, often political street corner graffiti that really stands out, including a mural of Trump and Putin locking lips.
Make a wish
In August 1989, an extraordinary thing happened: two million people formed a human chain stretching 420 miles from Tallinn to Vilnius, in protest of Soviet occupation. Within seven months, Lithuania was independent. To commemorate this event, a stone tile marked stebuklas (miracle) was laid in Vilnius’ main Cathedral Square. Today, it’s a lucky charm, so stand on the tile, spin clockwise and make a wish.
Step back in time
Not just under the radar, but out of sight, there’s a concealed corner of Vilnius that belongs to another era. Situated in the up-and-coming Šnipiškės district, it’s a 19th century community of pretty, wooden homes with wood-burning stoves, outhouses and communal water pumps, all linked by unpaved streets. It is under constant threat from developers, with many houses burning down in suspicious circumstances, but you can see what remains on the Alternative Tour from Vilnius Free Tour (vilniusfreetour.lt).
Sip a craft beer
Vilnius has a proud farmhouse brewing tradition, and has fully embraced the craft beer boom. Popular brewpubs include Alaus Namai (alausnamai.lt), home of Širvenos ale – brewed using peas – and Šnekutis (facebook.com/BaraiSnekutis), known for its cloudy amber Jovaru Alus. Many pubs also serve surprisingly tasty non-alcoholic wheat beers and stouts brewed by Švyturys (svyturys.lt).
Dig into Lithuania’s history
Lithuania has a long and tumultuous history, from the wealth and prosperity of the Middle Ages to the devastating occupations of the 20th century. You can uncover it all with visits to the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania (valdovurumai.lt) and the Museum of Genocide Victims (genocid.lt).
Stroll along the river
Vilnius is a great strolling city, but forego the cobbled streets and winding alleys for one day in favour of the riverbank. A walk alongside the river Vilnelė offers a mix of thriving nature and major city sights, like the atmospheric Bernardine Cemetery, the trumpeting Angel of Užupis and the leafy Kalnai Park.
Shop for traditional food
Foodies shouldn’t miss the covered Hales Market (halesturgaviete.lt). This beautiful historic building, opened in 1906, has stallholders selling everything you could possibly desire, from smoked meat, fresh fish and organic vegetables to clothes, flowers and gifts. There’s also a lovely bakery-café.
On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania, Klaipėda was inspired by the colors of the fourth “Light Festival”. Watching the thousands, the “Century Gates” created by Italian artists “Marianolight”, and the couple of dozens of other festival projects, dazzled on the Theater Square. Colorful, emotional, and Lithuania festival with the return of independence to the centenary, visitors will be waiting for two more days 💛💚❤
Vilnius was elected the most dynamically developing city of service centres in the region in the Central and Eastern European Service Centres Awards held in Warsaw on Thursday evening, and representatives of Lithuania won another five prizes.
Vilnius was awarded as the most dynamically developing city of service centres in the region for the fourth consecutive year.
According to the data of “Go Vilnius”, the decision of companies to invest in Vilnius is most affected by the supply of skilled workers, which 50% of investors named as a motive, convenient urban infrastructure and logistics (20%), favourable business climate (18%), proximity of markets, i.e. adjacent and conveniently reachable 3 large markets: the Nordic market, the Central and Eastern European market and the Western European market (15%).
“Investors and international service centres find Vilnius attractive, because of it being one of the most open, fastest and most dynamically developing cities not only in the region, but in Europe as well. Companies choose Vilnius primarily for its talented, skilled and multi-lingual professionals. Vilnius is the most radical implementer of the open data policy; moreover, we have the fastest Internet connection, the city is convenient for living and working. By creating attractive conditions for business, Vilnius has confidently and rapidly advanced being the investment attraction centre in the region for 4 years in a row”, – said Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius.
International companies established in Vilnius also received awards for their work in the awards ceremony held in Warsaw. “Cognizant Technology Solutions” won in the BPO Firm of the Year category, “Danske Bank (GSL)” was elected the Shared Services Firm of the Year in the Baltic States for the second consecutive time, and “Western Union Processing Lithuania” received the award for the application of robotized solutions (Top RPA Implementation of the Year). Šarūnas Šuipis, General Manager of Western Union Lithuanian Division, was awarded as the Best CEO.
This year, Lithuania and companies operating in the country were nominated in 15 categories. Vilnius and Kaunas were nominated in the city categories, Telia, Danske Bank (GSL), Western Union, Nasdaq, Adform, Bentley Systems, Wix.com, NFQ Technologies and Skandia competed in various service centre categories, and Rosita Vasilkevičiūtė (Danske Bank (GSL)), Šarūnas Šuipis (Western Union) and Arminta Saladžienė (Nasdaq) were nominated candidates in the Best CEO category.
According to the data of “Go Vilnius”, out of more than 60 international service centres operating in the country in 2017 and employing about 15 thousand specialists, 44 centres were established in Vilnius. This number will continue to grow, because this year, Booking.com, the largest hotel reservation platform in the world, will settle in Vilnius. Its service centre is planned to hire as many as 900 people in the next few years.
The Central and Eastern European Service Centres Awards have been held for six consecutive years. Independent jury of business professionals evaluate cities of the region, service centres and their managers for the development of the service centre sector. More than 50 companies from Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Latvia and Lithuania were nominated for this year’s awards. The event held in the Warsaw Intercontinental Hotel on January 31 – February 1 brought together more than 300 guests, who listened to presentations and took part in discussions before the award ceremony.
Ar žinojote, kad žymioji JAV vieno cento moneta su Prezidento A.Linkolno atvaizdu buvo sukurta Šiauliuose gimusio žydų kilmės lietuvio Viktoro Brenerio?
“I wanted A.Lincoln to be more intimate, deeper, more kindly. I read everything I could find describing the man’s personal side. I studied his portraits and the death mask until I believed I knew him. My mind was full of Lincoln,” said Lithuanian born Litvak Viktoras Breneris, who designed Lincoln penny, as well as 125 other medals, sculptures, badges, etc.
The first Lincoln Cents were officially released on August 2, 1909 and are still being produced today. To have a President’s portrait on a coin was almost a “revolutionary” act: up to 1909 the only figures on everyday American coins were allegorical figures, like Liberty. It was President Theodore Roosevelt who authorized the creation of the Lincoln penny in 1909 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.
Source: Lietuvos Respublikos ambasadaJAV