Vilnius Castle open for visitors
Vilnius Castle open for visitors
By Henning Høholt, text and photos.
VILNIUS/LITHUANIA: After the festivitas opening of the newbuild copy of the old castle, which officially (in the last second) was being ready for an officially opening during the 1000 Years City Jubilee in 2009, where the Heads of State from all of The Nordic Countries was present.
Unfortunately the whole castle was not completely ready. Luckely The Castle has now come to the point that it can start inviting visitors inside to different venues in some parts of the castle.
The Vilnius Castle aministrasjon have managed to get a relatively discreet entrance to the left at the castle yard, with escalators that leads down to a large spacious hall located under the inner castle square,, from which one can go into the ruins beneath the castle and in the castle itself. Very delicately presented with a souvenir shop with good related souvenirs, books, handwork, and a small café with refreshments machine, wardrobe. toalets etc.
Right now an interesting exposition of EU money from all of the EU countries will be opened (23th October) in the Entrance hall, Telling the audience about how interesting a work there is in making a line of EU money which is in the same style, and in the same colours, matching well, but still is giving each country a possibility to personalize their money by selecting motives with local details.
Furthermore a large permanent exposition of beautiful old wowen carpets is present in the upper floors of the house, an exposition that we wrote about when it some years ago was presentetd in another part of the museums neighboors to the castle. As far as I have understod, these caroets are in fact for sale, so if somebody need a too large wall carpet, or want to make a donation to the castle or to the Lithuanian State it is possibel to by a wall carpet and donate it.
Upon our visit this year we were happy to get days with the most wonderfull autumn sunshine, therefore the connected photos are so bright an d good.
It is interesting to listen to the many languages from foreign countries in the streets, both from all of Scandinavia, but also from Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and other places. It seems that since the city has got some good airplane companyes to fly directly, or allmost directly, the tourists and also conferance participants has found out of that Lithuania is an interesting country to visit, and with the good service, and that the Lithuanian people has been much better in english and other languages comparing to hiow it was some 15 years ago, It is now a popular place to visit. And still it is possible to get an excekllent meal with good wine at a good prize.
Unfortunately the castle is still not yet open for all the possibilityes, which was planned in the beginning. For example was an exterior entrance planned to go down to the entrance hall, It is now placed inside. However, it looks to met that this was a good, – perhaps even better choise, than the plan, that I have been presente dto in 2009.
Furthermore it seems that the planned conference facilities in the upper floor, which was prepared with building in of all electronically details in the walls during the building periode has not them come so far so it can start.
The next problem could be that the build in electronic facilities, that I am shure was very expensive, now, 5 years after are being out of fashion, as the elctornic marcet is working too fast. We can only hope for the best.
Still that it has been a very expensive extraordinary investment for the country to build the castle, spending money on a castle that no one could use, or needed. When the country, after the long bad periode with Sovjet occupation, needed every thing else, and where the young, well educated people has been running away to other countries, as it was not possible to find good payed jobs at home. The result is now looking good, and hopefully it will be a possibility to make the castle rentable in the one or the other way.
Unfortunately the Seimas (The Lithuanian Parliament) has been spending too much energy on wrong things. A great example is the energy they have spend on woting on homofobic resolutions from parlamentary members without any knowledge of what love between people of the same sex is. In this case 16th May, 13 western embassies, as usually was celebratig the day against Homofobia and Transfobia, this year at the French Ambassadors residenece, which is nearly neighboor to the Presidents residence.
A very good initiative, which was highly remarked in all seriouse western countries. In this case it is a great pleasure to notice that Estonia, now have said yes to gay marriage. Hopefully Lithuania will wake up and let people love who they want. And follow Estonias exemple.