Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Gate of Dawn

Started off the morning with a trip into Old Town!! Luckily for us, Areil is responsibility and figures out places in Lithuania to go see :)  Today agenda - The Gate of Dawn. 

Little bit of history behind the Gate of Dawn - it was built in the early 1500's as part of the defensive wall around Vilnius.  Of the nine city gates, only the Gate of Dawn remains while the others were destroyed by the Soviet Government in the late1800's.  Apparently, in the 16th century, city gates would often contain religious artifacts intended to guard the city from attacks and to bless travelers.  The Gate of Dawn is also famous because of it's religious artifact - an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  For centuries, the picture has stood in the gate, marking a point of worship for thousands to gather.
Outside of the Gate of Dawn
Depiction of Christ painted on the outside of the gate
Inside of The Gate - you can see the tunnel leading through the gate on bottom, and the chapel doors on top

This chapel contains the picture depicting Virgin Mary, and you can see some people through the window attending mass in the chapel. 
 When we got to the chapel, we weren't able to actually go into the room to see the Virgin Mary picture, because Mass was being held at the time.  We were able to poke around the building though, and hear the Lithuanian priest performing the Catholic prayers.  It was interesting to see :)
The Virgin Mary picture in the chapel on top of the Gate of Dawn.
After we finished looking around the Gate, we ended up wandering around Old Town and finding all sorts of treasures!!!
The outside view of a beautiful wood carving shop that we found tucked away in Old Town

See if you can spot the black sheep! I just thought it was hilarious :)

A very small portion of the thousands of beautiful hand wood carvings this man was selling - beautiful display :)
Some shots of beautiful Lithuania -
These Romeo and Juliet balconies are everywhere!! And often spotted with satellite dishes :)

I LOVE the ivy here!  It covers so many buildings in Old Town

Restaurants often have fun little tables on the street - sometimes, that's the only seating they have available!

Churches and gates like these dot nearly every street in Old Town - they just plop something so beautiful among the other buildings, and it's nothing new :)

These alleyways snake around the whole city, all paved with cobblestone.

HUGE and beautiful buildings like this are no rare sight in Lithuania - banks or businesses often are housed in buildings like this.

Most windows in Lithuania are lined with metal decor.  That, or lace curtains.

There are so many parks here as well!! Sometimes wedged between two busy roads, and often housing random statues. 

All the churches here look like this - very 1800 looking, and often with steeples or towers overlooking the city.

One of the random statues in a park - I just had to take a picture for the sake of a giggle.  Someone put dandelions in the statues hand :) (dandelions grow EVERYWHERE here, by the way)

Once again - more ivy :)

St. Teresea's chapel - beautiful walls and architecture.


  1. Thank you for the tour - it makes me feel like I am right there with you and your yellow nose from smelling all of the dandelions! :)

    1. Well, good!! I'll start giving tours more often then :)

  2. I loved your pictures. There's something about old buildings that I really like too....Maybe because they've "seen" so much through time. Have fun, be safe.