Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view


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And did those feet …. 25 years ago

DSC00066Walking to the end of Gedimino pr towards the cathedral you cross the road and the cathedral bell tower is on your right.DSC00323_copy

Look down and you will see this pair of footprints. They weren’t there last year so I asked the helpful staff from the National Museum who look after the bell-tower visitors what they represented.

They were put there to mark the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way, the 2 million strong human chain which stretched from Vilnius to Tallinn on August 23rd 1989.

Lithuania has come a long way in those 25 years and it started here.

I’ve blogged about the Baltic way before and my colleague has also done a piece about this too here.

And without giving too much away it’s not too far from the Stebuklas MiracleTile


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Where’s the evidence?

Lithuania underwent a transformation after independence in 1991 and wanted to shake off its former soviet image.

They removed much evidence of the former soviet times but some they kept.

P1000342The statues on the green bridge in Vilnius, fine examples of socialist realism, were kept but other statuary was removed and many pieces ended up in the Grutas Park.

P1000793 P1000801The original three crosses on the hill were pulled down by the soviets and buried but new ones were made and the old ones uncovered and left there with the chains to show the world what had happened.

At the parliament building they have kept part of the barricade they set up to stop tanks entering the parliament building. There are also smaller replicas set out around the building to show the extent of the original barricade.

And not far from the statue of Grand Duke Gediminas in a corner of  the cathedral square is a stone monument celebrating 650 years of Vilnius’s role as capital of Lithuania. If you look closely you can see an oblong recess where they removed the  cyrillic script.

P1000885And while you are in the area look for the the Stebuklas or miracle tile which marks the end of the human wall that stretched from Tallinn to Vilnius in 1989. If you find it stand on it, turn clockwise three times and make a wish!P1000501


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Baltic Way Memorial Wall in Vilnius

P1000720Walk along Konstitucijos pr. from the city centre heading towards the Panorama shopping centre. As you come to the end of the road which you have to cross to get to the shops you see this wonderful memorial wall.

P1000501It has human shapes cut out of it and represents the Baltic Way, the unbroken line of 2 million people from Vilnius to Tallinn who protested about soviet occupation on August 23 1989.

DSCF1361Although the colours represent the Lithuanian flag, and each brick has the name of the person who contributed 25-50 Litas for it carved on it, if you look carefully you will also find bricks representing the flags of Latvia and Estonia.

P1000218It was officially unveiled on 24 August 2010


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A2 Highway near Vilnius

CNV00009This picture was  taken near Le Meridien Villon (now Le Meridien Vilnius) hotel close to sunset.

P1000501The road runs from Vilnius, through Ukmerge (famous for the song about the plumber) heading towards Latvia.

It was part of the route of the Baltic Way when a 2 million strong, 600 km, human chain joined hands for 15 minutes to connect the three Baltic capitals of Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn.

It was a peaceful protest on 23 August 1989 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi German which divided Eastern Europe into spheres of influence and which led to the occupation of the Baltic states.