Friday, May 6, 2016

For the cat lovers Cat Cafe (Kačių kavinė) Vilnius

Being a cat owner of five cats I had to visit the Cat Cafe it was quite a hike from where I was staying and looking back I should have taken a bus and also I walked past the actual street it was on by quite a distance. However I shall say that it was quite worth it.  The Cafe was up a bunch of stairs and when you entered I was given shoe covers and instructed to wash my hands. I was amazed how clean the place was despite all the cats that lounged in the room. I was lucky to get a table right away and some how got my self down to the seat that was barely off the floor.  I was immediately visited by cats as I read the menu.  I choose a glass of white wine and a pasta dish and while I waited I walked around to snap photos of the cats there were 13 in all.  I noticed one cat that sat a the table with a couple just enjoying itself. I will let the photos talk for themselves. The Cafe is located at J. J. Jasinskip g.1. Vilnius 1112 Lithunia 

Outside the Cafe

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Exploring Vilnius and some of its many beautiful churches

Old town Vilnius has 24 churches and each one seemed prettier than the one before. I spent the better part of the day exploring some many of them.  The Church  One the Holy Spirit and the Dominican Monastery is entered through a the corridor from the street it was pretty dark you could just make out some paintings on the walls but it was hard to tell what they were until I took a picture with a flash and this is the result of that. The church on the outside was pretty plain but once inside I was amazed by the baroque decor which was splendid.  The church has sixteen marble massive altars. It was so amazing and different that I returned another day to look closer.

Inside the corridor

Lithuania is mainly  Roman Catholic but as the result of strong Russian influences through out history Vilnius has several Russian Orthodox churches. One of which is the The Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit, it is one of the oldest Eastern Orthodox churches in  Vilnius.  Grand Hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania built this in 1514. The church was damaged by fire in 18th century and was restored in late Baroque style. There was a crypt which was glass and in it lies the remains of Saints Anthony, John and Eustathios, it was very quite interesting to see. I did not of course take any photographs.

the shades of green were amazing

The Russian Orthodox Church of St Nicholas (Sv Mikalojaus Baznycia) was first built in 1350 and again in 1514 as Uniate church which is known as Eastern-rite Catholic churches it was rebuilt in 1864 as an Orthodox Church.

(Sv Mikalojaus Baznycia

Another beautiful church is the Church of St Philip and St Jacob it was so beautiful to see the color against the beautiful blue sky with puffy white clouds. The church was established in 1624 the present building was built end of the 17th 18th century during Soviet times it was planned to have been pulled down as it was neglected. The Dominican Monastery was build in the 18th century and was the oldest hospital in Lithuania. The church is located in the Antakalnis area of Vilnius, and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque. There was a service going on so I was not able to take photos inside.

I walked quite a distance another day and could see the dome in the distance of a church I crossed a bridge over the River of Neris and finally reached the church. The Church of the Apparition of the Holy Mother of God (Znamenskaya), a Russian Orthodox Church. This church was built in 1903 because of the large population of Russian Orthodox in the area. The church is of the Byzantine style. I walked in and looked around. I saw a young woman at the counter there and I talked to her about her beautiful church and she said I was lucky because it was the time of Easter and certain areas not normally on display were now. When I left  she was waiting for me near the door and smiled and she then said I will sing you a Easter hymn and then stood there and with a beautiful soft sweet voice she sang. I felt special that she sang for me.

 The Church of the Apparition of the Holy Mother of God

the area she stood as she sane the Easter Hymn

Monday, May 2, 2016

A visit to Vilnius Lithuania

Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn
Next up on my trip was completion of my Baltic states last year I made it to Latvia and now I was finishing what I started.  I arrived at Vilnius airport and took the local bus to the hotel, which was actually a van and it cost one euro. The hotel is located right across from the Old Town entrance, after checking in to my hotel I walked over to old town.  The entrance into old town is through the City Gate known as the Gate of Dawn. I noticed as I entered the town so many people stopped, looked back at Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn and bless themselves. The painting is visible through the window, in the chapel above.  The painting is of Northern Renaissance style and was completed around 1630. The artwork soon became known as miraculous and inspired a following. A chapel was built in 1671 and Pope John Paul II visited it in 1993.

I walked around the old town and looked for a place to eat and after dinner I explored some more. There were so many colorful buildings to look at as I strolled the old town before I went back to my hotel for the night, the Vilinus City Gate hotel

Gate of  Dawn Entrance

the Gate of Dawn

Church of St Casimir

Russian Orthodox Church of  St Nicolas

It was a beautiful morning and after a nice breakfast buffet I set off to do some exploring. I headed through Old town and to Cathedral Square. The Cathedral of St Stanislav and St Vladislav is the most important place of worship for Lithuania's Catholics and venue of national festivities.  
Cathedral Basilica

The Clock Tower

Inside Cathedral Basilica

Monument to Gediminas the Grand Duke of Lithuania

Palace of  Grand Dukes of Lithuania