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