Vilnius – a city in the middle of Europe

When you read this heading you might be a little bit confused. Lithuania is a country in the north-east of Europe. So why do I write about the middle of Europe. Geographically Vilnius is the middle point of Europe if you consider Russia as a whole country and the whole Balkans including the Greek islands. The gate you see behind me on the picture is the Gate of Dawn which is one of many examples of Gothic architecture in Vilnius. In Lithuanian this gate is called Aušros Vartai and in Polish Ostra Brama. As many parts of Vilnius have been destroyed in the 19th century this is the only gate which still has been preserved. It’s the enrtance to Senamiestis which is the Old Town of Vilnius. Few people know that in the past Lithuania was the fourth biggest country in Europe with a territory including Poland, Belarus and Ukraine with the peninsula Crimea on the Black Sea. From 1386 until 1572 Lithuania and Poland shared a common history and the Lithuanians who have been a heathen nation before converted to Christianity at the beginning of the so-called Jagiellonian dynasty. Although Poland and Lithuania speak two completely different languages they share a lot of history.


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