Our time in Vilnius had come to an end, but before seeing this most interesting and culturally diverse City of the North in the rear-view mirror, I wanted to post a brief medley of impressions I collected while we walked hither and yon through her ancient lanes.
In Stiklių gatvė, for example, in the Glassmaker’s street, we walked past the eyecatching façade of the stained glass workshop & gallery Vitražo Manufaktūra where the old traditions of the craft are still respected and fused with contemporary inspiration and technique.
Or in Žydų gatvė, Jew’s street, where the beautiful folklore-style painted shutters drew our attention toward the marvelous Barbershop, Barzdaskučiai where they “love women from the bottom of their hearts, but the pleasures here are designed strictly for men”, continuing with “we create a luxurious oasis for gentlemen, where conversations will be enriched with splendid beverages, with the scent of cigars and games of chess so that time will stop for a while” – which I paraphrased from their website, adding: without the nagging presence of female interlopers who might wrinkle their noses about the cigar smoke 😇 My personal choice would be a cigarillo, actually.
And on we walked …
This is the very spot where, on February 16, 1918, the Act of Independence of Lithuania was signed by the State Council under the presidency of Dr. Basanavičius. In the house on the left, flying the two Lithuanian flags.
The museum is called the Signatarų Namai, the House of the Signatories.
The House of the Signatories is flanked by a posh hotel, the 5* luxury Viešbutis Narutis, the Narutis Boutique Hotel.
A lot of writing went on in the hotel building. It was here that the seventh most prolific novelist in the world, writer, publisher, and historian Jósef Ignacy Kraszewski, who is known in Lithuania as Juzefas Ignacas Kraševskis [1812 – 1887] lived for three years under close Russian secret police surveillance.
As we continued walking along, we noticed first a slightly shabby Neapolitan pizzeria, also serving salads and ice cream, then we passed a little bit of Neo-Gothic cum Jugendstylish architecture, before hitting the flea market in the shadow of an orthodox church. Quite an interesting block!
Eventually, we made our way home walking alongside the evening rush-hour. It was time to pack up for our departure the next morning.
Sorry, I didn’t have an actual rear-view mirror shot!