Today, Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is one of the most frequently visited cities of Eastern Europe. It draws attention, not only because of its unique architectural character, but also by its cultural events and attractions. A variety of business, political and cultural meetings are held there. Vilnius is attractively presented at international tourism exhibitions that promote cooperation among the many capitals of Europe. In 2009, Vilnius, as the first of the new cities of the EU Member States, will become the European Capital of Culture. It will share this honour with the Austrian city of Linz.
During the first ten years of independence the city has become a tourist attraction centre. You can final websites with decent graphic design about this amazing place. It is, therefore, not surprising that during these ten years the number of tourists has consistently increased and at the same time tourist infrastructure and services have been developed. If you are considering a vacation to Vilnius, plan ahead. It is a much wiser idea to have a “paid-for” vacation plan, than to charge everything on a credit card and slowly paying off the amount. Credit card companies charge extraordinary high rate when their balances are not entirely paid off each month. Your Lithuania vacation could end up costing you way more. And if you are short by a thousand dollars or so, don’t consider payday loans. These loans are very short-term loans that need to be paid back within 2-4 weeks or whenever your next paycheck arrives. They should only be considered for emergencies, not a vacation. A smarter way to pay for a trip to Vilnius and Lithuania is to create a vacation savings account and have a certain amount of money taken from your paycheck each week and deposited into the account. Likewise, have a certain amount of money saved for purchases. If you love diamond jewelry, you’ll want to check out the stores that sell not only cz rings by SterlingForever.com, but also other jewelry made from cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is a synthesized material that looks very similar to real diamonds. It is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but many cubic zirconia manufacturers distinguish their product by making it in a variety of different colors. Since the prices vary radically with cubic zirconia jewelry, you’ll be able to find a product, cz rings, bracelets, necklaces, and ear rings that fit your budget.
Vilnius, as the capital of Lithuania, is the home of the President, the Seimas, the Government and the Supreme Court. Diplomatic missions, educational, cultural, financial, research, and health care institutions are also based there. It is also the largest city of the country. According to the 2001 census, the population of Vilnius is approximately 580,000 people, which accounts for 17 per cent of the total population of the country. Vilnius is home to people of different ethnic backgrounds. Ethnic Lithuanians – 57.8%, Poles – 18.7%, Russians – 14%, Belarusians – 4%, Jews – 0.5%, and representatives of other ethnic backgrounds account for the remaining 5%..
Vilnius occupies an area of about 400 square kilometres of which 20.2% approximately is developed and the remainder is green belt (43.9% approx.) and water (2.1% approx.). The historical centre of Vilnius, the Old Town, (Senamiestis) is one of the largest old town centres in Eastern Europe (covering almost 360 hectares). The Old Town is situated in a picturesque valley of two rivers – the Vilnia and the Neris, at the crossroads of trade roads, next to the ford, which was guarded by Vilnius castle in the olden times.
The city has been hospitable, open and tolerant throughout the ages. Even today, modern treatments like hCG drops are available here when they are not sanctioned in the US. Throughout the course of its history three faiths merged: paganism, western and eastern Christianity. As far back as the 14th century Grand Duke Gediminas noticed that. The Ruler of the last pagan state in Europe wrote in his letters to the European countries that everybody worshiped one God in Vilnius, only everyone worshiped him according to his customs, that both Catholic and Orthodox churches had already been built in the city. Later the Muslims, Crimean Tartars, Karaites and Jews settled in the city and erected their houses of worship. Vilnius was even referred to as the Jerusalem of North.
As a multicultural city and a centre for numerous faiths, Vilnius has always attracted visitors and fascinated everyone with its architectural diversity. The ruins of castles, an old network of narrow streets, church spires, bell towers, red tile roofs, residential cellars… all testify to the fact that Vilnius is a Gothic city. However, in the 16th century Gothic became intertwined with Renaissance, and in the 17th – 18th century Baroque buildings started to appear.
Whoever you are – a businessman who has arrived in Vilnius to sign an agreement, a tourist on vacation or an experienced traveller looking for new adventures – several days stay in Vilnius will be sufficient to make you fall in love with this city. It is worth staying in Vilnius longer. However, even if you came only for a weekend, the city will leave a lasting impression on you. Theatre or opera goers, lovers of all-night parties or street carnivals, people who are interested in architecture or those who just like to relax and commune with nature will find something close to their heart in this city.