Friday, April 17, 2009


Hello! I would like to tell You little more about one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vilnius - Uzupis.
In 1997 the bohemian Uzupis neighborhood declared itself a republic and is now “governed” by artists and romantics. The republic has not only road signs, but it has a president, ministers, a constitution and its own holidays. In the first square in Uzupis everyone is greeted by the sculpture of an angel (sculptor R. Vilciauskas), symbolizing the rebirth of this part of town. People are fond of comparing Uzupis with Montmart, but it’s obvious that there is less and less of the bohemian spirit. In the republic of artists the old residents are disappearing and new ones are appearing, creating galleries, cafes and stores. Until the XX century this was a suburb of the poor, adhering it to the main city by the flowing Vilnia, joined by three bridges. Uzupis is reminiscent of a village, and not a neighborhood of the capital. It’s already mentioned in acts of the XVI century. On Malunu Street, near the Vilnia stands a long house. In it lived the nuns of the first women’s monastery in Lithuania. Uzupis Bernardine Monastery was established in 1496. Earlier the neighborhood didn’t have a single house with an entrance to the street.
Here are some photos of Uzupis, just click on this link:

Uzupis is a district of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, partially located in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its name means "on the other side of a river"; that river is the Vilnia River which gave Vilnius its name. The region has been popular with artists for some time, and is often compared with Montmartre in Paris. The district houses art galleries, artists' workshops, and popular cafés. The district declared itself an independent republic in 1997. Užupis is quite small and isolated, being only about 148 acres (0.60 km2) in size. On one side it is separated from the Old Town by the Vilnia River, on the other there are steep hills, and on the third there is an industrial area built under the Soviet rule. The first bridges across the river were built in the 16th century, at which time the district's inhabitants were mostly Jewish. On April 4th 2001, a statue of an angel blowing a trumpet was unveiled in the main square. It is intended to symbolize the revival and artistic freedom of the district.

Aleksandra Balinskaja

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