Gediminas Tower21st November 2016
The Tower of Gediminas has a symbolic meaning in the country. Formerly it was a part of historical fortress which did not survive until these days. Nowadays it’s one of the most attractive travel spots in the city. Gediminas Tower is located on the huge mound in the heart of the historical city center of Vilnius. Therefore, it’s clearly visible from the Cathedral Square and others places.
Gediminas Tower is more common known as Gediminas Castle in Lithuania. Though, it’s just remains of magnificent Upper Castle which was destroyed during the historical battles and wars. In former times the great castle was built from wood. Unfortunately, it had burned due to horrible fire in the XV century.
After that terrible incident the Upper Castle was rebuilt from more durable materials such as stones and bricks. It looked really gorgeous then. It had three defensive towers, representational palace and outbuildings. However, Bob Dylan might be right while saying ‘The Times They a Changin’. Even though the Upper Castle was a great fortress it had become useless. For rather short period in the XVIII century it was used as a prison for nobles but after that the Castle was abandoned.
During the years the medieval fortress was heavily destroyed. Only the Western Tower of the Upper Castle remained in rather good condition. At these days it’s called Gediminas Tower. There Lithuanian flag was raised for the very first time in 1919. It was an important event because Lithuania had become an independent country.
Nowadays, the Tower of Gediminas is reconstructed and adjusted for tourism. The Western Tower has a three floors and overview terrace on the roof. All tourists are welcome to visit the fascinating museum there.
Three Reasons to visit Gediminas Tower
If you don’t visit the Tower of Gediminas, you shouldn’t say that you have visited Vilnius already. It’s such an amazing sight! The stunning legend about the Iron Wolf surrounds that wonderful Gediminas Tower and the city where it’s located in. There are three reasons that might convince you to visit the Tower of Gediminas.
1. Interesting museum
Gediminas Tower consists of three floors where the fascinating museum is established at these days. Interesting expositions will keep your attention from the very first steps in the Tower. First exposition will present you a visual model of all three medieval castles that were situated there in XIV century. In the second floor you’ll be introduced to the historical armaments of Lithuanian warriors during the period of XIV – XVIII centuries. Exhibits on the third floor are related to the history of Lithuania in recent times. There you’ll find out more about peaceful political demonstration called ‘The Baltic Way’ and symbolic meaning of Gediminas Tower. Also, an awesome terrace with panoramic view is established for tourists on the roof.
2. Gorgeous panoramic view
Gediminas Tower is situated on the one of the highest mound in the city center. So, panorama from the roof of Gediminas Tower is really amazing. From the one side you’ll be impressed by scenery of historical Old Town. A labyrinth of red roofs, Palace of Grand Dukes of Lithuania and narrow streets look really amazing from there. Also, you’ll be fascinated with view to the river Neris which is flowing through the city and buzzing city life in the different part of Vilnius.
3. Romantic environment
The hill of Gediminas Tower is well known as one of the most romantic place in Vilnius. Soft streetlights and intimate environment gives you a wonderful chance to enjoy the scenic night view of the city. So, remains of the fortress wall have become a brilliant place for romantic lovers.
Getting up to Gediminas Tower
Usually tourists are welcome to reach Gediminas Tower by two different ways. One of them is getting up to the Tower by funicular. That service isn’t free but it’s a really great opportunity for those who would like to avoid hiking to the hill. Funicular gives a unique experience to reach the top of the hill via 71 meters long railway in less than two minutes. However, due to technical problems funicular is currently not working.
Another way to reach Gediminas Tower is a lovely hike to the hill via stony trail. It might sound difficult hike but it’s actually not. No special equipment is needed. So, you shouldn’t be afraid. The trial starts in the park next to the hill of Gediminas Tower. The easiest way to reach it leads you through the park from the Vilnius Cathedral Square.
Stony trial which leads you straight to the Tower of Gediminas is absolutely free. So, you can hike to the hill, look around, take some photos and go downhill. However, if you are interested in historical museum and stunning panorama from the roof of Gediminas Tower, you should pay at least 5 € per person. Additional pay is required for the guide services (10 euros for the tourist group of 5 people or less and 15 euros for a group up to 20 people).
Discounts are provided to the students. Student card is required.
Vilnius City Card gives you a great opportunity to visit Gediminas Tower without any additional payments. More information about Vilnius City Card you will find in this website: http://www.vilnius-tourism.lt/en/what-to-see/vilnius-city-card/about
Pricing for funicular ticket: one way ticket costs 1 euro. Return ticket costs 2 euros.