©2023 Heiner Sträßer
This place at the confluence of the Vilnia and Neris rivers was already inhabited in the Stone Age. However, the legend of the founding of the town around 1320 goes back to a dream of Prince Gediminas. Vilnius was first mentioned as the Lithuanian capital in 1323. Threatened by colonial efforts of the Crusaders from 1365, Lithuania allied itself with Poland and was able to defeat them in 1410. This was followed by a period of cultural and economic prosperity until Lithuania's unification with Poland in 1599. In the middle of the 17th century, there was a Russian occupation and, during the Nordic War (1700-1721), repeated Swedish plundering. With the third partition of Poland in 1795, Poland-Lithuania was wiped off the map and Vilnius fell to Russia. Vilnius only became the capital of an independent Lithuania again in 1918, but was occupied by Poland in 1920 due to Polish claims. During World War II, Vilnius was first occupied by the Red Army, then by the Wehrmacht, and after the war it was annexed by the USSR until it declared itself the capital of an independent Lithuania again on 11 March 1990. Today it is a lively city with a rich heritage and a large baroque old town.
Evening in the town hall square.