One of the most tourist-populated streets in Vilnius is Asro Vartu g. (the Gates of Dawn Street), which leads from the City Hall to the Gates of Dawn. The Gates of Dawn is probably the most important religious, cultural, and historical structure in Vilnius (and maybe all of Lithuania?). In the 1500s, under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius was surrounded by a large city wall with several gates that allowed entry and exit to the center of the city. The other gates have since been destroyed, leaving only the Gates of Dawn. In addition to being the only remaining gate (thus being historically significant), the Gates of Dawn contain a small chapel that holds an icon of the Virgin Mary that is believed by some to bestow miracles. Whatever your beliefs, the Gates of Dawn are interesting historically and the icon (shown in a photo below that was taken from outside of the chapel) is beautiful.
Walking from the City Hall to the Gates of Dawn you pass several other churches (there are SO many churches in Vilnius), numerous shops selling linen or amber and numerous restaurants (that are actually pretty tasty). If you happen to be visiting the Gates of Dawn around a meal time, J suggests paying a visit to Restaurant Medininkai, which he claims has the best goat cheese salad ever. I think I'll have to test it out when we return to Vilnius later this summer...for you know, research purposes. I'll make sure to report back.
I've been settling into my visit in Connecticut and adjusting back to the US after a year away. Next week I'll begin sharing pieces of my trip here. If there is anything you would like to learn about Connecticut please let me know!
Would you visit the Gates of Dawn?