"Grand duke Gediminas' town - Vilnius." Vilnius by Askla

Vilnius Travel Guide: 1,745 reviews and 3,598 photos

A very brief historical review.

Vilnius was officially founded in 1323 by Gediminas, grand duke from 1316 to 1341. The town is presumably older than so, but this year Vilnius was mentioned for the first time in a document Gediminas sent to several European kingdoms and principalities. Merchants, craftsmen and artists were invited to settle in his country with its capital Vilnius - the capital in what is said to have been the largest big power during medieval times stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and covering today's Belarus, almost the whole of Ukraine and great parts of Russia.

You might already have heard the legend about why Gediminas founded Vilnius at the site he actually did, but in case you haven't.....here it is:
Gediminas had been out hunting. Instead of riding all the way home to his castle in Trakai, 28km away, he decided to rest overnight on the neck of land where the two rivers Neris and Vilnia interconnects. During his sleep he had a dream in which an enormous wolf showed on the mountain above the camping-ground. The next day Gediminas asked his priests what could be the meaning of the dream. They said it meant he should build a town on top of the mountain where he had seen the wolf. They also said that the town would be widely known and last longer than the howling of ALL wolfs in the world.
Gediminas took their advice and built his capital.

  • Last visit to Vilnius: Aug 2010
  • Intro Updated Oct 28, 2010
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