Old buildings of Vilnius, Lithuania, May 2006

Pictures taken during my trip to Lithuania in May of 2006.

The places captured in these pictures are not necessarily representative of my home town, but they are the most memorable to me. These buildings are not postcard-pretty, but they do have character. I like crumbling, decaying buildings, and walls that meet at odd angles.

Red brick gate and graffiti on Stulginskio street in Vilnius.

Red brick gate and graffiti
CIMG2004 Red brick gate and graffiti on Stulginskio street in Vilnius.

Dilapidated buildings on Stulginskio street in Vilnius. A guy digging in the dumpster: a common sight in Vilnius

Dilapidated buildings
CIMG2016 Dilapidated buildings in Stulginskio street in Vilnius.

The courtyard of the apartment complex where I grew up on Vienuolio street. These buildings are not really ancient, they are just dilapidated enough to have an almost gothic feel. They do inspire the imagination much better than the uniform, manicured American suburbs.

The courtyard of the apartment complex where I grew up
CIMG2076 The courtyard of the apartment complex where I grew up

Same courtyard, different segment.

The courtyard of the apartment complex where I grew up
CIMG2078 The courtyard of the apartment complex where I grew up

Just so the previous two pictures would not give a wrong impression that I grew up in a gloomy, gothy place, here is a more representative picture of the courtyard where I grew up. The house of the left is a house where our apartment was. There was a lot of green space there. But I was always a little envious of the kids who lived in those recessed, mysterious niches as shown in the two pictures above.

A courtyard where I grew up
CIMG2079 A courtyard where I grew up

A courtyard in the center of Vilnius, on the edge of the Old Town, with arched windows. The sign on the left indicates the left building now houses a dentist’s office.

A courtyard in the center of Vilnius
CIMG2097 A courtyard in the center of Vilnius, on the edge of the Old Town, with arched windows.

The same courtyard from a different angle. I like the niche with the staircase leading to the second floor. Or would that be the third, or 2.5th floor? Judging by the configuration of windows below it, there are some kind of shenanigans going on there. There is a window above the ground floor window, so they appear to be on different floors, but they together only occupy the height of one floor.

A courtyard in the center of Vilnius
CIMG2106 A courtyard in the center of Vilnius

A courtyard on Totorių street in Vilnius Old Town

A courtyard on Totoriu street in Vilnius Old Town
CIMG2111 A courtyard on Totoriu street in Vilnius Old Town

A two-level courtyard on Tilto (“Bridge”) street. This place, located smack dab in the middle of Vilnius, is a mystery to me. I call it a two-level courtyard. I wonder what is the function of this semi-circular wall with red tile-covered wings, on the right? And why is there another different layer of buildings on top of this wall? In the next picture you can see a yellow house that appears to be sitting behind the semi-circular wall. Well, it’s actually not behind it, it’s on top of it. Go figure.

Here is another view of the two-level courtyard from 2004.

When I tried to find this courtyard in 2016, I could not. The entrance to it might have been gated off and required an access code.

A two-level courtyard
CIMG2130 A two-level courtyard on Tilto (“Bridge”) street.

Another view of the two-level courtyard. The yellow house that appears to be sitting behind the wall with red tile-covered “wings” — it’s actually not behind it, it’s on top of it.

Two-level courtyard in the center of Vilnius
CIMG2131 Two-level courtyard in the center of Vilnius

The Vilnius Castle, also known as the castle of Duke Gediminas, who was the founder of Vilnius

The Vilnius Castle
CIMG2140 The Vilnius Castle

A view of the bell tower from King Mindaugas bridge in Vilnius

A view from King Mindaugas bridge in Vilnius
CIMG2149 A view of the bell tower from King Mindaugas bridge in Vilnius

A view of the north bank of the Neris river from King Mindaugas bridge in Vilnius. The nearest building on the right is a Soviet era power plant. On the left, in the distance, is the Church of St. Archangel Raphael.

North bank of Neris river
CIMG2151 A view of the north bank of the Neris river from King Mindaugas bridge in Vilnius.

An alley off Pilies (“Castle”) street in the heart of Vilnius Old Town.

An alley in the Old Town
CIMG2157 An alley off Pilies (“Castle”) street in the heart of Vilnius Old Town.

The same alley from further away

An alley in the Old Town
CIMG2160 An alley off Pilies (“Castle”) street in the heart of Vilnius Old Town.

A courtyard off Pilies (“Castle”) street in Vilnius Old Town. The sign “Sidabrynas” implies the building in the back of the courtyard is a silver jewelry shop, though I don’t know exactly what it is.

Sidabrynas
CIMG2162 Nestled in the depth of a courtyard off of Pilies street is Sidabrynas — a silver jewelry shop, judging by its name.

A narrow alley with multiple arches off of Pilies street

A narrow alley with multiple arches off of Pilies street
CIMG2165 A narrow alley with multiple arches off of Pilies street

A cat on a doormat in front of a door on Pilies street

A cat on Pilies street
CIMG2192 A cat on Pilies street

A second floor balcony or a walkway that connects two buildings facing each other, in a courtyard in Vilnius Old Town. I could understand the purpose of this joint balcony if these were office buildings that belonged to the same organization. And perhaps that’s the case. But it’s more fun to think that these are apartment buildings whose residents are just so extraordinarily neighborly.

A second floor walkway or balcony connecting two buildings
CIMG2199 A second floor walkway or balcony connecting two buildings

A view of the Stiklių (“Glassmakers”) street in Vilnius Old Town.

Stikliu street
CIMG2203 A view of the Stiklių (“Glassmakers”) street in Vilnius Old Town.

An outdoors restaurant in the heart of Vilnius Old Town, off of Didžioji (“The Great”) street. It’s situated in the courtyard of a renovated Renaissance or Baroque-era buildings. The awning advertises “Švyturys” (“Lighthouse”), the most popular Lithuanian beer.

An outdoors restaurant in Vilnius Old Town
CIMG2215 An outdoors restaurant in the heart of Vilnius Old Town, off of Didžioji (“The Great”) street.

A view of the Didžioji (“The Great”) street in Vilnius Old Town.

Didzioji street in Vilnius Old Town
CIMG2243 A view of the Didžioji (“The Great”) street in Vilnius Old Town.

Another view of the same section of Didžioji street in Vilnius Old Town. On the right there is the gate of the church of Holy Trinity and Basilian monastery.

Entrance to the church of Holy Trinity and Basilian monastery
CIMG2219 Entrance to the church of Holy Trinity and Basilian monastery

The gate of the Church of the Holy Trinity and Basilian monastery in Vilnius Old Town, with multiple arched passages stretching all the way into the distance.

Trinity / Basilian gate
CIMG2221 The gate of the Church of the Holy Trinity and Basilian monastery in Vilnius Old Town.

The entrance to the Holy Trinity Church and Basilian monastery in Vilnius Old Town, seen from underneath the arched passage from the previous picture, with more arches still ahead.

Trinity / Basilian arches
CIMG2223 Underneath the entrance to the Holy Trinity Church and Basilian monastery in Vilnius Old Town

The inner courtyard of the Holy Trinity church and the Basilian monastery. This what you see when you pass through the Baroque archway shown in the previous pictures. Unlike the exterior that faces the tourist-heavy Didžioji street, the inner courtyard has not been renovated (at least as of 2006). There seems to be lots of trash, or perhaps construction debris, lying around. But dilapidated buildings are dear to my heart, so I’m not complaining.

The inner courtyard of Holy Trinity church and Basilian monastery
CIMG2228 The inner courtyard of Holy Trinity church and Basilian monastery

The inner tower of the Holy Trinity church and the Basilian monastery. I’m not sure what its purpose was or is.

Trinity / Basilian inner tower
CIMG2233 The inner tower of the Holy Trinity church and the Basilian monastery. I’m not sure what its purpose was or is.

St Theresa’s church courtyard with multiple arches

St Theresa's church courtyard
CIMG2242 St Theresa’s church courtyard