Saturday, June 21, 2014

In the Shadow of the University

Yesterday we took advantage of our growing familiarity with old town Vilnius by spreading out from Cathedral Square and its statue of the Grand Duke Gediminas (see photo, above), and down Pilies gatvė in the direction of St. Anne’s Church (see photo, below).  St. Anne’s is a Gothic wonder that was famously admired by Napoleon, who was said to have wanted to spirit it away “in the palm of his hand” to Paris. 

As you can probably tell from the photo of St. Anne's, it was an unusual day weather-wise, as the skies would change dramatically in a matter of minutes.  I took a few pictures during the sunny moments.  The one below was taken in the Bernardinų sodas (Bernardine gardens). 

Nearby, there is a monument to the memory of Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855), “the Lithuanian Goethe,” who is considered the national poet of Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus.  Mickiewicz (see photo, below) graduated from the Imperial University of Vilnius and taught in Kaunas before reconciling himself to political exile and a peripatetic existence in the great capitals of European intellectual life.  

For Jane’s former colleagues at the Folger Shakespeare Library, here’s a photo of the entrance to the Shakespeare Hotel, which is just a block or so from St. Anne’s. 

Back in Pilies gatvė, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant called Aula.  Ken had mushroom soup served in a dark bread bowl.  Jane had a colorful beetroot soup with baked dill potatoes.  Labai skanu!  

Then last night we attended a performance of Handel’s oratorio, Alexander’s Feast, which was a treat for both the eyes and ears, as explained here.  It was performed at the Vilnius Opera House (photo copied from Internet, below), which reminded us of the Kennedy Center (i.e., it's ugly), though it's nicer on the inside, and the acoustics are terrific.




  1. Alexander's Feast has the best drinking song I ever heard...better even than Student Prince.

    -- Jim Herbert

  2. Thanks, Jim! Maybe I should invest in the CD. Ken