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Special Vilnius route: Vilnius for people with movement disabilities

Vilnius route for people with movement disabilities

This route is the first tourist route of Vilnius city intended for the individuals with limited movement abilities. The idea to establish this kind of route originated on account of several reasons:
Firstly, were received enquiries about the possibilities for the individuals in wheelchairs to arrive in Vilnius, to use public transport, visit museums and other places of interest.
Secondly, the experience shows that individuals with movement disabilities can take part in Vilnius sightseeing tours (having chosen a special route) and visit the most beautiful sights of the Old Town. Thirdly, this route should offer an encouragement to the individuals with movement disabilities to travel, having warned them of possible inconveniences in advance.
The physical and social environment in Vilnius is not sufficiently well adapted to the needs of the disabled. Due to one reason or another no universal environment has been created that is adapted to every individual (both healthy or moving in a wheelchair, or an individual of an elderly age with movement disabilities). Objects of the cultural heritage located in the Old Town and the centre of the city are adapted to being visited, and some of the objects are adapted only in part (for example, only the ground floor can be visited, there is no toilet for the disabled visitors, etc.). The pavement with the ramp to descend is equipped in some places only; narrow streets and pavements of the Old Town can also cause inconvenience.
Despite the existing problems, we invite you to try the route from Aušros Vartai (the Gate of Dawn) to the Arsenal, which is an interesting historical and cultural site. Next to every object on the route there are warnings about the possible obstacles (for example, a steep hillside, a step, etc.).
This route was worked out in April-June 2010 in the presence of the individuals with movement disabilities and taking into consideration their remarks and propositions.
You are recommended to become acquainted with the route prior to travelling and to assess your physical condition and your strength.
We recommend you to travel together with an accompanying person and/or take our guide.

Duration of the route is 2 - 4 hours (the duration depends on whether you visit museums or not). Total length of the offered route is about 3 kilometres.

A shorter route is also possible:
  • when a person travels from Pilies Street to Cathedral Square (without turning into Maironio Street) – about 2 kilometres.
  • when one travels from Pilies Street to Cathedral Square (without turning into Maironio Street) and the route ends in Cathedral Square (without turning into Arsenalo Street) – about 1,5 kilometres.
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Vilnius route for people with movement disabilities
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1. Aušros Vartai (Gate of Dawn)
The Gate of Dawn is the only surviving gate of the original ten gates in the city wall built in 1514. The Chapel with its painting of the Mother of God, the Mother of Mercy, acknowledged miraculous is one of the most significant religious, historical and cultural places in Lithuania.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only; Information board available

2. Museum of Wax Figures
This is the first gallery of wax figures in the Baltic States located on the groundfloor of the house and in its basement, in an area of 150 square metres. About 70 sculptures of natural size – film heroes, politicians, performers, actors, sportsmen – are displayed there.
*Only the ground floor is adapted to be visited; Admission fee is charged / paid services; Check opening (visiting) times

3. Folk Artist Jonas Bugailiškis’Art Studio-Museum
Jonas Bugailiškis is a member of the Lithuanian Union of Folk Artists, a sculptor, master of musical instruments and children’s toys. One can see various works of the folk artist in his creative workshop (the courtyard).
*By arrangement. Advance booking only; Hillside; Uneven pavement / doorstep at the entrance

4. Church of St. Theresa
The Church is one of the earliest Baroque churches in Vilnius. It was built on the initiative and with funds from vice chancellor Stephan Pac between 1633 and 1654. Later the Pociej Chapelmausoleum devoted to that family was attached to it. There is one of the most beautiful altars (the High Altar), paintings by famous Lithuanian painters in the Church.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only; Information board available

5. Church of the Holy Spirit and Monastery
Legend has it that three courtiers of Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas who had already converted to Orthodoxy, refused to renounce their new faith and were tortured to death by the pagan priests nearby the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church was built in the 16th century. In the 19th century it was decided to create a place of the cult of the relics of the three martyrs. Monasteries, both male and female, at the Orthodox Church are the only Orthodox monasteries to remain open in Lithuania today.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only; Information board available

6. Museum of Amber Figures
The Museum collects, accumulates and displays amber articles created by artists, as well as unique pieces of amber. Visitors are acquainted with the history of the origin of amber and technologies of its processing.
*Well-adjusted to visiting / easily accessible; Check opening (visiting) times

7. Basilian Gate
The elegant gate of the Basilian Monastery was designed by famous architect of Vilnius Johann Christoph Glaubitz. Behind the arch of the gate (there is a very steep hillside in the yard) is the territory of the former Basilian monastery around a yard at the centre of which stands the Church of the Holy Trinity, which belonged to the religious community of the Uniates. At the beginning of the 19th century a part of the monastery held a prison; incarcerated in its cells were members of the Philaret and Philomat movement, including poet Adam Mickiewicz (a plaque over the door of the south wing records this fact) and scientist Ignacy Domeyko.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only; Information board available

8. Philharmonic Society
The massive Philharmonic Society building, formerly the City Hall was built in 1902 in place of a Gothic Russian merchants’ inn. Today it is one of the most luxurious historicism-style buildings in Vilnius. The Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society unites the best Lithuanian music performers and ensembles. The Philharmonic Society holds symphonic and chamber music concerts. The Philharmonic Hall can be visited but it is recommended to call about the tickets in advance.
*By arrangement. Advance booking only

9. Church of St. Casimir
It was built by the Jesuits: work began on it in 1604, just two years after St. Casimir had been canonised and it was dedicated to his memory. The Baroque Church is famous for its magnificent domes. In the 19th – 20th century the Church was closed down several times, the purpose of the building was changed (in 1932 it was converted into an Orthodox church, and in 1966 it was turned into a Museum of Atheism and continued to be used as such until 1988); it was reconsecrated in 1991.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only; Information board available

10. Town Hall
The Town Hall was established by Jogaila’s privilege and was built as a symbol of granting Vilnius the Magdeburg Rights at the end of the 14th century. The Town Hall contained a magistrate, courtrooms, the treasury, the archive, special premises for keeping standard metres and measures, storerooms for grain, the arsenal and the basement being used as prison cells. The present building was constructed at the end of the 18th century according to a project by architect Laurynas Gucevičius in a strict Classical style after fire destroyed the earlier gothic building. Later it was converted into a theatre, and art museum and the palace of artists. Today the Town Hall is used for different official ceremonies, concerts and exhibitions.
*By arrangement. Advance booking only; Admission fee is charged / paid services; Information board available

11. Contemporary Art Centre
The Contemporary Art Centre is the largest contemporary art centre in the Baltic States. Two floors of the Contemporary Art Centre contain five exhibition halls. Avant-garde art created by the Lithuanian and foreign artists, as well as retrospective exhibitions of the 20th –21st century art are mounted there.
*Lift / special chairlift; Admission fee is charged / paid services; No adapted toilet available

12. Russian Orthodox Church of St. Michael
It was built in 1514 by the great hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Constantine Ostrogsky. In the 18th century fires destroyed the old Gothic church; it was reconstructed in the late Baroque style. While implementing the tsarist Russification program, by Muravyov’s order it was reconstructed in the Russian Byzantine style. The walls of the Church are built in the Gothic manner, the facade and the interior has numerous Gothic details.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only; Information board available

13. French Cultural Centre
In 1804, the building that today houses the French Cultural Centre belonged to the university and was converted into professors’ apartments. Many culture figures lived there in the 19th century: outstanding medical doctor Joseph Frank, chemist Jędrzej Śniadecki and others. During the 1812 war the treasury of Napoleon’s army was kept here; an army intendant Henri Beyle (who later became the writer Stendhal) also stayed in this building. The French Cultural Centre contains a mediatheque, a bookshop, and a café. Various events, the French language courses are organised there.
*Only one part adapted to be visited; By arrangement. Advance booking only; No adapted toilet available

14. Vilnius Picture Gallery
Since 1994 the Chodkiewicz estate – one of the most impressive ensembles of Classicist Vilnius architecture – has housed the Vilnius Picture Gallery. This estate formed in the period of Gothic and Renaissance and in the middle of the 19th century the building was reconstructed in the style of late Classicism and acquired its present appearance. The interior of the Vilnius estate of the 19th century has been recreated in the halls of the first floor. It houses a permanent exhibition of Lithuanian painting, graphic art and sculpture of the 16th-19th century.
*Check opening (visiting) times; By arrangement. Advance booking only; Admission fee is charged / paid services

15. Church of St. Paraskeva (Piatnica)
At the end of the 16th century a brick church was build in place of the first church that burned down. In 1611, the church and the adjacent buildings with an asylum were given to the Uniates. In the 18th century Peter I visited the renovated church and honoured it by donating flags seized from the vanquished Swedes. Legend has it that Peter I baptised the forefather of Alexander Pushkin, the African Hannibal, in this church.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only; Information board available

16. Social Institutions Information Centre – Souvenir Shop
One can see and acquire original souvenirs made by the disabled people here. There are various leather items, knitted, woven and sewn clothes, ceramics, pottery and pictures. Everyone who buys a souvenir at this Centre supports a disabled person.
*Narrow pavement; Hillside; Check opening (visiting) times

17. House of Signatories
The House of Signatories of Lithuania’s independence is a historical and architectural building. It was here that on 16 February 1918 the Council’s 20 members signed the deed declaring Lithuania an independent state. The House of Signatories shows the room, restored according to information provided by a single old photograph, where the document was signed, and mounts rotating exhibitions about the individual signatories.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only

18. Pilies Street
Pilies Street is the most popular street in Vilnius. It is a continuation of Didžioji Street. Though Vilnius was damaged and destroyed in the fires many times, this street has preserved its old appearance and traces of the old architecture: small courtyards, arcades, vaults, original staircases and basements. The primary and most important function of the street was commercial. The street served as a kind of spinal cord to the old town that grew around. It connected the Castle with the main marketplace, Town Hall Square. Pilies Street No. 12 is a Gothic house with reconstructed decorative gothic facades and cylindrical vaults in the basement and on the ground floor.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only

19. Church of St. Francis from Assisi (Bernardine)
The first Bernardine Church built in Vilnius in the 15th century most probably was wooden, and a monastery was established next to it. Today the Church of St. Francis from Assisi is one of the largest Gothic sanctuaries. The Church of St. Anne is built close to it.
*Only the ground floor is adapted to be visited

20. Church of St. Anne
The Church of St. Anne is one of the most beautiful and famous structures in Vilnius built at the turn of the 15th and the 16th centuries. This is a masterpiece of late (so-called flamboyant) Gothic, nearly unsurpassed in the world. It is a subject of a much-quoted remark, said to have been made by Napoleon when his army occupied Vilnius in 1812, that he would like to be able to place it on the palm of his hand and take it back with him to Paris.
*Object to be viewed from the outside only; Information board available

21. Exposition Halls Titanikas
Exhibitions of the collections of the Academy’s Museum, works by the lecturers, graduates, art creators, Lithuanian and foreign art, design, architecture, photo media, as well as other events of art and culture are held in the exposition halls Titanikas situated in the Design Innovations Centre of Vilnius Academy of Arts.
*Well-adjusted to visiting / easily accessible; Lift / special chairlift; Adapted toilet available

22. Sereikiškių Park
In 2010, Sereikiškių Park, which is situated in one of the most beautiful places in the city, was reconstructed according to the 1886–1888 design of artist A. Strauss. In 2011-2012, the former garden of the monastery will be recreated, the botanic gardens, a conservatory, a special place for chamber events, a rock garden, a rosarium and ponds will be built.

23. Juškus Gallery
This is the first private professional art gallery in Lithuania founded in 1990 close to Sereikiškių Park. The main trend in the activity of the gallery is to represent and propagate art of modern classics of Lithuania and the Baltic States of the 20th century. The gallery displays works of the most outstanding painters and artists.
*Well-adjusted to visiting / easily accessible; Hillside; Check opening (visiting) times

24. Part of the Park (Valley of Šventaragis)
The part of the Park near Cathedral Square and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania adorns the centre of the city. The former valley of Šventaragis (in historical sources its place is defined to have been at the confluence of the Neris and the Vilnia Rivers) is related to the ancient Baltic (Lithuanian) religion and mythology. Grand Dukes of Lithuania used to be buried here and legend has it that in the 13th century ruler Šventaragis started this burial tradition. The temple of Perkūnas stood in the valley of Šventaragis, an eternal fire burned there, various rituals used to be performed there.
*Adapted toilet available; Admission fee is charged / paid services

25. Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
A wooden settlement used to be in this historic place in the 4th–8th century. In the 8th–14th century a part of the settlement turned into a castle. Almost all rulers of Lithuania resided there. They expanded and rebuilt the palace and in the 15th–17th century Vilnius became one of the largest centres in Europe. In the 18th–19th century the occupants devastated and completely ruined the palace. Opening of the Museum has been postponed.
*Admission fee is charged / paid services; Check opening (visiting) times

26. Monument to Grand Duke Gediminas
Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas (ruled between 1316 and 1341) is considered to be the founder of the city of Vilnius. The monument, which was made to a design by Vytautas Kašuba, a New York-based Lithuanian, was unveiled in 1996..
*Well-adjusted to visiting / easily accessible

27. Cathedral Square, Bell Tower
Cathedral Square is one of the places in Vilnius that was mentioned earliest. In the 18th century the Lower Castle stood in this square; it was the administrative and defensive centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it contained the arsenal and religious institutions. In the 15th century the defensive tower of the Castle was transformed into a belfry (not visited). Today the brown band on the pavement in the Square marks the contours of the former defensive wall.
*Well-adjusted to visiting / easily accessible; Information board available

28. Tile Miracle
There is a tile in Cathedral Square bearing the word Miracle written in coloured letters. It is believed that your wish will certainly come true if you stand on the tile created by the artist Gitenis Umbrasas and turn round your axis.
*Well-adjusted to visiting / easily accessible

29. Cathedral and Chapel of St. Casimir
The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Stanislaus and St. Vladislaus was built in the centre of the city on the site of the former pagan sanctuary. Because of frequent fires, wars and soft ground the Cathedral was reconstructed and renovated many times. Today the Cathedral is the most monumental purely Classical building (architect Laurynas Gucevičius). The architect included St. Casimir’s Chapel into it, which is one of the most valuable and typical Baroque monuments. The central entrance to the Cathedral has stairs and the side entrance is through a narrow door with a doorstep.
*Uneven pavement / doorstep at the entrance; One step at the entrance

30. Monument to King Mindaugas
A 3,5 meter-high granite monument to King Mindaugas was unveiled in 2003 (sculptor Regimantas Midvikis). The King is portrayed sitting on the throne and holding the King’s regalia – the Royal Sceptre and a ball with a cross. The pedestal of the monument is surrounded by the Sun calendar in which the most important pagan and Christian festivals are marked.
*Well-adjusted to visiting / easily accessible; Uneven pavement / doorstep at the entrance

31. New and Old Arsenal
The Lithuanian National Museum is the largest depository of the historic heritage of Lithuania and at the same time it is the oldest museum whose sources date back to 1855 when the Museum of Antiquities in Vilnius was founded. Authentic exhibits reflect the history of Lithuania, present traditional Lithuanian culture and customs in the exposition of the New Arsenal. The exposition (pre-history) of the Old Arsenal acquaints one with archaeology, history and ethnic culture of Lithuania.
*Only the ground floor is adapted to be visited; Admission fee is charged / paid services; Check opening (visiting) times

32. Funicular and Gediminas Castle Hill
It takes 35 seconds for the funicular to cover a 71-meter long section from the foot of Gediminas Hill up to the top. When going up in the funicular one can enjoy a spectacular view of the Neris River. The exposition of Gediminas Castle (not suited to be visited) acquaints one with the models of reconstruction of Vilnius castles in the 14th – 17th century, armoury, and iconographic material of old Vilnius. A magnificent panorama of the Old Town opens from Gediminas Castle.
*Admission fee is charged / paid services; Check opening (visiting) times

33. Museum of Applied Art
The Museum is located in the Old Arsenal, which in the middle of the 16th century was mentioned as one of the structures of the Lower Castle. During the archaeological investigations into the Old Arsenal carried out between 1972 and 1978, a brick wall and a quadrangular tower (its remnants can be seen upon entering the Museum) of the middle of the 14th century, as well as the lancet gates of the castle through which visitors get into the Museum today, were uncovered.
*Admission fee is charged / paid services; By arrangement. Advance booking only; Check opening (visiting) times.
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Recommended hotels:
Europa Royal Vilnius **** - One room adapted to the disabled; Lift / special chairlift; Ring a special bell on entering
Ramada Hotel & Suites Vilnius ***** - Two rooms adapted to the disabled; Hillside
Radisson Blu Astorija Hotel ***** - One room adapted to the disabled; Hillside
Narutis ***** - One room adapted to the disabled; Lift / special chairlift; One step at the entrance
Amberton **** - One room adapted to the disabled; Lift / special chairlift
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Recommended restaurants:
Restaurant Da Antonio - Well-adjusted to visiting / easily accessible; Adapted toilet available
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We recommend you to visit Gedimino Avenue where there is a well-adjusted pavement, trading centres.
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To book a guided Vilnius tour please contact us info@baltictour.com.
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