07 March 2016

A Visit to Vilnius: Vilnius University Courtyards

Vilnius University is the oldest university in the Baltic States. Established in 1579, it is the largest university in Lithuania, and one of the oldest universities in northern Europe. Its campus is scattered throughout the city, but in the center of the Old Town, there are several buildings that are interconnected together through a set of courtyards. This is actually an interesting sight to see, and the university even runs self-guided tours. Just buy a reasonable entrance ticket and you can see it for yourself.

These university buildings are an interesting specimen of the unique architecture that I have seen in the city. I really cannot put my finger on it but there is a feeling that the style here is different from what I have seen in other old European cities. It's definitely not Dutch, nor Flemish, or Viennese, but something different. I just don't know how to express it, since after all I am not well-versed in architectural terms.

Most of the buildings are off-limits to tourists, as after all, this is a functioning university. There are a few buildings however that one can check out inside, and the staff where you buy the tickets will point it out to you. There is an interesting church that is included in the university, but I will save the pictures of that for a later post. However, I have below some interesting pictures from an interior.

Kinda scary, no?

This is Petras Repsys' fresco, entitled "The Seasons of the Year". It was painted in the 1980s, and shows motifs from Baltic mythology. I have to say, we stared at these frescos for quite a bit, and we were amazed and scared at the same time.

So, check this out if you're in town. It's an interesting place, relatively low-key, but worth visiting nevertheless.


  1. Like you, I tend to visit universities abroad when I get the chance. I just step in, look around, it's interesting to see both the buildings (classic or modern? Rich or poor? etc.) and the students!

    1. Zhu,

      Indeed! Have you been to UNAM in Mexico City? That was quite a cool campus as well!