Cathedrals in Lithuania

Vilnius Cathedral

The Cathedral of Vilnius (Vilniaus Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vladislovo arkikatedra bazilika) is the main Roman Catholic Cathedral of Lithuania and the heart of Catholic spiritual life in Lithuania. It is believed that in pre-Christian times, the Baltic pagan god Perkūnas was worshiped at the site of the cathedral. It has also been postulated that the Lithuanian King Mindaugas ordered the construction of the original cath ...
Founded: 1429 | Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

Kaunas Cathedral Basilica

Kaunas Cathedral Basilica (Kauno Šv. apaštalų Petro ir Povilo arkikatedra bazilika) is a Roman Catholic cathedral basilica. The exact date when the first Gothic style church dedicated to apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul was built is unknown, but it was first mentioned in written sources in 1413. The first parochial school in Kaunas at the St. Peter and St. Paul church was mentioned in 1473. The construction works we ...
Founded: c. 1413 | Location: Kaunas, Lithuania

Telsiai Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua is a seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Telšiai. The history of the church dates back to 1624 when Deputy Chancellor of Lithuania Paweł Stefan Sapieha established a Cistercian monastery and built a wooden church on the Insula hill in the centre of Telšiai. A new spacious brick church was constructed between 1762 and 1794. The tower was built in 1859. In 1893 arch ...
Founded: 1762 | Location: Telšiai, Lithuania

Siauliai Cathedral

A Samogitian elder M. Kęsgaila built the first wooden church in Šiauliai in 1445. Later, the church was destroyed several times, burned down, until it got its present Renaissance appearance in the early 17th century. When pope John Paul II established Šiauliai Diocese, the church became a Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. The church is painted from inside and outside with two shades of white. The Cat ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Šiauliai, Lithuania

Panevezys Cathedral

The Cathedral of Christ the King (Kristaus Karaliaus katedra) is a Roman Catholic cathedral, seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Panevėžys. The cathedral is eclectic combining features of Baroque and Neoclassicism and it was built between 1908-1933. In 1860, bishop Motiejus Valančius began preparations for construction of a new church in Panevėžys. However, after the Uprising of 1863, the Tsarist autho ...
Founded: 1908-1933 | Location: Panevėžys, Lithuania

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).