Gediminas' Tower

Vilnius, Lithuania

Gediminas' Tower is the only remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius. The first fortifications were built of wood by Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Gediminas. Later the first brick castle was completed in 1409 by Grand Duke Vytautas. Some remnants of the old castle have been restored, guided by archeological research.

It is possible to climb to the top of the hill on foot or by taking a funicular. The tower houses an exposition of archeologic findings from the hill and the surrounding areas. It is also an excellent vantage point, from where the panorama of Vilnius' Old Town can be admired.

Gediminas' Tower is an important state and historic symbol of the city of Vilnius and of Lithuania itself. It is depicted on the national currency, the litas, and is mentioned in numerous Lithuanian patriotic poems and folk songs. The Flag of Lithuania was re-hoisted atop the tower on October 7, 1988, during the independence movement that was finalized by the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania on March 11, 1990. A reconstruction of the Royal Palace of Lithuania was completed in 2009, and is located near the base of the hill upon which Gediminas' Tower stands.

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Details

Founded: c. 1409
Category: Castles and fortifications in Lithuania

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael Dzikovskyi (2 months ago)
Symbol of Vilnius that allow you to take a look over from the great height. IMO 5 Euro entrance fee is a rip-off for what you get here, compared to amount of exhibits in Palace of the Grand Dukes or National Museum. I consider that big fee as a donation to ongoing archaeological work there. The only option to get to WC on the tower is to take the free funicular ride down, the WC is in the room, where funicular stops. The ride down is free until you want to leave the room, because you need 1 euro ticket to leave it (you can buy it there, if you wish to or take another free ride on top and go down by foot).
Alex S (2 months ago)
This is the old castle tower that has significant historical importance and was built at 1409. The great sight is opened from the tower to the city.
Chris Wilson (4 months ago)
Very much enjoyed taking in the history and impressive views over and around Vilnius. Entry to the museum was good value and it's a good work out walking all the way up the cobbled hill! Very much worth a visit.
Ann Wright (4 months ago)
Fabulous view of the city. Great exhibitions inside. Funicular wasn’t working and it’s a steep walk up, and more stairs inside so not suitable for anyone with mobility issues. But if you can it’s worth the visit
Frecky Lewis (6 months ago)
If you can possibly manage it, the climb to this tower is well worth the effort. Even if you don't climb the tower itself, the view of Vilnius from its base is still quite nice. We visited around sunset, which gave us the opportunity to see the city in the final moments of sunlight and then appreciate it as the sky grew darker and the surrounding lights came on. Great experience.
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After being stormed and plundered by the rebels it was partially rebuilt. The pointed roofs and stepped gables are features which have survived this period. The reconstruction explains why two periods can be identified in the fabric of the edifice, particularly on the outside.

The red Brabant sandstone surrounds of the embrasures, now more or less all bricked up, are characteristic of the 15th century. The other embrasures, edged with white sandstone, date from the end of the 15th century. They were intended for setting up the artillery fire. The merlons too are in white sandstone. The year 1617 can be clearly seen in the foundation support on the first tower. This refers to restorations carried out at the time by the Arenberg family.

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The second and third towers are flanked by watchtowers from which shots could be fired directly below. Between the second and third tower are two openings in the walkway on the wall. It is not clear what these were used for. Were these holes used for the disposing of rubbish, or escape routes. The windows on the exterior are narrow and low. All light entering comes from the interior. The few larger windows on the exterior date from a later period. It is most probable that the third tower - the highest - was used as a watchtower.