The Gate of Dawn, a city-gate, was built between 1503 and 1522 as a part of defensive fortifications for the city of Vilnius. It has also been known as the Medininkai Gate, as it led to the village Medininkai south of Vilnius as well as Aštra broma, which derivative for the Lithuanian language word aštra meaning sharp. Of the nine city gates, only the Gate of Dawn remains, while the others were destroyed by the order of the government at the end of the 18th century.

In the 16th century city gates often contained religious artifacts intended to guard the city from attacks and to bless travelers. The Chapel in the Gate of Dawn contains an icon of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy, said to have miraculous powers. For centuries the picture has been one of the symbols of the city and an object of veneration for both Roman Catholic and Orthodox inhabitants. Thousands of votive offerings adorn the walls and many pilgrims from neighboring countries come to pray in front of the beloved painting. Masses are held in Lithuanian and Polish languages.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1503-1522
Category:

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gábor Mondovics (3 years ago)
Good meeting point. Nice start place for a walk in suburb.
Sachin Rao (3 years ago)
This is a beautiful and simple monument that is like an entry point to the actual heart of Vilnius. You enter through here, only to be welcomed with a bouquet of architectural marvels followed one after the other.
Swee Ping Y (3 years ago)
A historical landmark where many pilgrims make a trip to this beautiful church to see the icon - Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn (The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy), which is said to have miraculous powers. Can’t take photos inside the church but it beautiful to see it with our naked eyes and admire it. Entrance to the church is via the same door on the left side.
Cedric QianYi Sun (3 years ago)
Built in the 1500’s ,Historical. It’s the only survivor of the original gates around the city of Vilnius. The most famous part is the chapel above it, where you can visit the world famous and authentic painting of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Depends on the time and season there may be big group visitors, as the chapel is very small so try not to go when it’s crowded. No photo is permitted , and please respect that.
Planet Airlines (3 years ago)
The Gates of Dawn, one of the most visited shrines in Vilnius. This is the only surviving gate of the first original five gates in the city wall that was built between 1503 and 1522. There is virgin at the top, which you can enter via a door on the left wall. Keep silence during your visit please.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".