St. Casimir's Church

Vilnius, Lithuania

St. Casimir’s Church was founded by the Jesuits and dedicated to Lithuania’s patron saint Prince Casimir Jagiellon (1458-1484). The construction of the glorious building began in 1604 and was completed in 1635. Burnt to the ground just 20 years later when the Russians invaded in 1655, conflagration visited twice again within the next century in 1709 and 1749 before the architect, mathematician and astronomer Tomas Žebrauskas (Pol. Thomas Zubrówka, 1714-1758) restored it to more or less the form it's seen in today.

Over the centuries the church fell into the hands of the Augustinians, Napoleon’s Grande Armée, the Russian Orthodox Church (who significantly altered its appearance), the Lutherans (who used it as the garrison church for the occupying German Army during WWI) and others, including the Soviets who turned the whole place into a museum of atheism no less. Returned to the Catholic Church in 1988, the building was consecrated in 1991 and has since undergone a massive renovation project, restoring its predominantly Baroque style with Gothic and Renaissance touches. Of particular interest inside are three late Baroque altars and a recently discovered 17th-century crypt containing dark bas-reliefs featuring miscellaneous religious motifs.

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Details

Founded: 1604-1635
Category: Religious sites in Lithuania

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Giedrius Skamarakas (3 years ago)
Beautiful church, big and spacious from inside, nice ornaments and paintings on the walls, worth a look.
Robert Hardin (3 years ago)
The construction of this church is impressive, the atmosphere is pleasant and full of peace. I really enjoyed this visit.
Frecky Lewis (3 years ago)
Beautiful church and worth visiting if you are in Vilnius. Free to enter. The pipe organ inside is beautiful (wish we'd gotten to hear it!). The front of the church features really cool columns with ornate gilded tops, and these columns and the paintings stand out all the more because the side walls of the church are relatively unadorned.
Jeff Clay (3 years ago)
Nice baroque church featuring a luminous painting of Christ rising and a wonderful organ that everyone should hear at some point.
Luka Panourgia (3 years ago)
Beautifuly detailed interior. Welcomes locals and tourists every day all day. There are pamphlets available inside with the Church's hystory in several different languages.
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