Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania

The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania was built originally in the 15th century for the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Royal Palace in the Lower Castle evolved over the years and prospered during the 16th and mid-17th centuries. For four centuries the palace was the political, administrative and cultural center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Soon after the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was incorporated into Tsarist Russia, Tsarist officials ordered the demolition of the remaining sections of the Royal Palace. The Palace was almost completely demolished in 1801, the bricks and stones were sold, and the site was bowered. Only a small portion of the walls up to the second floor survived, that were sold to a Jewish merchant Abraham Schlossberg around 1800 who incorporated them into his residential house. After the 1831 uprising, the czarist government expelled Schlossberg and took over the building as it was building a fortress beside it. Before the Second World War it was the office of the Lithuanian Army, during the World War II it was the office of the German Army, and after World War II it was used by Soviet security structures and later transformed into the Palace of Pioneers. Fragments of Schlossberg's house have become part of the Eastern Wing of the restored Royal Palace.

A new palace has been under construction since 2002 on the site of the original building. The Royal Palace was officially opened during the celebration of the millennium of the name of Lithuania in 2009.

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Founded: 19th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Lithuania

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Zaki Arshad (2 years ago)
A great historic place to visit, really nice atmosphere inside. There is alot information about the history of Lithuania and monoments which tells the story of great Kings and Queens. The best part translation of every information in English is also provided.
Greta Zabulyte (3 years ago)
For Vilnius, the Palace was alright, tidy and newly built and refurbished. Lots of text to read though. The section regarding the musical instruments had no instruments at all. We loved the artillery and weaponry section - it could have been improved by adding a sentence to each item just to give more context. The tower and the view made our visit. There was some live singing rehearsal which was interesting Even though we enjoyed the overall experience, the first person we met at the tickets office, a young woman was so rude. Didn't greet us (we had foreigners with us), didn't tell us about the leaflets and audio guides. When asked about the tours and guides, she said none were available and I know that wasn't true. To sum up, it's a place with lots of potential, security guards were nice as well as ladies upstairs, but the reception girl wasn't really welcoming.
felix pettifer (3 years ago)
very well done museum, easy to spend a long time learning about Lithuanian history. Would recommend to allow at least 2.5 hours for a visit, but could easily spend half a day there
Steven Beekmans (3 years ago)
Amazing restored palace. The underground route is very nice. It was just 3.50 when we visited, so definitely great value for money. It’s worth it to take the 1 euro audio tour, since there is a lot of reading. The VR experience of the history of the palace was the best part of my visit.
Lukes (3 years ago)
Here we're talking about a museum of World class! I had to go back the next day because of all the information on Lithuanian history. Definitely worth a visit or two for history buffs. The whole palace is built from scratch since the old was destroyed a long time ago, but the replica building is a marvelous sight, they have furnished the rooms with furniture and stuff so we can see how it could have been. The cellar is filled with ruins old old structures. The excavation of the site is very well documented.
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