Friday, 10 August 2018

The magical Baltics

I have to share the amazing Baltics with you. The Baltics consist of Lithuania, Latvia & Estonia. I had visited Latvia some years back with a friend & I absolutely loved it so when part of our trip included The Baltics, I was so keen to visit them. Their history is closely tied to their Russian / German borders ...

The Baltics with the capitals we visited

Our first stop was Lithuania, with a stay in the lovely capital Vilnius

Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, is known for its baroque architecture, seen especially in its medieval Old Town. But the buildings lining this district’s partially cobblestoned streets reflect diverse styles and eras, from the neoclassical Vilnius Cathedral to Gothic St. Anne's Church. The 16th-century Gate of Dawn, containing a shrine with a sacred Virgin Mary icon, once guarded an entrance to the original city.

The lovely Hill of Crosses

I am always keen to try the local food, there is no point in not taking in the local cuisine & culture. A recommended local restaurant.

From outside, The church of St Peter & Paul was rather plain but what a sight inside. The walls were all whitewashed & the gold details really glistened against it.

We decided to spend an afternoon up the TV tower, taking in a 360 view of Vilnius - wow, it takes 45 minutes to do one revolution of the scene & it was just so relaxing to take in the full view from our lofty perch of 326.5 m (1,071 ft) above the surrounds.

 There are 65 churches in Vilnius. Like most medieval towns, Vilnius was developed around its Town Hall. Pilies Street, the main artery, links the Royal Palace with Town Hall. Other streets meander through the palaces of feudal lords and landlords, churches, shops and craftsmen's workrooms. Narrow, curved streets and intimate courtyards developed in the radial layout of medieval Vilnius.

The Old Town of Vilnius is the historical centre of Vilnius about 3.6 km2 (1.4 sq mi) in size. The most valuable historic and cultural sites are concentrated here. The buildings in the old town—there are nearly 1,500—were built over several centuries, creating a blend of many different architectural styles. Although Vilnius is known as a Baroque city, there are examples of Gothic (e.g. Church of St. Anne), Renaissance, and other styles. Their combination is also a gateway to the historic centre of the capital. Owing to its uniqueness, the Old Town of Vilnius was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.

The lovely island castle of Trakai 

Then onto the lovely Riga in Latvia again. 

I had visited this lovely city previously with a friend in Winter - how different it looked in the bright summer sunshine 

The stunning architecture once again wooed me, it is worthy of another visit even

From Riga, we headed to the last Baltic country of Tallinn in Estonia 

Tallinn, Estonia’s capital on the Baltic Sea, is the country’s cultural hub. It retains its walled, cobblestoned Old Town, home to cafes and shops, as well as Kiek in de Kök, a 15th-century defensive tower. Its Gothic Town Hall, built in the 13th century and with a 64m-high tower, sits in historic Tallinn’s main square. St. Nicholas Church is a 13th-century landmark exhibiting ecclesiastical art.

Wow, what a city, we were blown away by its stunning beauty. A compact city centre that just had so much to see & do. 

I came across an Antiik shop & just had to go in to see what it is like. I was surprised by a lot of military but it was fascinating & I bought a rather sweet pair of silver & rock crystal earrings ... 

When out & about, find a local place to eat to people watch & enjoy some local cuisine. We opted for an outdoors vegetarian one that looked really good as it afforded us a lovely spot to people watch too. The food was absolutely delicious & nutritious

How can you not fall in love with this city? The beautiful buildings, the cobbled streets, interesting alley ways, steps up from the lower town to the walls to enjoy magnificent views across the city - just stunning, we loved it!

What a beautiful city - the views over the rooftops from the top of the stairs, the stunning Russian orthodox church with its imposting spires, the lovely coloured buildings, the clock towers, horse drawn carriages, the arches ... it was all just so stunning. We really had to drag ourselves away from it.

The main square in Tallinn

The long walk from the lower town to the higher part

How lovely is this?

On 14 May 1343, a decisive battle was fought on the grounds of the now Jüriöö Park between the mail‑clad knights of the master of the Livonian order, Von Dreileben, and the Estonian troops. Although this battle took the lives of 3,000 Estonians.

During the years of the Soviet occupation, even most people in Tallinn did not know to link the War Hill by the St. Petersburg Road with the historical Jüriöö uprising.

In today’s Jüriöö Park there are memorials to celebrate and commemorate the most important stages in the history of our country. A sword struck halfway into the ground symbolizes the Jüriöö uprising, and there is also a memorial stone to the Fighters in the Estonian War of Independence, and a monument to All Estonians in World War II.

I hope you have loved the views of the Baltics as much as we enjoyed being there.  

Thank you for stopping by, for supporting my blog & being kind enough to leave a comment
Dee ~💕~

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