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Jul
22
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Gediminas Tower – A symbol of Vilnius.

Gediminas Tower – A symbol of Vilnius. Gediminas Tower is perched on a hill and is one of its most visible sights. Unfortunately I had two strikes against me when I decided to climb up the steep hill to the castle. One was that it was pouring with rain and secondly after the effort it was closed. The Tower is all that remains of what was once the Upper Castle which was built on the hilltop by Grand Duke...
Jul
21
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Panerai – A destination that meant death!

Panerai – A destination that meant death! This was one of the eeriest and most poignant places I have ever visited. Panerai, sitated in a forest was the sight of untold atrocities during the Second World War, where 100,000 poor souls dug there own pits and were shot, falling into the ravines layer after layer. Vilnius’s large pre-war Jewish population were particularly targeted and 70,000 Jews lost their...
Jul
20
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KGB Museum, Vilnius. Everyone goes there!

KGB Museum, Vilnius. Everyone goes there! Most tourists to Vilnus head straight to this excellent museum. Also know as “The Museum of Genocide Victims” it gives a poignant and sometimes terrifying account of Lithuanias history. This large and imposing building dates back to the end of the 19th century when it was used as the court of Vilnius province to the Russian Empire. During most of the First...
Jun
26
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Riga Old Town and the Angry Cats

Riga Old Town and the Angry Cats The Old City of Riga ocvers a small inner area of the city but it packs a powerful punch when it comes to historical buildings and narrow cobblestoned  streets.  In medieval times Riga was an important harbour and was a member of the  Hanseatic League. One of the sights that I found fascinating was the cat which sits in an angry pose on top of the Cat House. There are...
Jun
25
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Riga Powder Tower – where they kept the gunpowder.

Riga Powder Tower – where they kept the gunpowder. This rather ancient building situated in the old city houses Latvia’s  Military Museum, which unfortunately I didn’t have time for, so a few words about the building. The tower dates back to the 15th century. In 1621 invading Swedish troops destroyed all but the foundations of the building. In 1650 it was rebuilt and  not only to protect the city’s...
Jun
24
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Sun Museum, Riga – The only one in the world

Sun Museum, Riga – The only one in the world This is the only museim in the world dedicated to the sun and in principle it was one of the best museums I had ever been too. I say in principle because there is a huge amount of information available, but it’s all in Latvian. You can find the museum at VaLnu street 30.  For anyone with any basic education much of the story of how the sun came into being will at...
Jun
24
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Riga free walking tour – Totally entertaining.

Riga free walking tour – Totally entertaining. First of all and much to my surprise this tour is not about the old town of Riga but a walk through the new part of town. I was initially rather disappointed but once we got going any doubts were soon dispelled. You don’t need to book in advance, just turn up any day of the week outside the main entrance to St. Peters church in the old city. The guide will have a...
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