Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vilnius, Lithuania

I love this unusual, spooky card from Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. It's hard to tell, but these women are actually statues on the marquee of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre. The theatre was opened in 1940 and has staged over 200 performances since it opened. It is currently directed by Rimas Tuminas and performances range from classics by Shakespeare and Fyodor Dostoyevsky to modern plays written by up-and-coming Lithuanian playwrights. In fact, every noteworthy Lithuanian playwright has worked on the stage at the National Theatre. In 2001, the theatre became a member of the European Theatre Convention, a very prestigious organization. The current acting company is composed of 35 actors with 20 performances in its repertoire. The theatre is located in the heart of Vilnius Old Town, a dramatically beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bizarre, beautiful and bewitching, Lithuania's capital seduces visitors with its astonishing Old Town charm. Its chocolate-box baroque skyline littered with the spires of Orthodox and Catholic churches are intoxicating, decadent and fragile - so much so that Unesco has declared this, Europe's largest baroque old town, a World Heritage site. But there's more to this devilishly attractive capital than meets the eye. There is an underlying oddness that creates its soul.Where else could there be the world's only statue of psychedelic musician and composer Frank Zappa? Or a self-proclaimed, unofficial, independent republic inhabited by artists and dreaming bohemians? Where else is there the spirit of freedom and resistance that existed during Soviet occupation? There are reminders of loss and pain everywhere, from the horror of the KGB's torture cells to the ghetto in the centre of all this beauty where the Jewish community lived before their mass wartime slaughter.Strange bars glow inside dark courtyards and medieval archways frame the life of the narrow, cobbled streets through which change has swept with panache. Using foreign cash and local vision, this stylish little city has big plans. But new business and infrastructure - even a skyscraper skyline - won't disguise the curious charm of eccentric, soulful Vilnius. (Source: Lonely Planet)


Anonymous said...

Hi Katie, really like your blog. I just joined Postcrossing and you are about to receive a postcard from me ;-)!
I'm going to follow your blog through Google Reader!
Greetings from the other side of the ocean.
Meinhild (Corbasienne)

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