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Museums

Museum lovers will not be disappointed by the Lithuanian National Museum, the Museum of Applied Art and the Vilnius Picture Gallery. Admirers of contemporary art will find it worth visiting the Contemporary Art Centre, while those who wish to feel the chill of the dreadful totalitarian era inflicted on Lithuania (1940–1990) can visit the Genocide Victims’ Museum, which has been established in former KGB premises.

For more information about museums visit www.vilnius-tourism.lt

National Museum of Lithuania

Arsenalo St. 1

Tel. +370 5 262 9426

Open: May–September: Tue to Sat 10:00–17:00, Sun 10:00–15:00;

October–April: Wed to Sun 10:00–18:00

www.lnm.lt

This museum is the largest depository of Lithuanian historical heritage in the country. Its divisions (Old and New Arsenals and others) exhibit the largest and most unique collections related to archaeological research and historical heritage representing the state of Lithuania and its traditional national culture.

A funicular railway to the top of Gediminas Hill operates from the enclosed courtyard of the museum.

 

New Arsenal

Arsenalo St. 1

Tel. +370 5 262 9426

Open: May–September Tue to Sat 10:00–17:00, Sun 10:00–15:00;

October–April: Wed to Sun 10:00–17:00

One of the expositions is devoted to the political and social development of Lithuania from the day of its establishment to the day of its fall; the other— the ethnographical exposition—is dedicated to the traditional trades and household of the Lithuanian farmer of the 18th–20th centuries. The folk art section includes attributes of calendar traditions, i.e. masks, Easter palms and eggs, as well as folk sculpture, old memorials, crosses, and graphics.
 

Old Arsenal

Arsenalo St. 3

Tel. +370 5 212 2452

Open: May–September: Tue to Sat 10:00–17:00, Sun 10:00–15:00;

October–April: Wed to Sun 10:00–17:00

This museum is dedicated to Lithuania’s pre-history starting from the appearance of the first inhabitants in the territory of the country to establishment of the state. The exposition contains work and household items of the first Lithuanian inhabitants and illustrates the history of the formation of the Baltic culture.

 

Gediminas Castle Tower

Arsenalo St. 5

Tel. +370 5 261 7453

Open: May–September: Mon to Sun 10:00–19:00;

October–April: Tue to Sun 10:00–17:00

Visitors are especially fond of the tower due to the beautiful panorama of the Old Town and the city centre that can be seen from the top.

Models of Vilnius Castles from the second half of the 15th and the beginning of the 17th century and weaponry and iconography of Old Vilnius are exhibited in the tower. Visitors can get to the top of the Gediminas Hill by a funicular railway from the enclosed courtyard of the National Museum of Lithuania or on foot along a cobbled road from Šventaragio Square. Hours of operation of the funicular railway: Mon – closed; Tue to Sun 10:00–18:00. Ticket prices (return): adults – 2 litas, pupils under 18, students, and pensioners – 1 litas, children under 10 – free-of-charge.

 

House-Museum of Kazys Varnelis

Didžioji St. 26

Tel. +370 5 279 1644

Open: Tue to Sat 10:00–16:00

Visits by prior arrangement (by phone) only.

The 33 halls in the house of the famous Lithuanian-born artist—a stained-glass professional and virtuoso of contemporary art (minimalism, optical art, new materialism)—contain various valuable collections of old graphics, paintings, sculptures, furniture from the Renaissance and later periods, oriental art, maps and abstract works by Kazys Varnelis himself.

 

House of Signatories

Pilies St. 26

Tel. +370 5 231 4437

Open: May–September: Tue to Sat 10:00–17:00, Sun 10:00–15:00;

October–April: Tue to Sun 10:00–17:00

This is the building where the independence of Lithuania was declared and the Act of Independence of Lithuania was signed on 16 February 1918. The museum houses a regularly updated exposition dedicated to signatories of the Act of 16 February.

 

Bastion of Vilnius Defence Wall

Bokšto St. 20/18

Tel. +370 5 261 2149

Open: May–September Tue to Sat 10:00–17:00, Sun 10:00–15:00;

October–April Wed to Sun 10:00–17:00

The bastion is a Renaissance defence complex of authentic construction situated next to the former city wall and dating back to the 17th century. It houses an historic exposition of armaments and provides visitors with the possibility to enjoy a wonderful panorama of the Old Town. The museum is currently closed for reconstruction.

 

Lithuanian Art Museum

www.ldm.lt

As a national cultural institution, the Lithuanian Art Museum has several divisions: Vilnius Picture Gallery, Museum of Applied Art, Radvila Palace, National Art Gallery in Vilnius; Pranas Domšaitis Gallery and Clock Museum in Klaipėda,; Amber Museum in Palanga; and Museum of Miniature Arts in Juodkrantė. The Pranas Gudynas Centre for Restoration which also belongs to the museum is located in the capital.

 

Vilnius Picture Gallery

Didžioji St. 4

Tel.: +370 5 212 0841, +370 5 212 4258

Guided tours and educational activities can be ordered by phone +370 5 212 4258

www.ldm.lt

Open: Tue to Sat 12:00–18:00, Sun 12:00–17:00

The gallery is located in the large ornate palace of Counts Chodkevičiai, which boasts impressive Late Classical interiors. The gallery is the only place in the world where you can visit a permanent exposition presenting Lithuanian history of art from the 16th century until the beginning of the 20th century. A collection of works by Vilnius Art School artists of the 18th and 19th centuries is of particular value. Various exhibitions, cultural evenings and classical music concerts are constantly organised in the gallery.

 

Radvila Palace

Vilniaus St. 22

Tel.: +370 5 212 1477, +370 5 262 0981

Guided tours and educational activities can be ordered by phone +370 5 212 1477

www.ldm.lt

Open: Tue to Sat 12:00–18:00, Sun 12:00–17:00

Part of this palace, which was known as the Louvre of Vilnius in the 17th century, has housed an exposition of art from foreign countries (Western and Central Europe, Russia) for a considerable time. The largest thematic exhibitions of the Lithuanian Art Museum are currently on display, and there is a gallery of 18th century graphic portraits of the Radvila noblemen. The Art Cognition Centre of the Lithuanian Art Museum is also located here.

 

Museum of Applied Art

Arsenalo St. 3A

Tel.: +370 5 212 1813, +370 5 262 8080

Guided tours and educational activities can be ordered by phone +370 5 212 1813

www.ldm.lt

The restored Renaissance palace of the Old Arsenal of Vilnius Lower Castle has long exhibited applied art of the 13th–20th centuries from Lithuania and other countries. Since 1999, national and international exhibitions have been organised under Lithuania’s Millennium programme. The 2009 programme includes a Lithuanian folk art exhibition “Yearning for Nature. European Landscapes” under the programme “Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009” dedicated to the celebration of Lithuania’s Millennium, and other exhibitions. The museum often hosts representative and cultural events and classical music concerts.

 

National Art Gallery

Konstitucijos Ave. 22

Tel. +370 5 212 2997

Guided tours and educational activities can be ordered by phone +370 5 212 2997

www.ldm.lt, www.ndg.lt

The reconstructed and modernised gallery will be opened on 19 June 2009. It will host a permanent exposition of Lithuanian art of the 20th and 21st centuries. The gallery will present the most prominent exhibitions to be organised under the programme “Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009”: “Dialogues of Colour and Sound. Works by M. K. Čiurlionis and His Contemporaries”, “Cold War Modern: Art and Design in a Divided World 1945–1975”. The gallery will carry out educational activities and organise conferences and cultural events, as well as video and film reviews. An art information centre will be opened, and national and international exhibitions will be held.

 

Holocaust Exposition

Pamėnkalnio St. 12

Tel. +370 5 262 0730

Open: Mon to Thu 9:00–17:00, Sun 9:00–16:00

This museum safeguards the historical, material and spiritual heritage of Lithuanian Jews and traditional and modern Jewish art items. It accumulates documents and items related to the holocaust; organises mobile exhibitions and contributes to cherishing the Jewish culture and traditions. The museum has five divisions: four in Vilnius and a memorial museum of the famous sculptor Chaim Jacob Lipschitz (1891–1973) in Druskininkai.

 

Paneriai Memorial Museum

Agrastų St. 17

Tel. +370 5 260 2001

Open: March–December Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun 11:00–18:00

Regarding visits to the museum at other times please inquire by phone.

In 1941–1944 next to the building of the museum, almost 100,000 people, of whom 70,000 were Jews, were killed. The exposition includes pictures of those killed in Paneriai, the orders of the occupation authorities, and other documentary information. A memorial to the Paneriai victims has been constructed here.

 

Tolerance Centre

Naugarduko St. 10/2

Tel.: +370 5 231 2357, +370 5 231 2355

Open: Mon to Thu 10:00–18:00, Sun 10:00–16:00

This former Jewish theatre has been reconstructed and now houses various expositions of the Jewish community and culture, and temporary exhibitions of works by world artists and Jews of Lithuanian origin.

 

Theatre, Music and Cinema Museum

Vilniaus St. 41

Tel. +370 5 262 2406

Open: Tue to Fri 12:00–18:00, Sat 11:00–16:00

Here you will find historic collections of these fields of art alongside a rare collection of mechanical musical instruments of the 18th–20th centuries, musical records, scenography items and retrospectives of works by the most famous Lithuanian theatre, stage and cinema artists, including their personal belongings, etc.

 

Alexander Pushkin Literature Museum

Subačiaus St. 124

Tel./fax +370 5 260 0080

This mansion where the family of the youngest son of A.S. Pushkin lived presents several expositions dedicated to the grand Russian poet; visitors can also get acquainted with films and music based on the works of the poet. An ornate interior has been preserved in six rooms of the memorial.

 

Museum of Genocide Victims (KGB)

Aukų St. 2A

Tel. +370 5 249 8155 (information desk)
Tel. +370 5 249 6264 (to book excursions)

www.genocid.lt/muziejus

Open: Tue to Sat 10:00–17:00, Sun 10:00–15:00

This museum is located in the former headquarters of the KGB. Historical and documentary materials related to repressions executed by occupational authorities against the population of Lithuania in 1940-1990, materials about anti-Soviet and anti-Nazi resistance and information about participants of resistance forces and victims of genocide are all collected here. The central part of the exposition is the internal prison (interrogation chambers) of the NKVD-MGB-KGB. The former execution chamber is also open to visitors. Information about executions is presented in information stands.

 

Museum of Adomas Mickevičius (Adam Mickiewicz) of the Vilnius University Library

Bernardinų St. 11

Tel. +370 5 261 8836

Open: Tue to Fri 10:00–17:00, Sat/Sun 10:00–14:00

This museum has been created in the apartment of the famous Polish poet and Lithuanian patriot. Various items that used to belong to the poet, his letters, the first editions of his books and translations into other languages can be found alongside three expositions: “Adomas Mickevičius and Lithuania”, “Philomaths and Adomas Mickevičius”, and “Women in the Life of Adomas Mickevičius”.