The Cathedral of St. Stanislav and St. Vladislav is the most important place of worship for the country’s Catholics and the venue for the main Christian, folk and national festivities. In 1922, the Cathedral was granted the title basilica (meaning “royal”). This is the highest church category awarded by the Pope only to very special churches.
Many prominent people of the Lithuanian Grand Duchy—noblemen, bishops and dukes—are buried in the vaults of the Cathedral. The Sovereigns Mausoleum located beneath the Chapel of St. Casimir contains the remains of the Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Alexander. He is the only ruler of Poland and Lithuania buried in Vilnius. Vytautas the Great, a grandson of Duke Gediminas and the most powerful Lithuanian ruler, is buried in the vaults of the Cathedral together with his wife Ona. Two wives of Žygimantas Augustas, Queen Elisabeth of Austria (Habsburg) and Queen Barbora Radvilaitė (said to have been the most beautiful woman of her time), are also buried here. The walls of the Cathedral also provide shelter for the urn with the heart of King Vladislovas Vaza (Wladyslaw Vasa).
The ancient walls
of the temple dating back to the 13th–15th centuries, and
the oldest Lithuanian fresco painted in the 14th century, have
survived in the vaults of the Cathedral.
For more information about Vilnius Churches visit www.vilnius-tourism.lt