Your browser is out of date.
This site may not function properly in your current browser. Update Now
The Great Courtyard is a harmonious space reminiscent of Italian Renaissance squares, though it actually combines three styles: Renaissance, Baroque, and Classicist.
© Laimonas Ciūnys

Vilnius University—An Ensemble of Architectural Styles

Located in the heart of Old Town, Vilnius University is one of the oldest in Northern Europe. In 1570, Jesuits established a college with a library to stop the spread of the Protestant movement and take over education policy. Just nine years later, it was granted university status by the king and the pope.

The campus gradually expanded during the centuries with several architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassicism. The ensemble includes 13 courtyards with vibrant arcades and galleries, which always bustle with students. It also houses the former Astronomical Observatory with an impressive tower.

St. John’s Church was reconstructed in 1738-1749 in late Baroque style. The bell tower provides panoramic views of Vilnius, which can be witnessed after climbing 193 authentic wooden stairs or riding a lift.  - ©  www.muziejus.vu.lt
St. John’s Church was reconstructed in 1738-1749 in late Baroque style. The bell tower provides panoramic views of Vilnius, which can be witnessed after climbing 193 authentic wooden stairs or riding a lift. - © www.muziejus.vu.lt

The Old Town campus is home to three faculties—history, philology, and philosophy—and a library, which contains over five million books. It stores one of the two existing copies of the first book printed in Lithuanian language: Catechism by Martynas Mažvydas, published in 1547.

The Library is also famous for the splendour of its interior. The oldest and most impressive of these halls is the Franciszek Smuglewicz Hall. Originally a Jesuit refectory, it became the main Assembly Hall for public lectures, presenting diplomas, and celebrating the opening of the academic year.

Visit

Vilnius University—An Ensemble of Architectural Styles

Hours

High season (March-October):
Monday–Saturday 9:00 – 18:00
Low season (November-February):
Monday–Saturday 9:30 – 17:30
No visiting on Sundays and state holidays.

Pricing

Admission to the architectural ensemble (which includes courtyards, St. Johns’ Church, Faculty of Philology interiors):
Adults € 1.5
Children and students € 0.5

Contact Information

Vilnius University architectural ensemble