VilNews

THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

24 September 2017
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Vilnius through
Indian eyes…


By Kalpana Sunder, THE HINDU

The past is never too far behind in Vilnius — it whispers from the plaques outside the Museum of Genocide Victims located in the old KGB headquarters — one plaque for every person that was executed inside. A visit to the museum with its cells, solitary confinement rooms, torture rooms and even eavesdropping devices that were used, is a sobering experience.

Once Vilnius had a prominent Jewish community and was called the “Jerusalem of the North”. More than 90 per cent of the Jewish community was liquidated under the Nazis and today only one of the 105 synagogues survives. Walking along the winding Stikliu Street in the Jewish quarter, which was once the glass blowers’ street, is a pleasant experience. There are classy ateliers selling stained glass, jewellery and art. You can indulge your sweet tooth at the French patisserie Poniu Laime. On my last day in the city I take a funicular to the fortress on the Gediminas hill, and look down at the panorama of the city: red roofs jostling with spires and domes, providing a counterpoint to the glitzy new city across the river with steel and glass skyscrapers. The perfect metaphor for a city with its feet rooted in the past but its head firmly focused on the future.

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Category : News



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