vilnius in old photographs
April 29, 2004 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Vilnius in Old Photographs, including panoramas, monuments, and environs, as well as an informative history of photography in Lithuania. Part of a larger virtual exhibition of Lithuanian cultural heritage.
posted by scody (10 comments total)
As a 25% Lithuanian, I thank you.
posted by ChasFile at 4:13 PM on April 29, 2004

My great-grandparents on my mother's side came from Vilna--i'd love to go there one day. Thanks scody.
posted by amberglow at 4:16 PM on April 29, 2004

I'm kind of surprised that "Vilnius" hasn't been frequently used in books and movies as the hometown of the bad guy.

Seriously, some great pictures of old places, but I'm kinda disturbed by the circa 1875 suburbs. And I thought the San Fernando Valley had gone downhill!

And, as 25% Lithium, I think you, I thank.
posted by wendell at 4:20 PM on April 29, 2004

This is a wonderful site, thank you! It's the kind of thing a lot of people do, but not nearly as thoughtfully.

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Vilnius in the mid 1980s. It's a beautiful town, and the history is fascinating.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:42 PM on April 29, 2004

As a 50% Lithuanian, 50% French guy, this is great. (I won't tell you how many times I used the fact that I graduated with a degree in "French Lit" to make a horrible pun.)

My dad's whole family has been in the States now since the early 1900s, so we have very little connection to the "old country". I have a cousin, who's a nun, who goes back regularly and is active in a lot of social institutions there, like orphanages, but that's it.

My dad grew up in the orphanage of a Lithuanian church here, and we even went to masses in Lithuanian when I was a kid, but now it's limited to him and his cousins trying to remember the word for "wrist" or "car" at the family reunions.

Thanks, though. I've sent it along to him, and I'm sure he'll enjoy it, too.
posted by LairBob at 4:49 PM on April 29, 2004

Great Stuff! I spent 2 weeks in Vilnius in 2001 and it is a gorgeous city. The old town architecture is amazing and best of all (at least then) everything is very cheap! If you get the chance I highly recommend visiting.

In case anyone is interested, Webshots has some nice pictures of what Vilnius is like today
posted by remo at 5:10 PM on April 29, 2004

Great photos! I hope to visit Lithuania in my lifetime, 50% Lithuanian here, thanks to my dad.

It's good that so much of the original architecture has been preserved. It's my understanding that during the Soviet years there was a great influx of Russians who diluted the culture of this beautiful country.

There still exist pockets of Lithuanian culture here in the States, notably in the Chicago area where you can still find an authentic Lithuanian restaurant or two.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:23 PM on April 29, 2004

I've never been to Vilnius but this makes me want to go. Thank you for posting this.
posted by blucevalo at 6:08 PM on April 29, 2004

Go. The Baltics are wonderful lands and Vilnius is a jewel. Anywhere that replaced Stalin with Frank Zappa scores highly with me. Much recommended, the sparky 'in your pocket' guides.
posted by grahamwell at 6:30 AM on April 30, 2004

A great site -- thanks, scody!

Interestingly, back when these pictures were taken (when the city, called Vilna, was part of the Russian Empire) there weren't many Lithuanians there -- the population was mostly Polish, Jewish, and Russian. Lithuanians were country folk.
posted by languagehat at 1:24 PM on April 30, 2004

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