The rough beauty of Vilnius is mesmerizing. The old, dilapidated buildings are whispering their incredible story. How they once were glorious homes for happy families. How they once had roses blooming on their balconies, how the rooms once were filled with the smell of fresh, oven-baked bread. It was years ago when they were left empty, and today they are homes only for mice, rats and long abandoned scrap.
I keep walking along the narrow streets of the old town of Vilnius. A little boy jostles me a bit while speeding past with his skateboard. I find myself standing in the middle of a cobblestoned street, staring at a tiny window with crooked frames, but with a shimmering light inside. An old couple is sitting next to a kitchen table and talking. The man gives me a grumpy glance, and I understand, I need to keep walking.
The magnificent buildings standing tall with their fancy marble pillars and the numerous beautiful churches with their towers reaching the stars are balancing out the rough street view of the city.
The endearing Vilnius is like a free open air museum where every step brings you more and more fascinating things to admire. It’s a city shaped art gallery, where even the tiniest little piece is an irreplaceable artwork of its own.
You just have to remember to keep you eyes and mind wide open while walking.
The street gallery Literatų was inspired by a poet where a group of young men are spending their time, drinking and smoking, along the street with the same name. The street with its artwork is dedicated to the writers of Vilnius, and the drawings, paintings, sculptures and other pieces of art decorating the walls are created by local artists.
Graffiti is decorating the city everywhere you look, but the creative street art has many beautiful faces in the capital of Lithuania. The most sympathetic oeuvre in the autumnal street view of Vilnius are the trees with knitted clothing.
Street art seems to be well respected in Vilnius, and there are places where it’s allowed, even encouraged to paint graffiti. There is a yearly street art festival, Vilnius Street Art. And if modern street art is really speaking to you, I would suggest to pay a visit on ‘The Road of Freedom‘.
You can find it anywhere in the city, but the real cradle of the bohemian street art and artists is the district of Užupis that has declared independency and is now called The Republic of Užupis.
Jono Meko skersvėjis a.k.a. ‘Jonas Mekas Crosswinds’, a graffiti alley in Užupis.
I would recommend you to step out of the main street on the little paths, as along them you can find more beautiful graffitis. You can find them also under the bridges, the embankments of the river – anywhere you look.
Graffiti is spread all over the city, also outside the district of Užupis. Many old ramshackle buildings along parks, squares and construction sites are reborn thanks to creative and colourful street art.
Is street art speaking to you and if so, what is it saying? What kind of feelings and thoughts does it awaken in you? The comment section below is open for discussion!
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