Gothic architecture in Lithuania

Lithuania is not the very centre of Gothic architecture, but it provides a number of examples, partly very different and some quite unique.

The Monastery of St. Francis and St. Anne's church in Vilnius


Lithuania during the reign of Vytautas the Great, with modern-day borders superimposed

Lithuania, situated at the border of Greek[1] and Roman Church had developed by the defence of its paganism, especially against the Teutonic Order to become a state and in the 14th century a major power.[citation needed] The territory of nowaday's republic, except Lithuania Minor, which was ruled by the Teutonic Order, was the Lithuanian speaking part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, with its Slavic and Orthodox majority of subjects. The centre of power of this large state lay among Kaunas, Trakai and Vilnius.

The marriage of Grand Duke Jogaila and the Queen of Poland Jadwiga began the personal union of Lithuania and Poland. After the Battle of Grunwald in 1410 and by the Treaty of Melno in 1422 the attacks of the Teutonic Order ceased. After the Second Peace of Thorn, the Order was not any more a serious competitor in the region.


Castles with hard wallsEdit

Trakai Island Castle, as rebuilt in the 1970s

Castles built of stones and bricks, dates of the first complete building after wooden precursors:

Almost all Lithuanian medieval castles and fortifications were built of wood and earth.

Orthodox Cathedral of the Theotokos, Vilnius

First churchesEdit

Orthodox cathedral of VilniusEdit

The oldest church in Lithuania, built from bricks, is the Orthodox Cathedral of the Theotokos, Vilnius. It was constructed in 1346, when the Renaissance style had not yet arrived in central Europe, and in the Grand Duchy only the Slavic population was Christian.[citation needed] The roofs and design of the outer walls underwent some changes during the course of centuries. Today, the outer appearance is Neo-Byzantine, and most of the walls are plastered.[3]

Brick GothicEdit

Vytautas the Great Church, Kaunas

After Jogaila had been baptized a Catholic, the country officially became Catholic, and churches were built also for the Grand Duchy's Lithuanian population. Soon the most important churches were erected in Brick Gothic:

Late GothicEdit

"House of Perkūnas", Kaunas

Flamboyant styleEdit

In the late Gothic period, two exceptional buildings were built in Lithuania, following the abundant French Flamboyant style, but realized in bricks.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ As late as 1448, the Russian Church split from the Greek one by choosing a Russian metropolite.
  2. ^ "National Museum of Lithuania: History of Gediminas Castle Tower ". Archived from the original on December 28, 2015.
  3. ^ "Вильнюсский Пречистенский Собор".
  4. ^ "Jono Pauliaus II piligrimų kelias. Basilica".
  5. ^ Lithuanian inventory of monuments : Namas, vad. Perkūno
  6. ^ "Sightseeing Vilnius - Vilnius city guide | St Anne's and Bernadine's Churches".