Like many cities, Vilnius has a special route you can take to see many of the city’s attractions. The writer Jurgis Kunčinas wrote about this route in his work. Living in a wooden house at Žvėrynas, he knew perfectly well that if you take a bus at the Žvėrynas bus terminal near the press kiosk, wriggle through traffic lights and rivers, pass by the Church of St. Anne and Bernardine Complex, you can reach Užupis. These two districts were once the edges of the city. Today, they are in the heart of the city. But both remain unique because Užupis is an independent republic, and Žvėrynas…a colourful empire. You can find everything in Žvėrynas: a church, an Orthodox church, a kenesa, Panama and a bunch of embassies. But this ‘empire’ is a safe and quiet shelter. That was how Kunčinas felt about the district.