Jan Bułhak. The Basilian gates. 1912. Lithuanian National Museum of Art

Further from everyone’s eyes, on Aušros Vartų Street, the monastery of the Basilians can be found. You can get here through the famous Basilian Gate designed by a famous architect Kristupas Glaubicas (Johann Christoph Glaubitz).

Vilnius’ Basilian Monastery became the centre of the Uniate Church, where new members were trained and monks published books in Latin, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian. They also established schools with no physical punishments, which was unconventional at the time. The key representative of the Vilnius Basilians, Juozapatas Kuncevičius, who was later declared to be a saint and was buried at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican, lived there.

During the Tsarist Russia rule, a prison was established in the male flank of the monastery where Adam Mickiewicz was imprisoned. He described this place in his poem entitled Forefathers’ Eve: “His cell is secluded and at the side of the church, no one will hear us, even when they come close.”

Aušros vartų g.
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