Halės Market

At Halės Market in 1937. Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum

Welcome to the oldest market in Vilnius. Once upon a time there was a market of horses and crops, and the disorderly kiosks spoiled the view of the city. For this reason, Halės Market, which emerged in 1906, looked like a miracle – a covered, clean and impressive place of commerce.

Engineer and architect Vaclovas Michnevičius designed this building, which was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Besides, reinforced concrete and steel structures were cheaper and were perfect for the new construction. It is the only building of this type of structure in Lithuania. Part of the metal structures for the building was produced by the mechanical workshop belonging to Petras Vileišis. Try to find the company’s seal on the interior columns of the buildings. A small cue: the text is written in Cyrillic.

The market was known for modern engineering solutions; it had a water supply system, electrical lighting, a public toilet and an ice room for meat storage. The market was different from other street points of sale for its sanitary standards as well: butchers had to wear white aprons, sellers were forbidden to call buyers, to demonstrate goods in-between aisles, and to smoke in the basement.

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