Lithuania in the News
6th December 2015
Vilnius Church Declared Among the Most Beautiful in the World
The beautiful church of St Peter & Paul in Vilnius.
Photo by DAVID ILIFF, courtesy Wikipedia
A church in Vilnius dedicated to the two Saints Peter and Paul has been declared to be amongst the most beautiful in the world. A list of the world's 16 most beautiful churches compiled by, entitled "16 Churches So Beautiful They’ll Take Your Breath Away", places the St Peter & Paul church at the top of the list. The list includes such famous churches as St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.
The first church was built on the site of the present St Peter & Paul church in the 15th century. It burned down in 1594 and a new wooden church was built 1609 -1616, which again was almost completely destroyed during the war with Russia in 1655. The construction of the present church was begun in 1668 and it was consecrated in 1701. There have been a number of restorations since then, but the church's interior has remained much the same.
When during Soviet times Vilnius Cathedral was converted into an art museum, the relics of Lithuania's patron saint St Casimir, which had been housed in Vilnius Cathedral, were moved to St Peter and Paul church in 1956, to be returned to Vilnius Cathedral in 1989, just before the restoration of Lithuania's independence.

Further information:,_Vilnius