Yesterday I climbed to the top of this hill and then to the top of Gediminas’ Tower with His Excellency Tomasz Chepaitis. It is also possible to climb to the top of the hill by taking a funicular which reminded me of Saltburn back in England but Tomasz and I walked (slowly)
Once at the top Tomasz told me of the “Baltic Way” organised by his father in 1989. Two million citizens held hands and formed a line 600KM long starting at this very tower and stretching through Latvia and Estonia.
The first fortifications were built of wood by Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Gediminas. Later the first brick castle was completed in 1409 by Grand Duke Vytautas. Some remnants of the old castle have been restored, guided by archeological research.
Gediminas’ Tower is an important state and historic symbol of the city of Vilnius and of Lithuania itself. It is depicted on the national currency, the litas, and is mentioned in numerous Lithuanian patriotic poems and folk songs. The Flag of Lithuania was re-hoisted atop the tower on October 7, 1988, during the independence movement that was finalized by the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania on March 11, 1990. A reconstruction of the Royal Palace of Lithuania was completed in 2009, and is located near the base of the hill upon which Gediminas’ Tower stands.
So sorry – I wrote “Balkan” way when I should have said “Baltic” way – I have been reprimanded.