A miraculous place in Vilnius - the Gate of Dawn

Monika Grinevičiūtė | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The Gate of Dawn, in Lithuanian - Aušros Vartai, is one of the most famous historical and religious monuments in Vilnius. Also, it is a pilgrimage site known not only in our country but the whole Europe as well. Why is it so popular and even called a miraculous place? Keep reading, and I will answer all the questions about the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius.

Let’s start with some history

In the 16th century, Vilnius was surrounded by the stone wall to protect the city. And only the Gate of Dawn survived all the centuries and is the only part of that historical wall that is still standing in Vilnius. But let’s go back to the 16th century, when two religious paintings were placed in the gate of the wall. In the side that was facing the city, the painting of the Blessed Virgin was placed, and towards the outward was set the artwork of the Saviour. In the 16th century, it was common to put the painting of the Virgin Mary above all the gates in town. The icon of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy was painted on eight pieces by the unknown artist, and about 40 years after it was painted, the image was embellished with some gold and silver. The icon was also sometimes housed inside the chapel near the gates. During the history, it was believed that the art has magical healing powers. Also, one of the interesting facts is that this site is revered by both religions - the Catholicism and the Orthodoxy.

And let's continue with some legends

The first story about the painting’s magical healings started in 1671, when the icon was moved from the gates to the chapel. After the boy fell from the second floor, his mother brought the sick body near the image and the boy became alive. There are more legends about the mercy of the Virgin Mary, but also there are some frightening ones about the foreign warriors who were killed by the strange accidents because they showed the disrespect towards the painting or were killing the Lithuanians** and destroying the city. But the truth is that the peoples till come to visit the Gate of Dawn** and pray next to the painting of the Virgin Mary. The atmosphere of this site is also magical. It seems that you can feel the holiness of this painting around you.

Let’s end up with some practical information

The Gate of Dawn is located in the Old Town of Vilnius. The famous icon you can see from the above and visit it whenever the chapel is open, from 7 AM to 7 PM. It is a pilgrimage site, so you can expect that the place is always crowded, especially in the touristic seasons.

Make sure that, during your stay in Lithuania, you visit the Gate of Dawn - a miraculous place in Vilnius. It does not mind if are you religious or not, believe me, this place is worth to see. The right emotions and the holy atmosphere will touch you, for sure.

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