A quick look at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius

Monika Grinevičiūtė | Live the World

November 23, 2022

In the middle of Vilnius Old Town, surrounded by Vilnius University buildings, majestically stands the Presidential Palace or the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania. As in many countries, this type of building is a strategically important site, although, in Vilnius, the square in front of the palace is always open for everyone. Many world-famous diplomats, presidents, and leaders have visited this palace. Many important decisions and agreements were made there. The walls of the palace keep the secrets not everyone needs to know. However, to explore this remarkable building from the inside or to take a quick look at the Presidential Palace, can everyone. 

© iStock/Michele Ursi

A brief history

Like all buildings in Vilnius Old Town, the Presidential Palace has it's own long-lasting and spinning story. Lithuanian Presidential Palace was established in the late 19th-century classicist style. Uniquely, the mansion is the only building in Vilnius Old Town with the green roof (among the red ones). The history of the palace started in the 14th century when it was mentioned for the first time in the written sources as a noble family’s Goštautai residential house. Later on, the owners of the palace were changing quickly, depending on the authorities -  from the bishops to the governors. A memorable year was 1812 when the owner of the Presidential Palace was Napoleon Bonaparte (however for a concise time - less than a month). After the restored Independence, some premisses of the mansion were used for the Embassy of France. Finally, from 1997, the palace is used for Lithuanian President

© iStock/RomanBabakin

A quick look inside

When the dwelling was adapted for diplomatic purposes, the interior of the palace was restored to its initial state. The interior of this place is created, according to written historical sources, to keep the original feeling and classicism style atmosphere. One of the most valuable parts of the Presidential Palace is its garden.

It* **is one of the oldest parks in whole Lithuania - for the first time mentioned at the end of the14th century by the Duke* Jogaila. From the beginning, the garden had the baroque style features, and later on, the landscape has been changed. Although, to this day, there are decades or even hundreds of years old oaks still growing in the park. 

© iStock/Birute

Visiting time

The guided Presidential Palace excursions in the English language are held on Saturdays and Sundays all year round. Importantly, pre-registration is required. Tours are entirely free of charge, so you will be able to take a glimpse into the essential premisses and corners of the Lithuanian Presidential Palace and its garden. 

© iStock/Birute

Crossing by the Daukantas Square, you can stop by to explore the beauty of Lithuanian Presidential Palace. The facade of the mansion and the welcoming square in front of it hide the insides of the presidential office. If you wish to explore the palace more and take a quick look inside, join the weekly organized excursions and explore this site even more. 

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