City 02/17

A CITY LINKING THE PAST AND THE FUTURE

There are many facets to Vilnius in the lively, multicultural city that is full of witnesses to the past. Its cityscape and the lifestyle culture of its residents are still characterised by the dualism of tradition and modern life.

What do Amsterdam, Madrid, Copenhagen, Brussels, Prague, Dublin and Vilnius all have in common? They were all the European Capital of Culture at some stage. When Vilnius was allowed to share the title with Linz in 2009, the Baroque city with its impressive architecture was still unknown to many Europeans.

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Culture and sport
What is now the capital of Lithuania has not only had a turbulent history, but also provides inspiration with a great deal of culture and sporting ambition – particularly in the national sport of basketball. Is there any other city more suited to having a gigantic monument in honour of basketball than Vilnius? Even the state president at the time, Valdas Adamkus, was there when the wraps were removed from the statue, which is almost six metres high and weighs 30 tonnes, at an official ceremony in 2007. The rapidly growing economy in the country’s largest city with approx. 530,000 residents has almost doubled since the turn of the millennium. At the same time, Vilnius has been able to retain its natural charm. Situated at the place where the rivers Vilnia and Neris meet, it is one of the greenest capitals in the world.

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Celebrating independence
The country’s independence is extremely important for Lithuania and its citizens because of their turbulent history. Lithuania first gained its independence in 1918 after being occupied by the German Empire during the First World War. Even though independence did not last long – the country finally became an independent democratic republic through the “Singing Revolution” in 1990 after it had been part of the Soviet Union for many years – Lithuanians still honour the anniversary from 1918 today.

The centenary will be celebrated in 2018 and a daily ceremony has already been heralding this since February 2017: trumpeters from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre play the song “Lietuva brangi / Dear Lithuania” from a window of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius every  evening at 7:18 p.m. (19:18); this song was written by the poet Jonas Ma˘ciulis-Maironis in 1888 and was set to music by the composer  Juozas Naujalis. It is also called Lithuania’s second national anthem. The Lithuanian Song Festival will then take place between 30 June and 6 July during the summer in 2018; it aims to celebrate national culture and the world-famous Lithuanian singing talents. The highlights are set to be the performances by the choirs with up to 20,000 singers and dancers with about 9,000 people participating.

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A digital city

The city that links the past and the present also captivates many young visitors. Apart from the University of Vilnius, which was founded in 1579 and has about 23,000 students today, the city’s digital infrastructure is a major attraction too: Vilnius has the world’s best public WiFi network in the world. Visitors, for example, can use it to discover more about the city and its architecture. The Contemporary Art Centre has devised a very special concept for this. Using QR codes that are scanned by mobile phones, people eager to learn more can establish contact with 15 sculptures within the city; they introduce themselves personally and tell the story of the culture and history of the architecture in Vilnius. The city’s administration services also recognised the potential of digitalisation at an early stage: Vilnius is one of the first cities where citizens can completely handle their enquiries electronically.

Eating and drinking
You can savour traditional Lithuanian cuisine, which particularly features potato and meat dishes, at the Forto Dvaras restaurant on Pilies Street. The menu at Bistro 18 on Stiklių Street is fresh, young and simple.

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Tip: Lithuanian beer has a good reputation – it is best to enjoy it in good company, for example, during a pub crawl that you can book online

Shopping
The Šapokliak store not only offers local art, but also a broad range of classic fashion items created by Lithuanian designers. Clothing and jewellery with a modern style are available at Decolte – and local talented people show off their skills there too.

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Tip: Elaborately decorated Lithuanian porcelain made by the artist Virginija Jasiūnaitė-Juršienė, for example, is a popular gift, even for heads of state.

Night life
Whether you opt for live music at the Tamsta Club in an old factory building above Lithuania’s largest music store or one of 250 cocktails at the elegant Iki Aušros bar – anybody can find just the right place for their favourite evening activity in Vilnius.

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Tip: Are you still hungry late at night?  The cosy Amatininkai restaurant in the Senamiestis district of the city stays open until 5 a.m. and serves Lithuanian dishes

Worth seeing
The most famous Lithuanian authors are honoured by an open-air gallery and portraits in a wide variety of forms along a wall on “Literatų gatvė / Writers’ Street”. You can also admire a photo exhibition on Lithuania’s independence movement in 1990 / 1991 at the foot of the television tower; it soars 326.5 metres into the sky and is Lithuania’s tallest building.

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Tip: It is not only possible to enjoy a meal at the Milky Way restaurant 165 metres up the television tower, but also the breathtaking view of the city.

"This city combines tradition and the modern digital age."


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Rhenus branches
Rhenus Svoris UAB operates two business sites in Lithuania – in Vilnius and in Kaunas. The Vilnius branch of Rhenus Svoris moved to a larger warehouse site close to the city in June 2017. The new warehouse offers storage and handling space measuring 12,000 square metres and also provides 2,000 square metres of office space. The branch not only processes industrial goods, but also has a hygiene certificate, special temperature cameras for storing and handling food and has a licence for distributing veterinary medicines.

The portfolio of services provided by Rhenus Svoris includes transport solutions for domestic and international flows of goods in the Contract Logistics and Freight Logistics business areas. They include pick & pack, return shipments and transporting empty containers, consolidating and labelling goods as well as providing solutions for the e-commerce sector. The warehouse management system was equipped with an API for this purpose; as a result, it is now possible to integrate e-shops

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