Saturday, November 16, 2019

Vilnius - Užupis

I love interesting art and unusual places. Užupis in Vilnius, Lithuania was right up our alley with some fun outside areas to explore. It's an artist district with a twist. On April 1, 1998, the district declared itself an independent republic (The Republic of Užupis).
It is unclear whether the statehood of the Republic, recognized by no government, is intended to be serious, tongue-in-cheek, or a combination of both. The decision to place Užupis Day on April 1 (April Fools' Day) may not be coincidental, emphasizing the importance of humor and non-importance of "serious" political decisions. The flag of the Republic contains a palm of hand in a white background. The palm emblem is painted in a different color each season: Winter - blue, Spring - green, Summer - yellow, Autumn - red.  (Wikipedia)
They have a constitution displayed in many languages on a wall along a main street. The constitution was blessed by Pope Francesco during his visit in Vilnius in September 2018. It has some witty rights such as these (full list at the link):
  • Everyone has the right to die, but this is not an obligation.
  • Everyone has the right to make mistakes.
  • Everyone has the right to be unique.
  • Everyone has the right to love.
  • Everyone has the right not to be loved, but not necessarily.
There's a "border control" which is really just a souvenir shop. There's some outside art things to see along the river near the border control. This is probably a more interesting part of town during the summer, but it was still a cool sideshow on a dreary November weekend.

one indoor temporary art display

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