Vilnius City Council approved celebration of the 700th Anniversary of Vilnius


Vilnius is going to celebrate the impressive 700th anniversary in 2023. It is going to be a celebration for entire Lithuania. Vilnius residents and city guests are already preparing for the approaching birthday. The versatile programme is being formed. It will cover various initiatives of professional art and popular culture, education and other areas. The anniversary events are intended to gather the communities, to create continued initiatives, to promote active exchange of knowledge, and to raise the festive atmosphere not only in Lithuania but also abroad. The events of the 700th anniversary’s programme have already been started, while their peak is expected in 2023.

The birthday will be celebrated twice a year

The Lithuanian capital is actively preparing to celebrate its 700th anniversary in 2023. For this purpose, the official Vilnius Tourism Agency Go Vilnius has prepared the plan of actions for the next two years, that should serve to encourage the city residents and guests to celebrate the magnificent history of Vilnius, to build a road to the open future of the capital, to increase the emotional connection of all the Lithuanian residents with the capital, to actualise rich heritage of Vilnius, and to strengthen historical traditions, thus making Vilnius known in the entire world.

“Today Vilnius could be called a city of opportunities that keeps in step with other advanced European and world capitals. The fact that present Vilnius is a Western city could be contributed not only to foreign inspiration but also to the city’s history preserved in its memory. It has to be immortalised on the day of such important anniversary. The programme of the anniversary’s celebration is created in such a way that every resident of Lithuania could be proud about the capital and so that Vilnius and the opportunities it provides could be presented to bigger circle of foreigners, who would find it desirable to visit Lithuania and its capital,” – says the city mayor, Mr. Remigijus Šimašius.

Vilnius is going to start the tradition to celebrate its birthday twice a year: in winter, on the 25th of January, when traditional festival of light installations is held, and in summer, on the 25th of July, day of the patron of Vilnius, Saint Christopher, when a festival of qualitative music is organised. It is expected that both events will help to create an unforgettable event and open the potential of the capital’s technological innovations, creative and cultural industries.

Cultural initiatives: 7 ideas for the capital

The capital started preparing for celebration of the impressive anniversary this year already. Seven cultural organisations that have won the competition of ideas organised by Vilnius City Municipality and Go Vilnius are going to become an important part of the programme of events that will last for three years. The organisations that have won the competition are going not only to present their ideas, but also to get the city residents actively involved.

Art Factory Loftas presents the project “Once upon a time in Vilnius”, where Vilnius residents will be invited to share the experiences they have immortalised in the capital, hence becoming co-authors of a unique film about Vilnius. The Lithuanian National Museum presents the project “Pavilion: Vilnius 200 years ago”. It is going to leave the museum’s premises, to organise the educational events, and to tell new stories about the city’s history.

The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre is going to use artificial intellect to reconstruct the first opera performed in Vilnius in the 17th century. “Art Gene” (lt. Meno genas) is going to call the internationally known composers to create musical works intended for concrete public spaces in Vilnius. The gallery “Art Niche” (lt. Meno niša) is going to present a biennale of performances in Vilnius squares, parks and buildings to celebrate the capital’s anniversary. Local and international stars of the art of performance are going to participate, thus creating a new tradition of performances in Vilnius.

The famous novel “Vilnius Poker” by Ričardas Gavelis has received big attention of artists. Film director Donatas Ulvydas is going to create the film based on this novel and to initiate new jazz, painting and sculpture events. Meanwhile, the MO museum is going to present a mass installation that will call to see Vilnius through the eyes of novel “Vilnius Poker”. The interpretations of this famous novel by Ričardas Gavelis will be created by stage director Oskaras Koršunovas and scenographer, creator of documentaries Gintaras Makarevičius.

The list of partners who would like to add their initiatives and works for the approaching anniversary of Vilnius is getting longer. Numerous different partners are already dedicating their works to Vilnius birthday: organisations from public sector and non-governmental organisations, organisers of well-known festivals, private businesses and communities of city residents, who are already contributing to the programme of approaching anniversary.

The anniversary will be also celebrated beyond Lithuania

Vilnius is a modern city and a cradle of nations, cultures, art, science and innovations. Therefore, when the anniversary is celebrated, the objective is raised to help the entire Lithuania to know the Lithuanian capital better and to strengthen emotional connection with it, as well as to help the entire world to hear about Vilnius as a youthful, dashing, innovative city full of energy.

“The international position of Vilnius is getting stronger consistently and unstoppably. We have crossed already all the boundaries of the region. We are competing as equals for investments, talents and attention in numerous fields in the top world league. Vilnius ideas are discussed in the entire world. This creates an excellent basis to welcome the city’s anniversary proudly and inspires us even more to create the future worth boasting of. Vilnius anniversary is a national holiday that will allow to remind the world about us again, to make the country and the city better known to the world, and to increase the number of tourists in Lithuania,” – says manager of Go Vilnius, Mrs. Inga Romanovskienė.

The festive programme started in the beginning of this year will cover the initiatives until the end of 2023. This year, the involvement of city and country communities is encouraged. Next year, the anniversary events will be presented in Lithuania and abroad, and in 2023 we are going to implement the celebrations and impressive works created by the partners of the city.

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