Vilnius Jewish Ghetto
A Vilnius Jewish ghetto formed in the Middle Ages in the area bordered by Dominikonu, Vokiecu, and Stikliu streets. This territory later extended as far as the approach to the Central (Hala) Market. It included districts on the other side of Pylimo Street, now the site of the only surviving synagogue of the nearly 100 prayer houses that Vilnius once had.
The streets around the Historicist style choral synagogue (built in 1903) - mainly Raugyklos, Sv. Stepono, Zemaitijos - may still have a few buildings with remnants of old inscriptions in Yiddish. The Great Synagogue, which once stood at the end of present-day Zydu Street, was torn down after the Second World War. No traces remain of adjacent smaller synagogues or the famous Strashun Library.
|Address||Pylimo gatve 4, Vilnius|
|Telephone||+370 5 2613 003|
|Opening hours||Monday to Friday 10.00 – 17:00|
A bust of the Vilna Gaon (Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman) stands on the approximate site of his 18th century home. He was a Talmudist, halakhist, kabbalist, and the foremost leader of mitnagdic (non-hasidic) Jewry of the past few centuries. He's commonly referred to in Hebrew as ha-Gaon he-Chasid mi-Vilna, "the saintly genius from Vilnius".
A few original buildings still stand on Stikliu, Gaono, and M. Antokolskio streets. The Jewish community of Vilnius - nearly 60,000 people in 1941 - was tragically exterminated during the Second World War. Exhibits from its history are found at the State Vilna Gaon Jewish Museum. A monument to the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who helped save the lives of a great many Jewish people, stands at the museum on Pamenkalno Street.
|Address||Naugarduko st. 10/2, Vilnius|
|Telephone||+370 5 231 2357|
Samuel Bak Museum Vilnius
Housed in the Vilnius Jewish Gaon Museum, this is the first museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the work of this famous Litvak artist. Samuel Bak was born in Vilnius in 1933 and his first exhibition was held in the Vilnius ghetto when he was just nine.
The artist survived the Nazi occupation of Lithuania and found himself in a displaced people camp in Germany before living in Israel and Western Europe. In 1993, Samuel Bak settled in the United States where he still lives and works. According to the artist, Vilnius occupies a special place in his life and in his work; he has visited Lithuania many times since moving to the US.
Monument to Zemach Shabad Vilnius
Zemach Shabad was a legendary man. The doctor worked in various fields, including charity (he was one of the leaders of the organizations that sponsored refugees), health care (an active member of the central educational organization of Jews and one of the YIVO initiators), social activities and journalism.