Pilies Street in Vilnius Old Town once led from the gates of the Lower Castle to the Town Hall. It has now been divided into two, and is Didzioji Street from the Orthodox Church of St. Paraskeva. Its continuation from the junction at Subaciaus Street to Ausros Gate is Ausros Vartu Street. Pilies Street is without any doubt the most visited street by tourists in Vilnius, hosting souvenir stalls and plenty of restaurants. The street is thought to be one of the oldest in the city. Several picturesque lane ways with old buildings branch of to the right and left, and the street itself borders on the university campus. Of interest at the head of the street are several buildings with Renaissance features.
Feliks Zawadski Apartment House
Some Vilnius Old Town houses acquired an Art Nouveau look after renovation in the beginning of the 20th century. The most prominent example of this is Feliks Zawadski's house on Pilies Street, a 3rd floor was commissioned according to a design by Wladyslaw Stypulkowski, and metal galleries in the courtyard replaced the wooden ones.
The new asymmetrical facade designed by the architect features an oriel window and a turret over the entrance. With proportions that suit the Old Town, it fits in with its surroundings. In 1904, another architect (Mikhail Prozorov) had drawn up a plan to cover the courtyard of the building. A metal construction was to support a glass roof. This project was never realized.
Around the Slapelis Museum
The museum of the publishers Marija and Jurgis Slapelis (Marijos ir Jurgio Šlapelių namas muziejus) can be found on Pilies gatve number 40. The collection includes books, newspapers, documents and miscellaneous items which belonged to the family. Objects, of the cultural and scientific heritage of Eastern Lithuania from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries are being accumulated. Just around the corner, Latako Street descends towards the Vilnia River. Boksto Street meanders ahead towards the left, and Isganytojo Street turns down from it a bit further along. Latako and Isganytojo both lead towards the St. Anne and St. Bernadine church complex, and to the district of Uzupis.
Russian Orthodox Church of St. Paraskeva Pilies Street
The Russian Orthodox Church of St. Paraskeva, also at this junction, is reminiscent of the 16th, or even the 14th century. But it is best known for the romantic legend which claims that Tsar Peter I baptized the African general Hannibal, forefather of Alexander Pushkin, here in 1705. The present-day historicist style church is from 1864 and it's according to a design by Nikolaj Chagin.