A full name of the Church is the Church of St Francis from Assisi (Bernardine). The building is monumental. In case of need it could have been used not only for prayer but also for defence. This is testified to by 19 aleois in the northern façade. Gothic pointed-arch windows and buttresses stand out on the façade; the 17th-century renaissance pediment is adjusted to the Gothic part with a 19th-century fresco. In the times of the Soviet occupation the Church was closed down and converted into a warehouse. After Lithuania re-established its independence, the Franciscan monks came back to the Church from the underground. The Bernardine complex has been declared to be a monument of Lithuanian cultural heritage, and in 2008 it was granted the status of a cultural project of importance to the state.
2008 Vilnius Bernardine historical – architectural ensemble was reconstructed (lofts of the church, choir and administrative premises of the cloister, the gate of the church, the passage, the basement and the inner courtyard were renovated), tourist observation paths were made.
Tourists are offered two routes – the long and the short ones. The short route starts in the church and leads to the Chapel of St Florian (The Three Kings), along the corridor of the cloister, which is decorated with the newly uncovered frescos, one gets into the gothic courtyard, then the route runs to the presbytery – the monks’ choir, the underground crypt, the gothic bell tower. And back to the church.
The long route continues the short one – from the gothic bell tower, along the spiral staircase you climb to the loft of the church from where a spectacular panorama of Vilnius opens. Then the route passes through the balcony of the church and leads back to the church.
Well-ordered heritage of Vilnius Bernardine historical-architectural ensemble, the entire complex of the tourist route and the Lithuanian museum of sacral art created will provide local and foreign tourists with the opportunity to become acquainted with the heritage of sacral art and gothic architecture in Lithuania.
BOOKING FOR EXCURSIONS:
Excursions are organised in the Lithuanian, English and Russian languages for groups consisting of at least eight persons, Tuesdays – Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m, along the established route at the time agreed upon in advance.
Groups are registered on Tuesdays – Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. by Email email@example.com or by tel. +370 682 40216. Registration should be made at least two days in advance. Excursions are not organised on Sundays, Mondays and during church services. Admission: donation to the monastery.