Vilnius

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Know locally as Vilna, Vilnius is the capital city of Lithuania.

Mindaugas or Mindowe and his wife were baptized in 1252/3 by the bishop of Kulm. When Mindowe was murdered by his nephew ,great confusion and complete relaps into paganism followed.Gediminas, grand duke since 1316 , started restoration with German colonists and numerous cities were founded with city statutes customary in Germany ( Magdeburg law ). The most important of these cities was Wilnius ( Wilna ).

Vilnius became the capital city of Lithuania. Due to the fact that the Grand Dukes of Lithuania were also kings of Poland, Poles started to take over many aspects of Lithuanian life.

Vilnius located in the far south-east corner of modern Lithuania. This non-central location can be attributed to the changing shape of the nation through the past centuries; Vilnius was once not only culturally, but geographically the center of Lithuania.

Today, Vilnius is a modern, cosmopolitan city reminiscent of Copenhagen or Paris. Restaurants, hotels and museums have sprouted since Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

During the Second World War, the center of Vilnius was converted into a ghetto for the Jewish population. Most of the ghetto's inhabitants were liquidated by Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators at Panerai, a mass grave on the outskirts of the city.