I have traveled to Vilnius, Lithuania a lot, for most of the times using Vilnius just as a transit stop. I decided to change this. It was my 31st birthday, and I opted for celebrations in Vilnius (I have a goal - to celebrate my birthday each year in one of the capitals of former Soviet Union's republics, so far I have celebrated already in Yerevan and Tallinn).
I had read in some tourist brochures about The Republic of Užupis, and thought - what a cool site, I should put this on my travel list. Now, here is what it is all about: In 1997, the residents of the area declared the Republic of Užupis, along with its own flag, currency, president, cabinet of ministers, a constitution written by Romas Lileikis and Thomas Chepaitis, an anthem, and an army (numbering approximately 11 men). They celebrate this independence annually on Užupis Day, which falls on April 1st. Artistic endeavours are the main preoccupation of the Republic; the life-long President of the Republic of Užupis, Romas Lileikis, is himself a poet, musician, and film director.
Tourists visiting the Republic of Uzupis
Artūras Zuokas, long time (now ex-) mayor of Vilnius, lives in Užupis and frequently takes part in the Republic’s events. Užupis does not house internet-cafes, kiosks, big malls, or governmental institutions (except Užupian), and there is no embassy to Lithuania.
Actually there is nothing much at all at Uzupis after all, just a channel, some rocks on it and some wall with paintings. If you like Uzupis, you will love Literati street in Vilnius. Bohemians after all!
Lovely photos can be made here at Uzupis.
Wall of paintings