Visit of the Church of Saint Anne and the Church of Saint Francis and Saint Bernardino. This is one of the most outstanding architectural ensembles of the Old Vilnius. It’s composed of the Church of St. Anne and the neighbouring Monastery of St. Bernardino, where lies the church of St. Francis from Assisi. St. Anne’s church is a true Gothic masterpiece from the late 15th century: the small building presents an impressive facade, a delicate filigree of red bricks, arches and reliefs in Flamboyant Gothic that hasn’t changed during the last 500 years. The interior is made in Renaissance style. When Napoleon visited the church, in his way to invade Russia, he is quoted to have said “I would like to bring this marvellous church with me to France, in the palm of my hand”. The Church of St Francis & St Bernardino dates back from the late 15th century. Much bigger than the former, it’s one of the largest gothic buildings in Lithuania. It has been built also in red bricks, as many of the churches and castles of the Baltic region under the hanseatic influence. Situated at the edge of the Old Vilnius, over the river Vilna, it was incorporated to the city walls as a religious building with defensive functions. It is still clearly visible in its battlements and loopholes. During the soviet times it was transformed into a warehouse. Once Lithuania became independent again, the Franciscan friars that had remained clandestinely returned to the church and participated in its reconstruction.
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