The cupola of the Dominican church
of the Holy Spirit rises above the Old Town and can be easily
seen from the surrounding streets. The historians suppose
that a small wooden church stood on the place of the present
church already at Gediminas' times. The Church of the Holy
Spirit was built in 1408. In 1501 it was given over to the
monks of the oldest in Lithuania Dominican order, who built
a monastery nearby. Since then the church was reconstructed
several times. In the 18th century, the church was severely
damaged by fire and its interior was redone and acquired the
present image. Strangely enough, but the Dominican Church
unlike other religious organization wasn't closed during the
Soviet times. Nowadays it serves Vilnius Catholic Polish-speaking
The church is an architectural monument
of high and late baroque in Lithuania. The exterior of the
church is rather plain. The main facade can't be clearly seen
as it is covered over by the monastery building. The height
of the church with the cupola is 51 meters.
Inside the church boasts splendor baroque decor. Luxurious
rococo ornamentations cover the walls. Sixteen massive and
at the same time elegant altars covered with marble comprise
a harmonious composition, supplemented by a pulpit and a confessional.
They are richly decorated with round and relief sculptures
and ornamentation. The dominant of the interior is the magnificent
organ of the 18th century, resting on the pillars whose bases
are narrower than their capitals. This unique organ made by
master Adam Casparini is the only original organ of the 18th
century in Lithuanua. Many baroque frescoes attract visitors'
attention. A multi-figural composition "Apotheosis of
the Holy Spirit" in neo-Baroque19th century style in
the cupola is the most impressive one.
An entry under the altar leads to
the vaults. With many rooms and crypts of two or more stores
they remind of a tangled labyrinth. There are more than 2,000
mummified corpses from the 17t-18th centuries. According to
some historic documents, they are bodies of plague victims.
The Dominican Monastery on the St.
Ignoto Street was established in 1501. In 1807 the Tzar ordered
to transform it into a prison for all the freethinkers and
Inside the monastery is ornamented with frescoes.
Address: Dominikonu St., 8