Interactive exhibition "The Bell Tower – Vilnius Timeline"

2023 08 23

Interactive exhibition "The Bell Tower – Vilnius Timeline" is dedicated to the 700th anniversary of Vilnius.

Just as children’s ages are marked on door frames, we can trace the timeline of events that have unfolded in this tower. Vilnius may no longer be a child, but it remains a youthful city boasting a rich history of 700 years. The bell tower, like a peer, stands as a steadfast witness to it all – not static, but evolving and growing alongside the city.

The tower’s foundations were eroded by floods, fires engulfed the structures like a furnace, reducing stones and bricks to molten remnants. Amidst wars, the walls bore the scars of ammunition, witnessing the comings and goings of nobles and artisans, saints and traitors, enemies and lovers. Architects, masons, carpenters, soldiers, bell ringers, and watchmakers buzzed up and down the wooden and brick steps of the bell tower. From the 16th century onwards, the resonating chimes of the bells echoed throughout the town, reaching the ears of its inhabitants. For 350 years, the hour bell, cast by Jan Delamars, has faithfully counted the passage of time – a living testament that spans exactly half the age of Vilnius. Its tolls remain the oldest cultural sounds reverberating in Vilnius.

Beside the tower, children spin on the magical tile, weaving their wishes, while adults still remember that not too long ago, merely a few decades past, a historic event unfolded in close proximity – the Baltic Way, which brought forth the miracle of freedom and independence.

Through this exhibition, we aim to commemorate the most significant events and individuals in our city, state, and the Church, while offering a glimpse into the ever-changing landscape of our capital city through key reference points. We invite you to delve into the exhibition, where stories lie hidden in drawers and are painted on glass, spanning the tower’s impressive height. Upon the furniture tabletop, you can peruse a timeline of events that shaped not only Vilnius but also all Europe. It is our hope that visitors from other countries will discover parallels they recognize, acknowledging Vilnius’ narrative as inseparable from the tapestry of Western culture. As you ascend, take in the breathtaking views of the city, uncover the secrets of the bell tower, and untangle the intricately interwoven timeline of Vilnius.

Exhibition curators and authors of the texts: Inga Cironkaitė-Bendžienė, Ugnė Kraulaidytė
Editor – Audra Kairienė
Translator – Aušra Simanavičiūtė
Illustrator – Žilvinas Jagėla
Designer – Laura Varžgalytė
Funding for the museum is provided by: Vilnius City Municipality
Sponsor – Vilnius City Municipality
Media sponsors: „Vilnius 700“, UAB „Media Traffic“,, journal „IQ“,  Lithuanian National Television and Radio, bookstore Vaga“.
The exhibition is presented as part of the programme.

For more information contact us: e-mail, tel. +370 600 12080.


Vilniaus Akivyskupija          

Informational sponsors



       Domus Maria