Response: Ostrobrahma Gate (Vilnius, Lithuania) – Ostroba Brama is a must-see in Vilnius. A holy place with a wonderful atmosphere. The symbol of the Lithuanian capital.
I am pleased to welcome you all on my webpage! One of the highlights of my visit to the capital of Lithuania was the gate of the old city of Vilnius, the so-called Ostrea Brama (also known as the Ostrea Gates, Aušros Gates or Zari Gates).
Once upon a time, this was the eastern gate for entering the city, which gradually expanded and grew. Nowadays, the area of Vilnius has grown so much in size that this landmark is now located practically in the center of the city.
On our visit to the Lithuanian capital, we settled near this gate and so we always passed through it to walk through the city center and its historic part.
This is what the southern facade of the Ostre Gates looks like:
The upper part of the facade is decorated with beautiful bas-reliefs, and in its middle part the image of the Savior, which is in a small recess, attracts attention. There are also five round holes – embrasures for firing, which remind visitors that this building is part of the fortress.
It is clear to me, though far from an exact understanding of architecture, that the lower part of the gate was built in the Gothic style in the Middle Ages, and the upper part was completed later in the Renaissance style.
Most of the restored buildings in the Lithuanian capital have small windows showing the historic masonry. There are such windows on the southern facade of Ostroja Brama as well.
In general, this oldest structure stood here as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century. The photo shows the remains of the fortress wall, which in ancient times used to surround the city, protecting it from external enemies.
This wall once had nine gates, but only one of them – Ostrobramskie.
To the right of Ostroj Brahma at the fortress wall there are numerous vendors selling souvenirs.
I could not resist a small purchase and bought this unusual magnet with the image of another city sight – a very beautiful Church of St. Anne, as a memento of Vilnius:
Well, on the left side of Ostroj Brahma the fortress wall was destroyed long ago and now it is very strange to see a low three-storey apartment building with balconies adjoining directly to the old gate.
Frankly, it has a rather shabby appearance:
A little further away from it was a depressing sight in general: just next to this house we saw a crumbling abandoned residential building, which used to be very beautiful, but has long been severely dilapidated.
Frankly speaking, such a ruin in a famous historical place of the capital, where there are a lot of tourists, made an unpleasant impression on me. I did not take a picture of the carcass of this building and I very much hope that the house has been restored by now.
Walking through Ostrya Brama into the old town and looking back, one cannot help but be struck by the marvelous gold-decorated icon in the window of the chapel above the gate, which is clearly visible from the street.
It is a highly revered icon of the miraculous Ostrobrahma Mother of God, considered the patron saint of childless couples, which is highly revered by both Orthodox and Catholics.
The top photo was taken early in the morning, which explains the small number of people nearby. During the day this place is usually full of people.
In addition to people passing through the gate, numerous tourists crowd here in groups to take pictures, and religious pilgrims also come here on purpose. Several times I saw people praying outside in front of the chapel.
The Latin inscription on the gate chapel is clearly visible, which translates as “Mother of mercy to your protection”:
After entering through an inconspicuous door nearby, we entered the chapel through the gallery and found ourselves in front of the shrine.
We didn’t take any pictures inside the chapel, because we saw the sign that says no photography is allowed.
The icon of Our Lady is depicted without a child, an image rarely seen.
What is worth remembering is that the icon of Our Lady of Ostrobram has a very rich, intricate gold outfit, which is striking in its beauty and elegance. And the walls next to it are hung with numerous silver and gold gifts from the faithful praying for healing.
The gate chapel of Acute Brahma is connected by a roofed gallery to the nearby Catholic Church of St. Therese, whose imposing façade seems to point skyward as seen in the middle of the next photograph.
And Acute Brahma is in the far right corner of this photo:
Here’s how these landmarks look late at night:
St. Theresa’s Church rises in the middle of the top photo, and you can see the lights at Acute Brahma in the distance behind it.
Returning to our hotel at night, we approached the Sharp Gate again.
In the darkness, under the light of a street lamp and two small lamps, even through the thick closed glass, the icon of Our Lady of Ostrobrahma radiated an unusual and mysterious glow.
Putting the camera on zoom mode, I captured her luminous image like this:
Ostraya Brama with the gate chapel and the icon of Our Lady of Ostrobrahma made an indelible impression on me. I think that this place is rightly considered a symbol of Vilnius.
I consider a visit to Ostroi Brama a must for anyone visiting the city. It’s just a must-see in Vilnius. And for religious people, this place is sacred. In my opinion, the first acquaintance with Vilnius is better and more convenient to start from here (that’s what we did ourselves).
Our trip to Vilnius was the final stage of a trip to Austria, Poland and Lithuania, about which I will write in my other reviews sometime.