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Bumblauskas, Alfredas (2000)
Journal: Lietuvos istorijos studijos
Languages: Lithuanian
Types: Article
Subjects: Lithuania ; Historical consciousness ; Historiography ; Jewish culture ; Lithuanians ; Nation ; National minorities ; Russians ; Ukrainians ; Vilnius ; Vilnius history
It can be firmly stated that Lithuania is a part of Central Europe/Central and Eastern Europe and that Vilnius is akin to Krakow and Lvov, Bratislava and Prague, Budapest and Cluj, Zagreb and Ljubljana. Vilnius can be considered a typical Central European city and capital. This serves as a firm basis for considering the phenomenology of Vilnius. It is the northernmost Catholic and Baroque city both in Central Europe and in Europe, in general. Therefore, the history of Vilnius is relevant for entire Catholic Europe and even the periphery of the entire Catholic world. On the other hand, Lithuania and Vilnius did not avoid the splitting of the western civilisation into northern Protestant and southern Catholic Europe. Vilnius was the city with the northernmost Lutheranism, even the northernmost and easternmost Calvinism. It was the capital of the only pagan state in Europe and the last one to be christianised in Europe. It was also the last and the easternmost city of Central European and Western civilisation. Vilnius was the only European capital balancing on the verge of Latin and the Byzantine civilisations. Thus, it is a Central European city and a cultural centre of Eastern Europe. Ancient Vilnius was a city of attraction and interface of several civilisations, as well as the city with ten confessions: the Catholic, Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Old Believers, Evangelical Lutheran, Evangelical Reformers’, Nontrinitarian, Karaite, Muslim and Judaist. Therefore, Vilnius can be called the Northern Jerusalem not only because of its phenomenal role in the Jewish culture but also because there are not many places where so many confessions and nations managed to coexist till the 20th c. Besides, Vilnius is not a mosaic of civilisations but their creative combination.
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