Vilnius Travel Guide:Vilnius Changing of the Guard at the Lithuanian Presidential Palace
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Vilnius Travel Guide:Vilnius Changing of the Guard at the Lithuanian Presidential Palace

changing of the guard vilnius when is the lithuanian changing of the guard presidential palace vilnius changing of the guard

The changing of the guard in Vilnius, Lithuania is not as well known or advertised as the changing of the guard in other countries. The guards are not guarding a king or queen but the Lithuanian Presidential Palace, which is the official residence of the Lithuanian President. In fact the Vilnius guards aren't even on duty most of the time, they just turn up for the changing of the guard ceremony.

The ceremony itself seems to have as it's purpose the dismantling of the three Lithuanian flags which fly outside of the Presidential Palace and the raising of fresh flags. Perhaps the entire ceremony was devised just so that once a week the flags could be taken down for a good wash!

changing of the guard

However if you are in Vilnius on a Sunday it is really worth seeing. Soldiers march from one end of the palace to the other in the front courtyard. There are a group of air force men, navy and army each in their different colored uniforms. Once the group of guards reaches the three flag poles in front of the palace they begin to change the flags to the sound of beating drums. The flags are changed with great precision and their folding skills rival those of the best laundry woman!

There are also ceremonial guards which don't actually "change" during the changing of the guard ceremony but they are dressed to impress! These guards wear medieval chain mail and metal helmets. They carry swords and shields and look like knights one would see in a movie. These are the guards the kids will love best!

changing of the guard lithuania

Where is the changing of the guard's ceremony in Vilnius, Lithuania?

The 14th century Presidential Palace is conveniently located in the Old City of Vilnius and is walking distance from the main town square of Vilnius so you won't need to take a Vilnius taxi. When you get there don't do as I did and walk around the Palace looking for guards as the guards only appear just before the ceremony. So wait in the large open courtyard where there are three flags flying.

The presidential Palace is located on Daukanto aikste 3/8 in the Vilnius Old City.

When is the changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius?

Check with your hotel reception whether the changing of the guard is taking place on the week of your visit as sometimes it is canceled due to bad weather. Alternatively check with the tourist information office. If the changing of the guard is taking place in Vilnius when you visit it will be only once a week on a Sunday at 12 noon.

If the Lithuanian flag is flying on top of the Palace then the President is in Vilnius or in residence.

The changing of the guard ceremony in Vilnius is an interesting addition to the other Vilnius tourist attractions like the Jewish museum, KGB Museum, Vilnius markets and the great Vilnius restaurants (Sue's Indian Restaurant for example). In most European countries you will be able to see the changing of the guard in some form or other, another interesting changing of the guard is in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Comments (1)

Sounds like something that is worthy of seeing. I saw them do it in Washington, DC it was quite impressive.