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In 1975, Šiauliai became the third city in Europe (after Rotterdam in 1972 and Erfurt in 1973) and the first city in Lithuania to turn its central street – Vilnius Street - into a pedestrian-only boulevard. Vilnius Street is a historic avenue. Just like Tilžės street, it was built in the 18th century, and has played an essential role in the city’s history ever since.
During the post-World War I reconstruction of Šiauliai, the street was rebuilt and decorated with unique modern-style architecture. Majority of these buildings withstood the challenges of 20th century and charm the passers-by to this day. During the Soviet occupation, the Vilnius street saw the emergence of Stalinist architecture. However, due to relatively modest size of the city, the buildings were of a simpler nature, avoiding the grandiose of traditional Stalinist architecture.
Since the independence, the Vilnius Street has undergone even more changes. During the reconstruction of 2005-2009, parts of the boulevard were paved with the original granite that was used in the first half of the 20th century. Embellished with greenery, volumetric adverts, authentic architecture, murals of local street artists, the Vilnius Boulevard is Šiauliai residents’ go-to place for leisure, entertainment and shopping.
Start the trip along the boulevard, from the fountain Bridges of the Millennium at the crossing of Vilniaus and Žemaitės streets and finish the acquaintance with the pedestrian street at the crossing of Vilniaus Street and Draugystės Avenue.
Numbers speak for themselves: You will find over 50 interesting objects on the Vilnius boulevard!