Jewish Baltic tour – Lita, Latvia 4 days

Jewish Baltic tour – Lita, Latvia in 4 days


Day 1


Arrival to Riga.

Half day city tour of Riga, including the OldTown, the Dome Cathedral built in 1211 and its extraordinary organ with 6781 pipes. The Great and Small Guilds houses and economical history of the city, the Swedish gate and the Beer-brewers street, Cats’s house and the superstitious legend, the “Three Brothers” – architectural development example, the House of the “Blackheads” – single merchants guild, St. Peter church and its tower. The outstanding collection of Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) architecture in the streets of Riga. Visit to the biggest Central market in the Baltics located in 5 huge hangars; continue to “Maskavas forstadt” a former suburb of Riga developed by foreign merchants coming to trade on the Market. Later on this are became a house for the first Jewish settlement in the area of Riga. Memorial – ruins of the Great Synagogue. Wall of Righteous among the Nations. Jewish School founded in the 19th cent. Ghetto territory – the Small Ghetto and Reich’s Juden Ghetto. Synagogue on Moscow street, Hospital Bikur Holim, Old Jewish Cemetery.

Buffet dinner at the hotel.

Overnight in Riga.

Day 2

Breakfast at the hotel.

09:00 Meeting with the guide at the hotel.

Excursion to Sigulda. Sigulda is a historically rich town, dominated by castle ruins and unspoiled nature, it’s a tourist center of the Gauja National Park. The Park has been established along the sandstone banks of the River Gauja – the most striking river in Latvia. The area of the Park is 900 sq. km. There are beautiful forests, hills, deep ravines, old castles and caves. A visit to Turaidas Castle.

Overnight in Riga.

Day 3


Breakfast at the hotel.

09:00 Departure to Vilnius via Rundale and Siauliai without guide.

10:00 Entrance to Rundale Palace (guided tour EN), a beautiful example of the Italian baroque, built by famous architect Rastrielli. The Palace built for favourite of Jekaterina II Count Biron reminds you of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.

Continueto Hill of Crosses – near Siauliai, where the Pope John Paul II held the most highly attended mass in the country during his visit to Lithuania in 1993. It is believed that the first crosses were placed here just after the 1831 uprising, and today the hill is home to thousands of all different sizes and colours. Interspersed amongst the crosses are traditional Lithuanian koplytstulpis – wooden figures – and magnificent stone statues of Christ. It is a unique example of Christianity in Lithuania, revealing the creation of Catholic believers, who took those thousands of crosses into one place.

Visiting Siauliai. Etrance to Chaimas Frenkelis Villa in Siauliai. Chaimas Frenkelis was a Jew.. Having learned a little about skin processing and saved five thousand roubles of the Tzarist Russia in the then Šiauliai suburb, nearly the swamp, bought the land with small dwellings and founded the leather processing unit. Soon the unit grew into one of the largest tanneries of the Tzarist Russia. This way Šiauliai became well-known town.

By the way to Vilnius stop at Seduva in which is developing a unique Lithuanian Jewish Culture and  Heritage project “Lost Shtetl”. Arrival to Vilnius.

Accommodation at the hotel.

Overnight in Vilnius.

Day 4

09:00 Meeting with the guide at the hotel.

City tour of Vilnius.

Panoramic tour by bus.

Visit: Old Jewish Cemetery on Olandu str., St. Peter’s and Paul’s Church, Hill of Three Crosses.

Walking along the Old Town: The Gate of Dawn (Aušros vartai), the Church of the Holy Spirit, the place of burning at the stake of Count Potocki.

Visit: Town Hall Square, Jewish Quarter, Italian courtyard, view of the garden of the Presidential Palace, Vilnius University, Cathedral square.

Free time for lunch at the Akropolis.

After lunch visit the Vilnius Cathedral, walking through the Bernardine Garden, Užupis.

Overnight in Vilnius.

Day 5

Breakfast at the hotel.

09:00 Meeting with English speaking guide at the hotel.

Departure to Trakai. Stop at Paneriai Memorial (Ponar).  Continue to Trakai. The picturesque Trakai national park with pine forests and lakes, and the ancient Lithuanian capital – the residence of Grand Dukes of the country. Visit to the 15th century insular castle hosted the museum of Lithuanian history nowadays. The history of this region includes the story of the small ethnic group Karaites, brought by Vytautas the Great from Crimea 600 years ago. Trakai is famous with Special Karaites dish –  Kibinai (meat stuffed pastry. Trakai Castle visit.

Free time for leisure.

Visit Nordica shopping mall (Vikingų str. 3, Vilnius).

Evening transfer to Vilnius airport.