Fodor's Expert Review Vilnius Jewish Quarter


Once referred to as “Jerusalem of the North,” Vilnius used to be Europe's major center of Jewish culture; Jews were by far the largest minority group in Lithuania prior to World War II. By the end of the war, only a tiny fraction of the city's once-thriving Jewish community survived. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the intersection of Stikliu, Gaono, and Zydu streets was the location of a glass market, with a wide variety of Jewish merchants and goods. During the Nazi occupation, this area was turned into the “small ghetto,” but the area was later liquidated. More than 95% of the Jewish population of Lithuania—which in the early 1930s numbered some 210,000—was killed. Today, the Jewish Quarter contains little trace of its original greatness. However, a number of murals have been created to honor the area's Jewish past, and some street names are written in Hebrew in addition to Lithuanian.

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Vilnius, Vilnius County  Lithuania

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