Užupis is the artist district of Vilnius and a great place to walk around.
In fact, it’s an independent Republic! Well, that’s what they say.
Užupis was declared independent by its inhabitants in 1997. Užupis Republic National Day is April 1st. That’s right, April Fools day. If you visit the Republic on that day you might event get your passport stamped by one of the guards at the “border”.
Užupis has it’s own 41 point Constitution, which you can read later on this page.
You can cross into Užupis from a few bridges over the Vilnia River.
The Vilnia River as entering the Užupis Republic: There are works of art everywhere to get you in the mood.
Užupis means “The place beyond the river”, so the Vilnia or Vilnelė River means a lot to this Republic.
One of the symbols of Užupis is Užupis Mermaid, made in bronze by sculptor Romas Vilciauskas.
It is said that it is the mermaid who makes people from all over the world come to Užupis, and those who surrender to her charm remain in Užupis forever.
Well, I didn't remain there, but I still found Užupis was an enchanting place.
There are lots of cafés, bars, restaurants, taverns and exhibition halls all around Uzupis.
The district is rather small, but it’s absolutely worth spending a few hours here.
This statue is located in the main square since 2001. It is supposed to represent the artistic freedom of Užupis.
Before 2001 there was a statue of an egg. You can see a picture of this egg by flickr user liako here.
By the the way, Užupis Republic is sometimes called the "Republic of Angels". I don't know it they have this name since they put the angel statue, but in any case it's a nice nickname for an artist distric (or Republic...)
Užupis has it’s own 41 point Constitution, which you can read in 6 languages on Paupio Gatve.
It gives men the right to be misunderstood, the right to cry and the right to have no rights. It also states that you don’t have the right to be violent.
The constitution also gives dogs the right to be a dog and a cat the right to not love his owner.
It's funny at first place, but when you think about it, it’s about to be free and respect the others.
||Constitution of the Republic of Užupis
1. Everyone has the right to live by the River Vilnelė, and the River Vilnelė has the right to flow by everyone.
2. Everyone as the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof.
3. Everyone has the right to die, but this is not an obligation.
4. Everyone has the right to make mistakes.
5. Everyone has the right to be unique.
6. Everyone has the right to love.
7. Everyone has the right not to be loved, but not necessarily.
8. Everyone has the right to be undistinguished and unknown.
9. Everyone has the right to idle.
10. Everyone has the right to love and take care of a cat.
11. Everyone has the right to look after the dog until one of them dies.
12. A dog has the right to be a dog.
13. A cat is not obligated to love its owner, but must help in time of need.
14. Sometimes everyone has the right to be unaware of his duties.
15. Everyone has the right to be in doubt, but this is not an obligation.
16. Everyone has the right to be happy.
17. Everyone has the right to be unhappy.
18. Everyone has the right to be silent.
19. Everyone has the right to have faith.
20. No one has the right to violence.
21. Everyone has the right to appreciate their unimportance.
22. No one has the right to have a design on eternity.
23. Everyone has the right to understand.
24. Everyone has the right to understand nothing.
||25. Everyone has the right to be of any nationality.
26. Everyone has the right to celebrate or not celebrate their birthday.
27. Everyone shall remember their name.
28. Everyone may share what they possess.
29. No one can share what they do not possess.
30. Everyone has the right to have brothers, sisters and parents.
31. Everyone may be independant.
32. Everyone is responsible of their freedom.
33. Everyone has the right to cry.
34. Everyone has the right to be misunderstood.
35. No one has the right to make another person guilty.
36. Everyone has the right to be individual.
37. Everyone has the right to have no rights.
38. Everyone has the right to not be afraid.
39. Do not defeat.
40. Do not fight back.
41. Do not surrender.
||Well, it was a short but amazing trip.
I’ve seen gorgeous places, learnt a lot about different things and met some very nice people from, Lithuania, from Spain and from Belarus.
Time to take the plane back home: to see my cat and to go back to work on the next day.
When will I come back to the Baltic area? I don't know but Kaliningrad is tempting me more and more...