A visit to the Republic of Užupis
On April Fools Day in 1997 something interesting happened in Vilnius where a group of people living in the artistic neighborhood of Uzupis decided that they would announce that they wanted to declare their neighborhood as its own Republic. The Republic of Uzupis.
Walking around in Vilnius you might even walk through it, without noticing it’s borders, signs and constitution which is on display in eight languages in golden plates hanging on outside walls. However this small Republic had it’s own president, national anthem, flag and even an army of twelve soldiers.
When looking for it you can also find quite interesting artistic gems such as a penis statue, lots of grafitti and even a statue of backpacker Jesus. The shops, bars and restaurants also have a quite artistic atmosphere like a small Hippietown in the middle of the Vilnius Old City.
The sign at the border tells you that you are now entering the Republic of Uzupis, not in English but in silly languages like Yiddish, a Jewish German language used by very few people.
The Republic of Uzupis still has a long way to go in order to really call itself a country, but as a tourist it was quite an interesting place to visit.
My favorite bar “Snekutis” looks like a mess but it had great food and arhmostphere