VENUE & VILNIUS
Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva
Konstitucijos pr. 20 â€˘ LT-09308 Vilnius â€˘ Lithuania
The Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva, Vilnius stands an impressive 22 stories high on the banks of the River Neris in Lithuaniaâ€™s capital city.
Lying at the crossroads of East and West, Vilnius is the geographical centre of Europe andis internationally recognized as one of the most knowledge-intensive and innovative cities. Though not by the sea, it generates its own lighthouse with a concentrated energy of brain power, bursting with fresh ideas like a laser and glorifying the city with new scientific discoveries.With 14 universities, 13 research institutes, 5 science and technology parks and 2 integrated science, studies & business centres, Vilnius is proud of the record scientific achievements in biotechnologies, innovative medicine, laser and light technologies.
Vilnius charms with its labyrinthine Old Town and historic suburbs, impresses with a sleek business district and elegant centre, and lets you breathe with many open squares and parks amid its architectural glory â€“ all of which blend together into a seamless whole. It is a compact city where major meeting facilities, hotels, cosy restaurants and important city sights are all within easy reach.
Vilnius is like an open book with vivid illustrations of the history of European styles â€“ from the Gothic to the Empiric. The Old Town of Vilnius is amongst the largest in Eastern and Central Europe, included in the UNESCO world heritage list. Flip through its title pages of heavy stone streets, letters of tiles, stained glass illustration and massive metal gates. It is very hard to put this book downâ€¦ maybe because the history of Vilnius is still living.
Vilnius seems to be of prehistoric origin, though the exact year of establishment is unknown. It was first inhabited by Slavs, and - from the 11th century - by Jews. The city became a centre for trade between Europe, the Baltic nations and Russia. It was a member of the Hanseatic League, a loose political union of North German and Baltic cities.
In the years of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, Vilnius was in constant growth. The University of Vilnius was established in the 16th century and quickly developed into the most notable cultural centre of the Union. In the 17th century, Vilnius was burnt to the ground in the wars between Russia and Poland, but was rebuilt to its former size in the coming decades. By the 19th century, Vilnius was one of the largest cities in Eastern Europe. After the partitioning of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Vilnius was annexed by Russia and the city walls were destroyed. Russian influence weakened after the Grand Revolution, and Vilnius became a centre of national rebirth.
Although Lithuania retained independence after the First World War, the sovereignty of Vilnius was â€śdebatedâ€ť by Poland in a war between Pole and Lithuanian forces. After only four years of democratic governments, an authoritarian regime took control of the country in a military coup. In the years of the Second World War, Lithuania became a battlefield for the German and Soviet forces, until the victory of the latter. After the Second World War, Lithuania became part of the Soviet Union and was ruled by the communist regime.
The country became independent after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, though Soviet Troops didnâ€™t pull out until 1994. The democratic government denationalized the state property, liberated the market and successfully reoriented the country to the Western states. Lithuania has been a member of the European Union and NATO since 2004.