In the old days, prisons were commonly located close to the city centers. Nowadays, the closure of these outdated places creates new challenges and opportunities for the municipalities. Most of them are demolished to make space for modern buildings, but some historical architectures deserve preservation.
It is the case for the Lukiškės Prison in Vilnius, which tells a rich and contrasting history. Visitors can have a glimpse into the day-to-day life of the prison when it was in service from 1904 to 2019. But more than welcoming visitors and preserving the site, the new project called Lukiškės Prison 2.0 aims to give life back into it through culture. Thus the various spaces of the penitentiary host around 250 workshops and shops of creators and artists, creating a genuine cultural ecosystem. High times of the year is the 8 festival, a music festival featuring international indie artists such as German techno trio Moderat, Swedish post-punk band Viagra Boys, or Tik Tok sensation Sub Urban.
The location is also just an enjoyable place to spend time, especially in the summer when you can enjoy the sun and refreshing drinks in the courtyard. Finally, the prison is also used for filming, like recently for the fourth season of the Netflix show Stranger Things. Highlighting the mysterious atmosphere, it helps give an international aura to the location.
When visiting Vilnius, don’t hesitate!