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An Alternative Christmas in the Courtyard of Lukiškės Prison

If this isn’t alternative, nothing is! The Lukiškės Prison, which has stood right in the heart of the city since 1902, will be opening its gates to reveal a world of impressive architecture during the Christmas period. The courtyard of the prison complex is going to be filled with bright and colourful light installations. Getting a chance to take a sneak peak into this recently closed area is a real Christmas present for curious adventurers and fans of celebrating Christmas in an alternative way.

Christmas Installation

This is a rare opportunity to see the new face of Lukiškės Prison. Don’t forget to capture the moment because you might have to wait a long time for another experience like this. The festive installation will light up the entire courtyard, transforming it into a interesting space.

Apart from the light installations, the Alternative Christmas Yard will offer its visitors a water sculpture, which will serve as an alternative Christmas Tree, and the interactive swings.

Time: 20 December – 5 January (except  December 23-24 and December 30-31)

History of the Lukiškės Prison Complex

Until just recently, the Lukiškės Prison was the oldest functioning prison in Lithuania. It’s where former Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Menachem Begin and Lithuanian Independence Act signatory Jonas Vileišis were imprisoned. The Lukiškės Prison, designed by architect Trambicki, began operation in 1904. The prison functioned for 115 years right up until its closure in 2019. Criminals, political prisoners, refugees fleeing exile, and important historical figures were detained here. The prison conditions have been a topic of interest and have been described by various authors.

Today, the closed walls of the complex protect its architectural heritage, artwork and extensive history. Since the prison was built in the time of the Russian Empire, the territory of the prison includes the splendid Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church, which is adorned with paintings, carpets, and traditional icons. Catholics and Jews also had their places of prayer in the prison. The prison complex also houses a prison-hospital building, where General Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, a partisan commander crippled by the LSSR KGB interrogators, was treated.