OLD TOWN RENEWAL AGENCY

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St. Bartholomew’s Fair 2019

Historic St. Bartholomew’s Fair took place at Vilnius Town Hall square on August 23–24, 2019. The fair celebrated for the 8th time showcasing reconstructed crafts, arts and guild traditions of the Late Medieval Ages and the Renaissance. The Fair has been known since 1664 when mentioned first in the Statute of  Vilnius‘ Potters‘ Guild.

This city event  opened with a solemn parade with the flags of Vilnius craftsmen guilds marching through the Gates of Dawn, Vokiečių str., Dominikonų str., Šv. Jono str., Pilies str., Didžioji str., Town Hall Square, and lasted for 2 days. Guests and citizens were greeted by the Minister of Agriculture Andrius Palionis, the Vice-mayor of Vilnius City Edita Tamošiūnaitė and organisers. All participants were invited to commemorate this unique festival in the context of the 25th anniversary since Vilnius Historic Centre was inscribed into UNESCO World Heritage List, and the 355th anniversary since the St. Bartholomew’s Fair was first mentioned. The opening ceremony was finalised by everybody singing the anthem of the Baltic Way „Baltic Wakes Up“.

All participants could get acquainted with crafts, admire traditional costumes, dance and listen to the music of the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, performed by Check and Lithuanian artists. More than 70 craftsmen demonstrated production processes of their crafts. Special 4 lectures were held in Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency about the Medieval kitchen, bookbinding, Renaissance leather crafts and the specialty of the Medieval executioner. Lithuanian National Museum prepared special excursions for most active participants of the fair.

The St. Bartholomew’s Fair is certificated as Lithuanian national heritage and maintains traditions of crafts and city’s culture. This revived festival is valuable as the part of intangible cultural heritage for strengthening the cultural contents and significance of Vilnius Historic Center – UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main organizer of the fair: the Fine Crafts Association of Vilnius; other organizers: Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency, „Amatų gildija“, craftsmen club „Dvaro meistrai“.