The country’s most important Catholic shrine, the Cathedral, is the symbol of Lithuania’s baptism. The oldest masonry, dating back from the 13th to 15th centuries, and the oldest Lithuanian fresco, painted in the 14th century and depicting the crucifixion of Christ, remain in the Cathedral’s catacombs. The site also houses the remains of the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the King of Poland Alexander, Zygmunt August’s wives Elizabeth and Barbora Radvilaitė, as well as the urn containing the heart of Duke Wladyslaw.
The Cathedral as it is seen today is the result of a reconstruction project headed by Laurynas Gucevičius in 1801. The Cathedral is also home to one of the most precious examples of early Baroque art – the Chapel of Saint Casimir, which holds the saint’s remains. Visitors flock to the site to see the painting of St. Mary the Virgin (Madonna of the Sapiega) in the Cathedral’s Gostautas Chapel, which has been known for its miracles for a long time. The work is also one of the earliest examples of a painting of Mary in Europe crowned by the Pope (1750).