Užupis: a Republic Inside Vilnius Where History Meets Art
Užupis is the smallest district in Vilnius, covering an area of 0.6 km² and separated from the Old Town by the Vilnelė River. What used to be a seedy part of the city in the early 90s has grown into an affluent neighbourhood of artists, intellectuals, and a few local moguls. The district declared independence on 1 April 1997, as if to underline the humorous nature of the whole affair. However, the new republic comes complete with its own currency, government, anthem, constitution and an ever-present free spirit.