Vilniaus Sv.Tereses parapija
Ausros vartu g. 14
LT-01303 Vilnius
Lietuva
El.p. rastine@ausrosvartai.lt
Tel. (00370 5) 212 35 13

The Tower of the Gates of Dawn
 

This is a large oblong structure with five apertures from which weapons could be fired. The front arch had double gates, one of which could be raised and the other closed in the normal fashion. The brick wall of the tower is constructed in the Gothic style and is between 2-2,6 m thick, with the decorative attic (the upper part of the building) constructed in the Renaissance style.b2.jpg

b3.jpgThe gate's attic storey is crafted in the Northern Renaissance style. It was probably added to the top of the gate tower at the beginning of the 17th century, perhaps when the gates were rebuilt in the wake of the Fire of 1610. The composition on the façade represents the Vytis, or Knight, grand-ducal heraldic charge supported by two mythological creatures: griffins. The origins of the griffins which support the Grand Duchy's coat of arms are an enigma. In the Christian symbolic meaning, the image of a being that rules both, heaven and earth is played by Jesus Christ, Pantokrator (ruler of the universe). Therefore, it is probably no accident that the griffins stand above the niche bearing an image of Christ, Saviour of the World. Here, Our Lord bears the globe in his hand. Hidden beneath the attic storey cornice is a head of Hermes (Mercury).c1.jpg

Beneath the attic storey on the second floor there is a niche containing a fresco of Christ as the Saviour of the World. In the seventeenth century, a picture of the same subject painted on boards was most probably replaced by this fresco.  To Our Lord's right stands St Casimir and on His left, is most likely a painting of St Stanislas, the co-patron of Vilnius Cathedral.

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PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF THE GATES OF DAWN


O my Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, I offer myself entirely to Thy grace and to Thy overwhelming mercy today and forever, but mostly at the hour of my death do I dedicate myself to thee. To thee do I dedicate my body and soul, all my happiness and hope, all my sorrows and sufferings! I offer my life and the end of my life to Thy holy hands so that through Thy merits all my deeds and acts go according to Thy holy will and according to the will of Thy sweetest Son! Amen.


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