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Gate of Dawn

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The Gates of Dawn are one of the symbols of the city of Vilnius.

These gates are a famous Catholic shrine not only in the whole of Lithuania but also abroad. Built on the road to the city of Medininkai and originally called the Medininkai gates, they were one of the original five gates of Vilnius built together with the city wall. The three-tiered gates stand in the southern part of the Old Town, open onto M. Daukša Street, and are connected to a surviving section of the defensive wall.

The building's unique renaissance attic is decorated with a décor characteristic of that style. The main facade of the gates is adorned with gryphons bearing the arms of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Beside it to the east stands part of the city wall. This is the longest section of all those remaining.

The picture of the Mother of Mercy of the Gates of Dawn is well known among Catholics worldwide. The image of the Virgin Mary, covered with gold by an unknown 17th century goldsmith, has the features of both the gothic style and icon painting. Painted with tempera on oak boards, it was later re-painted with oil paints.

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