The Old Town of Vilnius is one of the largest and best preserved historic districts in Europe. It has a magnificent collection of gothic, Renaissance, and baroque architecture.
In 1996, the Government of Lithuania granted the museum the status of the National Museum of Lithuania in view of the fact that it held the most important collections of Lithuanian archaeology, history and ethnic culture. The museum is housed in the defensive buildings of the Vilnius Castle Complex.
In a plaza in front of the National Museum, houses part of the Vilnius Castle complex, and in the middle sits a newer addition: a severe, nearly 15-foot-tall statue of Lithuania’s King Mindaugas. This was erected July 6th, 2003 to commemorate the 750th anniversary of his coronation; it is also known as Statehood Day as he is considered to be the first Grand Duke of Lithuania and the first king to unify the various duchies into a nation.