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Virtual exhibition

Gemstones dating to the 13th–17th centuries in archaeological research data from the residence of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes in the Vilnius Lower Castle

During the course of archaeological research in Vilnius, 25 artefacts were discovered, decorated with 27 gemstones, along with 2 artefacts with stone insets, all dating to the 13th–17th centuries. These were 2 garnets, 8 pearls, 2 chalcedony, 4 turquoise, 2 carnelian and 2 coral pieces, and one each of jasper, quartz, emerald, jet, ruby, diamond, agate, serpentinite and stannite.

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The Early Brick Castle in Vilnius is the oldest known brick castle in the territory of present-day Lithuania. The greatest expansion of this castle occurred in the early 14th century (ca 1325–1327), when Lithuania was ruled by Grand Duke Gediminas (1316–1341). It was at this time that an octagonal tower was built on the site of the old defensive tower, while nearby the castle’s western gate towers and defensive wall were erected. Archaeological research conducted around the castle revealed that the earliest brick fortifications in Lithuania’s territory on the foot of Castle Hill in the centre of Vilnius were constructed by the predecessors of Grand Duke Gediminas back in the late 13th century.

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