In the 14th century the first Bishop of Vilnius, Andrius Vasila, built a palace there, which was later decorated, rebuilt and expanded by its successive owners. In the 18th century, some reconstruction works of the Palace ensemble were carried out by Lithuanian architect Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevičius. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Palace was devastated by fires, wars and disturbances. After Lithuania was made part of the Russian empire, the Bishops' Palace became a temporary residence of the Russian Emperor, dukes and other noblemen. The Palace, the most magnificent and respectable palace at that time, was also used for residence by Tsar Pavel I, the would-be King of France Louis XVIII, and French Emperor Napoleon. In the 19th century, the Palace became the official residence of the Russian Governor General. Governor-General Muravyov and twice Governor-General of Lithuania Mikhail Kutuzov lived there. In 1824-1834, the Palace was reconstructed to the design of Vasily Stasov, a renowned architect of the Tsar Court in St. Petersburg, acquiring its present-day shape. In 1920, before the loss of the Vilnius region to Poland, the Palace housed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. Later, between the two World Wars, it again became a venue for official ceremonies. Marshal Józef Piłsudski of Poland also stayed at the Palace. After of the Second World War, the Palace was converted into the Soviet Military Officers' Centre. In the 60s, it received new hosts, becoming the Artists' Palace. After the restoration of Lithuania's independence, part of the building housed the Embassy of France. At the end of 1995, renovation of the Palace began. In 1997, it became the seat of the President of the Republic.
Palace Tours are arranged on Fridays at 16.30 and on Saturdays from 9.00 to 14.30. Groups include 25 persons. Personal identification documents are required. Admission is free.
Reservations by phone (+370~5) 2664 073 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.