Vilnius, Capital And Largest City Of Lithuania
Vilnius ( VIL-nee-əs, Lithuanian: [ˈvʲɪlʲnʲʊs] (listen); see also other names) is the capital and largest city of Lithuania, with a population of 592,389 as of 2022 (according to the state register) or 622,737 (according to the municipality of Vilnius). The population of Vilnius's functional urban area, which stretches beyond the city limits, is estimated at 718,507 (as of 2020), while according to the Vilnius territorial health insurance fund, there were 732,421 permanent inhabitants as of October 2020 in Vilnius city and Vilnius district municipalities combined. Vilnius is situated in southeastern Lithuania and is the second-largest city in the Baltic states, but according to the Bank of Latvia is expected to become the largest before 2025. It is the seat of Lithuania's national government and the Vilnius District Municipality. Vilnius is known for the architecture in its Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The city was noted for its multicultural population already in the time of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, with contemporary sources comparing it to Babylon. Before World War II and the Holocaust, Vilnius was one of the most important Jewish centres in Europe. Its Jewish influence has led to its nickname "the Jerusalem of Lithuania". Napoleon called it "the Jerusalem of the North" as he was passing through in 1812. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with Linz, Austria. In 2021, Vilnius was named among top-25 fDi's Global Cities of the Future – one of the most forward-thinking cities with the greatest potential in the world.