Driven by health concerns, most European capitals have mothballed their public events for this Christmas. But even in the absence of traditional fairs, their symbolic centerpiece stands tall and bright everywhere, in defiance of the coronavirus – the Christmas tree.
And speaking of Christmas trees, the Lithuanian capital leads the pack and even rivals grudgingly acknowledge this. Just days ago, for the second year in a row, the Vilnius entrant was picked by the European Best Destinations organization as the Most Beautiful Christmas tree in Europe, leaving Strasbourg (second) and Prague behind.
This year’s Vilnius Christmas tree is indeed a jaw-dropping surreal creation combining tradition, modernity, and sustainability. The conic-shaped installation, arranged next to the Bell Tower of St. John’s Church, is designed so that it can be safely marveled at from a distance.
The 24 m tall composition is made up of metal panels adorned with color-changing lights on the outside and mirrors on the flip side. Here, as in previous years, the metal frame is decorated with real spruce branches collected from fallen trees in nearby forests.
The multifaceted modern facade opens up just enough to reveal a live and sprightly decorated spruce inside. The homely interior ensures that the spirit of Christmas lives on despite the pandemic.