Legend says that St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church was built on the site of a former pagan temple, but it is known for certain that this masterpiece of Baroque architecture was built on the remains of a wooden church destroyed in the internecine struggles of the 17th century.
This Roman Catholic Church was commissioned in 1668 by Lithuanian aristocrat Mykolas Pacas to celebrate a victory over the Russians. It was designed by Italian architect Frediani Giambattista with a relatively austere ocher-and-white Baroque façade that belies its fantastical interior – unusual for a Baroque church, the entire interior is decorated in monotones augmented with rare splashes of color.
Master Italian sculptor Pietro Perti worked for 30 years to create the 2,000 snowy-white stucco statues of saints and biblical figures that adorn the nave and aisles, and the macabre Grim Reaper statue and spectacularly ornate central dome should not be missed.
Other treasures include the vast altar painting of St. Peter and St. Paul by Panciškus Smuglevicius and the glittering Art Nouveau chandelier in the shape of a silver fishing boat suspended above the main aisle in honor of St. Peter, the “fisher of men.”
St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church is open from 6 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Mass takes place six times a day on Sunday with the last one at 6 p.m., and four times a day Monday through Saturday.