Vilnius draws attention, not only because of its unique architectural character, but also by its cultural events and attractions.
A variety of business, political and cultural meetings are held there. Vilnius is attractively presented at international tourism exhibitions and co-operation between many capitals of Europe is promoted. In 2009, Vilnius, as the first of the new cities of the EU Member States, became the European Capital of Culture. It shares this honour with the Austrian city of Linz.
The city has been hospitable, open and tolerant throughout the ages. Throughout the course of its history three faiths merged: paganism, western and eastern Christianity. As far back as the 14th century Grand Duke Gediminas noticed that. The Ruler of the last pagan state in Europe wrote in his letters to the European countries that everybody worshiped one God in Vilnius, only everyone worshiped him according to his customs, that both Catholic and Orthodox churches had already been built in the city. Later the Muslims, Crimean Tartars, Karaites and Jews settled in the city and erected their houses of worship. Vilnius was even referred to as the Jerusalem of North.