The Artillery Bastion in Vilnius is one of the last surviving parts of the city’s old defensive wall. Built in the 17th century, it is a horseshoe shaped building with a tower and connecting tunnel. Damaged during the Russian occupation in the late part of the 17th century, the bastion gradually lost its defensive function. By the beginning of the 19th century, most of the defensive wall had been destroyed and the bastion was turned into a garbage dump for the city.
Reconstruction of the bastion began in 1966 as the tower was rebuilt and the tunnel and interior rooms were renovated. A museum opened within the bastion in 1987 and there visitors can see weapons and armor from the 15th to 19th centuries, as well as cannons and stone cannon shells. A viewing platform also offers a nice view of Vilnius’ Old Town.
The Artillery Bastion is within walking distance of Vilnius’ Old Town. The nearest bus stop is at Ausros Vartai, where buses 13, 31, 34, 74, 88 and 102N stop. From there, it is just a couple blocks to the bastion. Guided tours are available in the Lithuanian, Russian and English languages, but tours in a foreign language must be ordered in advance by phone or e-mail.