“ Laimonas Briedis's subtle and evocative book ...Vanished civilisations and lost empires leave a city stalked by horror and steeped in wonder.”    THE ECONOMIST   ( Read full review)

“As a history of the textual reception of a city in central Europe, though, the Briedis volume has few peers”    THE SLAVIC REVIEW   ( Read full review)

“...unlike other history books it is fun to read and doesn’t seek to impart a purely positive or nationalist view of the city.”

THE BALTIC TIMES   ( Read full review)

“... this well overdue addition to the literature of the city is quite simply a breath of fresh air”  VILNIUS IN YOUR POCKET

Review in German Press:

JAHRBüCHER FüR GESCHICHTE OSTEUROPAS ( Read full review- in German)

“...a  delightful read...connoisseurs of fine literature... may not be able to pause before reaching the very last page of this fascinating historical account.”   EURASIAN GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMICS   ( Read full review)

“Briedis’ book is beautifully written.” SATORI online review   ( Read full review)

“A beautiful formula... combining the history of Europe with the geography of Vilnius.”   RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL  (Listen to review )

“Vilnius: City of Strangers is an exceptional piece of writing – the historical reports are like beads held together by the author’s strong conceptual thread.” ANTANAS SILEIKA  author of Women in Bronze  (Listen to review)

“It is delightfully written, with the precision of a scholar and the soul of a storyteller.”     DOVID KATZ, author of Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of Yiddish

“This is a truly rewarding read.” 

MODRIS EKSTEINS author of Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age

“This is an admirable book on an eccentric and whimsical city.”

TOMAS VENCLOVA, Yale University

“A perfect present from Vilnius. ”

SIMON SEABAG MONTEFIORE, author of Jerusalem: the Biography, and of Young Stalin


VILNIUS City of Strangers

published in Lithuania by Baltos Lankos

published in worldwide by CEU press

available in hardcover and paperback through Amazon

selected images from the book:

VILNIUS City of Strangers explores the history of Vilnius, from its legendary beginnings in the fourteenth century to the twentieth century dramas of wars, revolutions and massacres, through the insightful impressions of foreign travelers. Napoleon, Dostoyevsky, Stendhal, Tolstoy, Döblin, Forster, Bakhtin, and Brodsky; these voices – among others equally compelling, though lesser known – reveal essential meanings of Europe in their narratives of encounter with the threshold city. Laimonas Briedis has woven their letters, diaries, utterances and reflections into a riveting and intimate story exhibiting a deep understanding of the Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and German identities of the place, as well as its centrality in European Jewish culture.  This book is a veritable hall of mirrors, which yields an illuminating vision of Vilnius and an exceptional window on Europe.