View of Žvėrynas in 1873-1881
|Municipality||Vilnius city municipality|
|• Total||2.6 km2 (1.0 sq mi)|
|• Density||4,700/km2 (12,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Žvėrynas (literally the menagerie) is one of the older neighborhoods and smallest elderships in Vilnius, Lithuania. According to the 2001 census, about 12,000 people live within a 2.6 km² area. It lies on the banks of the Neris River, and is situated to the west of the Lithuanian Parliament building. The river surrounds it from three sides and isolates it from the city. On the other side of the river, to the northwest, lies Vingis Park.
Originally the district belonged to the Radziwiłł family, who maintained wild animals in the area for hunting purposes (hence the name). In 1825, a summer house was built which later became the residence of the Governor General of the Vilna Governorate. At the end of the 19th century, Žvėrynas became the property of businessmen who in turn sold individual tracts of land to the city's residents. In 1901, it was incorporated into the city. Žvėrynas was the first planned neighborhood with straight streets and rectangular blocks. It remained mostly residential with very few industrial enterprises. After Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, Žvėrynas became one of its more prestigious neighborhoods. Žvėrynas has a number of government and educational institutions, finance and insurance companies, as well as health care institutions. Žvėrynas is the site of Vilnius' only kenesa.
- Map of Žvėrynas
- Wooden Architecture of Vilnius Historic Suburbs
- Žvėrynas Community Homepage (Lithuanian)