Instawalk: The Abandoned Sports Complex in Downtown Vilnius

h/t The Protocity for confirming that this strange building i saw from Gediminas Hill was indeed something to explore!

just across the Neris River from Cathedral Square lies a trio of disused public spaces: an indoor sports/concert venue, a stadium, and a swimming pool. unfortunately there is no easy access (that i could find, at least) to the inside of any of these so i had to admire from the outside (except the pool; read on, dear friend).

[googlemaps //maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=sporto&aq=&sll=54.691173,25.290914&sspn=0.016718,0.052314&t=h&ie=UTF8&st=109146043351405611748&rq=1&ev=zo&split=1&radius=1.25&hq=sporto&hnear=&ll=54.691167,25.290897&spn=0.016718,0.052314&z=14&iwloc=A&cid=7655011379364413865&output=embed&w=650&h=350]

sidebar i should note that i’m currently listening to some Frank Zappa, a musician i only knew by name, because well, there is a totally random Frank Zappa monument here in Vilnius that i visited today. not really my kind of music, but hey, i’m down to try something different.

Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports (Sporto Rūmai)

this seemingly ignored (except as a parking lot) Soviet-era arena with the swoosh roof opened to the public in the early 1970s but has sat unused for the most part since the late 2000s. according to the Google Translated Lithuanian wikipedia entry, it’s currently in a state of limbo and will go to auction after the previous owner went bankrupt.

The old palace of concert and sports

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

Žalgiris Stadium (Žalgirio stadionas)

while the stadium looked overgrown inside, there was a man mowing the grass surrounding it (in an area fenced off to the public) and there were signs hung up that didn’t look too disintegrated. i suppose it must then still see some sporadic use, although i’m sure most events nowadays are held in more modern stadia. at the northwest corner is a car repair shop — i walked into their driveway and on their roof(?! there were stairs, so why not) to get the second and third shots (and panorama), respectively.

The old arena

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

A peek inside. Too bad gates are closed.

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

Zalgirio Stadium

Panorama from the roof of the auto repair shop

Žalgiris Pool (Žalgirio baseinas)

to the east of the Sports Palace you can make out the diving platforms for this pool, which, according to Foursquare pictures, seems to be the venue for hipster events, for lack of a better term. i was lucky enough to walk by as someone pulled up and unlocked the gate leading inside; i would assume it’s usually closed to the public. i’m not quite sure what he was doing (he went to the one of the back buildings and was fetching some stuff) but either didn’t see me come in and take some pictures, which i highly doubt, or didn’t mind.

The abandoned swimming pool

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

The diving boards have seen better days

A photo posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

Zalgirio Pool

The abandoned pool

i’m unsure as to whether or not i can call this my first international urbex (since last year’s attempt in Tokyo was a bust) as i didn’t really go inside anything, but i’m crossing fingers that this weekend’s exploration of some Soviet Cold War sites will be fruitful!

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