VINTAGE: This handbag cost 15 litas (4.30 euros) in the flea market in the yard of the Teachers’ House in Vilnius.
VILNIUS - According to the top 10 European flea markets list published by the British Guardian newspaper, Europe’s top flea markets are situated in Brussels, as well as in the Belgian town of Namur, and towns of France, Italy, and Spain. However, those who cannot go to Brussels on weekends have an alternative in Vilnius – the flea market (“blusu turgus” or “blusturgis” in Lithuanian) in the cozy courtyard of the Teachers’ House in Vilnius (Vilniaus Street 39/6).
While in Brussels the sellers at flea markets are professionals working all week long, the Vilnius flea market is a creation of enthusiasts for whom it is rather for some fun, not for profit making. The flea market in the courtyard of Vilnius Teachers House is open on Sundays from 12:00 to 16:00. It is a place to buy some antiques, vintage items and other funny old stuff. It is also allowed to sell home-made items there, but such items should not prevail among things proposed by such sellers, according to the Vilnius flea market’s rules. It is also forbidden to sell items of modern mass production.
Those who wish to sell something at the Vilnius flea market (everybody is welcome), should register via firstname.lastname@example.org (or call Igne +370 64739742 or Doloresa +370 61068571) and pay the 10 litas (2.9 euros) fee. The sellers should arrive at 11:00-11:30.
All kinds of local fashion stars, as well as collectors of antiques, visit the flea market for some inspiration. Some of them say that their beloved flea market is Place du Jeu de Balle in the Brussels’ district of Marolles (the latter is somewhat similar to the Vilnius district of Uzupis, i.e. the old proletarian district which recently became fashionable for living among high-earning yuppies).
The flea market’s essence is the possibility to buy something very original – for example, if you have a worldview somewhat similar to that of Mr. DSK, a couple of weeks ago you could have bought at the Marolles some metal sculptures of naked women decorated with some red silk to decorate your house in the style of a brothel of the 1920s. In the Vilnius flea market, for example, a Soviet-era wooden calculator, which was used in shops, could be bought recently. While Place du Jeu de Balle was established in 1919, and markets of old and used things in Brussels are known since the 16th century, the Vilnius flea market was founded only in 2008, but anyway, the latter is not any worse. Buyers can do some bargaining there – it is rather a must at a flea market, though prices are not high there.
The courtyard of the Teachers House is also a good place to watch EuroBasket 2011 on the big screen, have some snacks and beer from a cafe situated there. The courtyard of Teachers House and the nearby situated St. Catherine Church (Sv. Kotrynos baznycia) also hosts several concerts of all possible styles every week.