The Republic of Uzupis is a quirky neighborhood within Vilnius, Lithuania, that declares itself an independent nation.
You might’ve heard of independent regions such as the famous Freetown Christiania in Denmark. However, while Freetown Christiania is largely founded off of drug use, Uzupis is all about art. And cats. And beer.
Uzupis used to be a neighborhood in Vilnius for criminals. But after artists became interested in the scene, the neighborhood shifted from criminal to alternative. Eventually, they declared themselves as an independent nation.
It took them about 3 hours to write their Constitution at “Bar-liament”. That’s right. Their Parliament is in a bar.
Uzupis celebrates their independence on April 1st- also known as April Fools Day. There is a broken drinking fountain in the center of the town that they use as a keg. The beer flows freely for about an hour on this holiday!
There are a few basic principals to Uzupis. You can be anything you want to be, as long as you don’t harm anyone else. But you do have to smile. You can’t drive faster than 20 km per hour, because you are supposed to be enjoying the moment. You have to be interested in art. So if you’re not interested in art, pretend.
But their Constitution gets even more detailed. Here are my top 3 favorite rules of Uzipis.
Rule #10: Everyone has the right to love and take care of their cat.
Rule #27: Everyone shall remember their name.
Rule #37: Everyone has the right to have no rights.
And if you don’t follow their rules? They have an army with about 11 people. So really, don’t mess with them.
Here’s my challenge to you if you ever visit Uzupis. Find this inscription on one of the sidewalks:
Here’s the translation in English:
“In the world there are thousands of cities, but there is only one city that is your city. And when you find that city, you will find yourself.”
Could you follow the rules of Uzupis? Leave a reply to let me know.
Until next time- Saludos!