Our planet needs love. With countries out to destroy each other with war and human intolerance at an all-time high, we need unity and healing more than ever. To move towards that hope, what could be better than a bridge to a united planet? Lithuania and Poland showed the world a surreal and futuristic way to encourage friendship and promote unity. They have built a magic portal that allows people to see each other in real time, making the physical distance between the two places completely disappear. It is nothing short of magic and kind that can make the world a better place. To reveal the whole story, let’s travel through this magical portal and discover how these two nations managed to create history in the most beautiful way possible.
The portal allows people from Vilnius, Lithuania, and Lublin, Poland, to see each other without having to travel.
It is in the form of a circle, symbolizing the wheel of time. In Vilnius, one of the oldest cities in Lithuania, the gate stands right outside the train station. In Lublin, it is located on Plac Litewski. They are approximately 375 miles apart from each other. But why these cities in particular? Although the fact that these two cities chose to build and host this gateway is a coincidence, it is amazing.
This is because the Union of Lublin was signed on July 1, 1569, between Poland and Lithuania in that very city. This union resonated the sense of unity and friendship between the two countries, creating a single state called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which became one of the largest in Europe at that time. Therefore, if portals become a trend, these are the two perfect directions to send the message of unity to the world.
The spherical portal took five years to create and broadcast in real time, allowing people to communicate between the two cities.
Remember Stargate? Sci-fi movie with a ring-shaped device that lets you travel to a parallel portal anywhere in the universe? This field gives you a similar feeling of looking into another dimension – a window to another place. Both portals have screens and cameras for live broadcasts. It captures and shows people at their full, individual scale, and presents them exactly as they are in their environment.
Benediktas Gylys, President of the Benediktas Gylys Foundation, is the brainchild behind the idea for the portal. The portal was funded in part by the Vilnius Government for the Promotion of Tourism, as well as the Benediktas Gylys Foundation, after winning a competition aimed at promoting tourism in the Lithuanian capital. Gillis believes that humanity is in trouble not because countries lack thinkers, scientists, creators, activists, or knowledge. Because of the alienation, lack of empathy, and narrowness of mind that make us unable to think outside national boundaries. For him, this portal is “an invitation to rise above our illusion and illusion.”
The gate took five years to complete after much rigorous testing to fit the complex design into a simple frame. These double gates are three meters wide and made of concrete, stainless steel and tempered glass, and weigh 11 tons. This is made possible by the people at the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University’s Creativity and Innovation Center LinkMenų fabrikas.
The idea behind the Gate is to remind people how similar we are, as a human race, and in the process, create a unified planet.
This portal is an invitation to overcome prejudices. It’s a nice feeling when you realize that people far away, in other countries, in other cultures, are not so different from us. This in itself gives a sense of unity in all its simplicity. The portal allows people to see each other without words. It has no voice and allows people to communicate through the most universal language known to man – body language. People wave, smile, make hearts, and manage to communicate their thoughts. There have also been reports of someone sharing a phone number by writing it down on a piece of paper. If you get the idea! Division is something humans make themselves. It’s time to break it. The authorities decided that this portal would only be visible for the time being. But if the need arises, there may be special occasions when the sound can be installed.
The portal’s official website contains a beautiful message. He talks about how we limit ourselves to only people close to us who speak the same language. This gives us comfort and a sense of stability. But it also awakens insecurities towards those outside our known boundaries and gives us the perfect excuse to ignore the world that belongs to us all. This portal aims to push those boundaries, push people outside their comfort zones, and make them see the world with new eyes.
The portal was installed during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were feeling isolated and disconnected from the rest of the world.
That wasn’t the plan, but it couldn’t have happened at a better time. People were stuck in their homes, in their cities, unable to travel. This created a deep sense of isolation and social disconnection. The creators at Vilnius Tech have been working on the project for five years and completed it around the time of the pandemic. But they knew lockdown was the best time to introduce it to the socially starved public. The portal instantly gave them a sense of belonging to the rest of the world by being able to connect with people who were going through the same sense of isolation that united them. Installed on May 26, 2021, this sci-fi-looking window to another world has become an instant sensation in both cities and the rest of the world.
There will be more portals connecting more cities in the future.
Imagine waking up to a portal in your city that connects you to a different country every day! Wouldn’t it be great to travel and connect with others like that? You can search the portal and connect with strangers who will look directly at you. Participation in the project has allowed them to remember and emphasize the historic role of cities in building a space of freedom and tolerance, says Krzysztof Stanowski, director of the Center for International Cooperation. No wonder other countries want to follow suit. In the future, there are plans to build gates connecting Vilnius, Reykjavík and London. In fact, Poland and Lithuania invite cities around the world to become part of history by participating in the construction of more gates.