Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of 542,664. Vilnius is located in the southeast part of Lithuania and is the second largest city in the Baltic states. The first known written record of Vilnius as the Lithuanian capital is known from Gediminas letters in 1323. Vilnius is a cosmopolitan city with diverse architecture. There are 65 churches in Vilnius. Like most medieval towns, Vilnius was developed around its Town Hall. The Old Town, the historical centre of Vilnius, is one of the largest in Europe (3.6 km²). The most valuable historic and cultural sites are concentrated here. The main sights of the city are Gediminas Castle and Cathedral Square, symbols of the capital. The Old Town of Vilnius was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. In 1995, the first bronzecast of Frank Zappa in the world was installed near the center of Vilnius with the permission of the government. The Frank Zappa sculpture confirmed the newly found freedom of expression, and marked the beginning of a new era for Lithuanian society. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture.
Today, Vilnius has been rapidly transformed, and the town has emerged as a modern European city. City population and economy are rapidly growing. Vilnius is the major economic centre of Lithuania and one of the largest financial centres of the Baltic states. Many of its older buildings have been renovated, and a business and commercial area is being developed into the New City Centre, expected to become the city's main administrative and business district on the north side of the Neris river. Due to good economic policies, municipality is attractive to investors, it already houses tallest skyscraper Europa Tower, largest shopping center Akropolis in the Baltic States and other such objects.
Currently in Vilnius there are growing local advanced solar and laser technologies manufacturers centres such as photovoltaic elements and renewable energy producers, high performance lasers manufacturers, biotechnological manufacturers, which successfully supply their products into global markets. Also Vilnius has some of the highest internet speeds in the world, with an average download speed of 36.37 MB/s and upload speed of 28.51 MB/s.
Vilnius has access to groundwater, and there is no need to use extensive chemicals in treating surface water from lakes or rivers, providing residents with some of the cleanest and healthiest tap water access in Europe.