Vilnius , also known by several other names, is the largest city and the capital of Lithuania, with a population of 555,613 (847,954 together with Vilnius County) as of 2008. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County. Currently Vilnius is the European Capital of Culture of 2009 together with Linz, Austria. Vilnius is celebrated as having served as a major center of Torah study in Europe, where such scholars as the Vilna Gaon and Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski learned and taught.
The name of the city originated from the Vilnia River. The city has also been known by many derivate spellings in various languages throughout its history. The most notable non-Lithuanian names for the city include: Polish: Wilno, Belarusian: Вiльня (Vilnia), German: Wilna, Latin: Vilna, Latvian: Viļņa, Russian: Вильнюс, Yiddish: ווילנע (Vilne). An older Russian name is Вильна / Вильно (Vilna/Vilno), although Вильнюс (Vil'njus) is now used. The names Wilno and Vilna have also been used in older English and French language publications. The name Vilna is still used in Finnish, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and Yiddish.
The city elderates have also names in other languages.