Ten stunning manors to visit in Lithuania
I am a lover of manors as excellent examples of historic architecture, stunning parks, and evidence of life in the early days. So I try to visit manors in my own country and others as much as possible. Here is a collection of ten awesome manor houses in Lithuania to be included in your future itineraries to this country. Of course, there are many more to see, still this is the selection of the best manors I have visited so far in Lithuania.
1 Raudondvaris Manor
Raudondvaris Manor is located about 9 kilometres away from Kaunas on the upper terrace of Nevėžis River. The main building of the Raudondvaris ensemble is the castle with a tower. It was built in the second half of the 17th century. The estate has a 3.8 hectares park. The manor was owned by a number of prominent Lithuanian nobilities. Its most recent owners, the Tyszkiewicz family lived in Raudondvaris from 1819-1915. In that time it became the luxurious residence with many paintings, art works, rare books, collections of exotic plants and animals. Nowadays the manor house, stables, an ice-house, and orangery are restored and adapted for cultural tourism. Kaunas region tourism information centre is opened in an ice house. Orangery houses a restaurant and banquet halls. The Palace of Culture and Arts is open to visitors in the castle. Reconstructed stables are used for Arts Incubator activities with its own theatre and concert hall with 500 seats and residential premises for young artists from Lithuania.I hope you have already noticed that Raudondvaris Manor has an excellent gardener. Also, make sure you have a meal in a restaurant because the food they serve is really delicious.The most convenient way to reach Raudondvaris is by car or public transport. You can also take a ship from the old ferry port in Kaunas from May till September.
Address: Pilies takas 1, Raudondvaris, Kaunas region
2 Renavas Manor
Renavas Manor and the park surrounding it are located in Renavas village, Mazeikiai district. It is one of the most interesting and best-preserved manor ensembles in Northern Lithuania.
Renavas Manor has been mentioned in written sources as early as the 16th century. At the end of the 19th century, the Renne family became its owners, and the manor gained the name Renava. In the first half of the 19th century, the manor of Renavas was ruled by Antanas Renė, who was widely known for his gardening hobbies. After his death, the manor was passed to Eugenijus Rönne and later to Count F. Mielžinskis, who established a new park of about 6 ha in a beautiful place near the Varduva stream. During the Soviet era, restoration works of the manor started. The authentic library with more than 1,000 books has been preserved in the palace. Since 2012, there is a museum which acquaints visitors with the culture of Lithuanian manors. When visiting the manor, keep an eye out for the statue of two children, two brothers facing different directions: the signatory of the Act of Independence of Lithuania Stanislovas Narutavičius (1862–1932) and the first President of the Polish Republic Gabrielius Narutavičius (1865–1922). They grew up in this area.Address: Dvaro gatve 2, Renavas village, Seda municipality
3 Uzutrakis Manor
The Uzutrakis estate is located in the town of Trakai on the north-eastern shore of Lake Galvė, on a peninsula between lakes Galvė and Skaistis. The estate consists of a manor house, a park, and many outbuildings. Uzutrakis Manor House is one of the most prominent and best-preserved mansions in Lithuania. Count Józef Tyszkiewicz and his wife Jadwiga founded the Uzutrakis estate at the beginning of the 20th century. The Count was inspired by the unique landscape of Trakai, and the manor made the most of the area’s potential.
The Palace, decorated with impressive Louis XVI style interiors, was created by Polish architect Józef Huss. The two-storey Palace is a compact rectangle in a modest neo-classical style. The eastern facade is crowned by a triangular pediment above which there is an attic relief depicting vases and cartouches with the arms of the Tyszkiewiczes and Swiętopułk-Czetwertyńskis families. The panorama view of Lake Galve and Trakai Castle opens up from its terrace.The park was designed by Édouard François André, a famous French landscape architect. He created a mixed-style park decorated with copies of antique sculptures and a large number of plants. There are still about 100 different kinds of trees and shrubs in the park. The park is home to seven species of bats, a number of squirrels, and roe deer.
Address: Užtrakio gatve 17, Trakai town
4 Pakruojis Manor
Pakruojis Manor is located in the northern part of Lithuania. The manor has been first mentioned in written sources in the early 16th century. It was owned by several noble families before the Ropp family became its owners in the late 18th century. The current masonry ensemble, including a large English style park, was designed and built in the first part of the 19th century. Built in the classical style, Pakruojis Manor is the largest surviving complex of manor buildings in Lithuania, and it is listed in the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Register and the Lithuanian Record Book as the largest protected manor. The two-storeyed palace is decorated with portico and doorman columns, pilasters, capitals, and arches.
The fine art collection of paintings, graphics, and sculpture was exceptionally interesting and rare. After the nationalisation in 1940, some paintings and sculptures of the collection were moved to the art museums of Lithuania.
There were a small warehouse, stables, and ice-cellar by the manor palace. The western complex consisted of a brewery, several cattle sheds; the eastern had a barn and residential blocks, and the southern had two garners. The manor outbuildings were located behind the pond. There were smithy, inn, and windmill, separated from the central manor palace by a large park, as well as the Arch Bridge. There are only two bridges of this style in Europe. The watermill of Pakruojis Manor was built in the early 19th century. The reconstructed watermill houses a banquet hall and conference halls.The windmill, located in the northern part of the manor ensemble and built in the early 19th century, is clearly visible from the road.
The Miller’s house of the manor complex, which preserved the late Classical style features, has been built in the first half of the 19th century next to the river Kruoja. This building differs from the other manor buildings by its size and non-characteristic two-slope roofing. Currently, it houses a hotel.
There is a flower festival during the summer in the manor and a Chinese lantern festival in winter. The property is really big, so make sure you allocate enough time to see all it has to offer. I suggest a minimum of 4 hours, and it’s better to stay overnight there.
Address: Karčemos gatve 9, Pakruojis
5 Bistrampolis Manor
Surrounded by a wonderful old park and reminding the mid-19th century, the newly renovated Bistrampolis Manor is located in Northern Lithuania, 14 km from Panevezys, very close to the road Via Baltica. Bistrampolis is a part of Lithuanian countryside historical memory and national culture. This manor has already existed there since the end of the fifteenth century. The manor was owned by the Bistramai family from the end of the seventeenth century till 1940. The family is related to famous Polish Nobel Prize winner writer Henrikas Sienkievicius (Henryk Sienkiewicz) who lived and worked in the manor. Three landlords of the manor were army generals and they took part in the battle of Borodino on the Russian side. Built in 1850, the two-storeyed manor house is of classical style. The main facade is decorated with a portico of four columns above the three arches of the porch. The landlords had accumulated around 2,000 books, a rich family archive, and the art collection. Later the manor was nationalised and neglected. Nowadays it’s renovated and open to visitors.
Currently Bistrampolis Manor complex consists of a hotel, restaurant, concert hall, and rooms of various sizes for seminars and banquets. Away from the manor house, there is a Chapel which is used as a museum of smugglers of forbidden Lithuanian books. For more active recreation, there is a tennis court and basketball ground available. SPA centre is built in the Wain hotel of the Manor where the other hotel is located as well. Take your time for a leisurely walk in the manor park, soaking in a peaceful atmosphere and admiring many different statues located there.If you want to stay overnight, be informed that rooms at a two-star Wain hotel start from 32 euros, whereas in the manor house hotel from 46 euros with breakfast included.
Address: Bistrampolio gatve 1, Kučių k., Panevėžio rajonas.
6 Baisogala Manor
Baisogala Manor House is one of the most famous architectural monuments in Lithuania. Baisogala was first mentioned in the 16th century. In 1830, the manor became the property of Józef Komar, a colonel in Napoleon’s army. In the first half of the 20th century, his grandson, Vladislovas, became the last owner of Baisogala Manor and was one of the most advanced farmers in Lithuania. His work is continued by the Lithuanian Institute of Animal Science that was set up in Baisogala Manor over 60 years ago. Baisogala Manor is now a place where traditions in science and advancement are continued, endangered species are protected and visitors are charmed by the magnificence of the surviving buildings. The most interesting of them are the central manor house, stables, wheelhouse, kitchen, and warehouse. The ensemble of the palace is characterised by late classicism and three styles of romanticism (neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance, and folk architecture). The central palace has elements of the Russian Empire style. The building is more than 50 meters long. Its centre is accentuated by a rotunda ending in a dome.
The palace is surrounded by a 12-hectare park dating back to the 19th century. It is one of the most beautiful in Lithuania. It has a number of exotic varieties of trees, ponds, alleyways of old linden, and chestnut trees. There is a pond on both main sides of the park alley, and in the depths of the park, there is a pond with an island. Address: R. Žebenkos gatve 12, Baisogala, Radviliškio rajonas.
7 Burbiskis Manor
The Burbiskis estate is situated some 20 kilometres southeast of the town of Siauliai in Northern Lithuania. In the 17th century, Burbiskis Manor was owned by the Burbas family, hence the name of the place. Later it was bought by the Bazenski family. The surviving buildings of the manor: office, guest house, ice cream parlour, kitchen, orphanage, stable, barn, gardener’s house with conservatory remains.The Burbiskis estate houses the Daugivene Culture and History Museum. The central part of the park has a pond that covers 3 hectares and has 15 islands and 11 bridges. The park is home to 23 species and forms of imported plants and about 40 species of birds. I found the architecture of the old Orangerie building very attractive. I hope you like it too.The estate is famous for its tulips and water canals. For more than 10 years in a row, each first Saturday of May, tens of thousands of visitors go there for the feast of tulips to admire more than 300 sorts of tulips in the large field on the estate. The estate is open from April to October; look for Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: Burbiškio k., Radviliškio rajonas
NB! Please do not confuse this manor with Burbiskis Manor in Anyksciai district and with another manor in Burbiskiai, Raseiniai.
8 Palanga Manor
Palanga Manor or Tyszkiewicz Palace is a Neo-Renaissance style building in Palanga built for the Tyszkiewicz family. The palace was constructed at the end of the 19th century. Since 1963, the palace is housing the Palanga Amber Museum. The museum’s collection of amber includes about 28,000 pieces, of which about 15,000 contain inclusions of insects, spiders, or plants. About 4,500 pieces of amber are exhibited; many of these are items of artwork and jewellery. The exhibition areas include 15 rooms covering about 750 square meters. Several rooms are dedicated to the life of the Tyszkiewicz family, the last owners of the palace.
The palace is surrounded by a park with ponds, fountains, and collections of rare plants. The park covers about 100 hectares. It was designed by the French landscape architect and botanist Edouard Andre and his son Rene Eduard Andre. About 250 imported and 370 native plant species are now represented at the park. The park features a rose garden, greenhouse, rotunda, and a sculpture of Egle, the Queen of Serpents, a Holocaust memorial, and ponds. Traditionally, three times a week in summer evening’s professional orchestra of Palanga gives free concerts in the park rotunda for the residents and guests of Palanga.
Address: Vytauto gatve 17, Palanga
9 Kretinga Manor
At the end of the 19th century, the land of the current Kretinga Manor was purchased in an auction by Count Jozef Tyszkiewicz. In the course of creating a family manor, he converted the existing residence into a palace, built the orangery, nowadays known as the Winter Garden, and re-landscaped the grounds. The landscaping included cascading ponds, a waterfall, fountains, and sculptures among others. Wintergarden of the palace was once the largest private greenhouse in Europe.
In 1992, the restored buildings became home to the Kretinga Museum which has archaeological, numismatic, and old Lithuanian folk art and ethnographical expositions. The exhibits portraying the life of the Tyszkiewicz family occupy seven halls and contain family portraits, furniture, photographs, household objects, and paintings. The folk art exhibits contain textile art and works of ‘’kryždarbiai’’, the traditional Lithuanian art of fashioning crosses. Regional tourist information is also available there. The buildings host various events and may be rented for conferences and seminars. The winter garden has a cafe.
Kretinga Manor Park is one of the oldest manor parks in Lithuania. The mixed-style park covers an area of 23 hectares. In the southern part of Kretinga Manor Park, where the orchard once stood, now stands the Astronomy Calendar and Sundial.Address: Vilniaus gatve 20, Kretinga
10 Plunge Manor
Plunge Manor is a former Oginski residential manor. Mykolas Mikalojus Severinas Markas Oginskis, the grandson of Michal Kleofas Oginski known as the author of the famous polonese Farewell to My Homeland, was a Lithuanian diplomat and Polish composer. He bought the place at the end of the 19th century and built the current-day manor. The ensemble of the manor is composed of ten buildings and structures. They are surrounded by more than 58 hectares mixed-style park, one of the biggest and most beautiful in Lithuania. The manor contains the Neo-Renaissance style palace, Neo-Gothic stud, and two outbuildings. It was designed by the German architect Carl Lorenc. Built in Neo-Renaissance style, the manor is luxuriously equipped and its interior was decorated by the masters from Warsaw. The duke Mykolas Oginskis had precious artwork collections and a valuable library of rare books. Continuing musical traditions of the Oginskai family, the duke established an orchestra school in the manor where the famous Lithuanian painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis studied. The monument to Ciurlionis is erected in the park.
The Samogitian Art Museum (Žemaičiai Art Museum) operating in Mykolas Oginskis Palace since 1994 has collected and exhibited museum valuables reflecting the historical variety of the Samogitian region and has preserved and cherished the traditions of Mykolas Oginskis Manor.
Address: Parko gatve 3A, Plunge
As manor houses listed above are located in the countryside or small towns, except for Palanga Manor, it’s best to have a car to visit them. All the manor houses are gorgeous from outside, but if you want to see interiors and/or museums located inside, check their opening hours on their websites. They may be closed in wintertime in some cases, and they are most likely closed on Mondays, sometimes also on Tuesdays. Be advised that Baisogala Manor is only viewable from outside.
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What did you think? Have you been to Lithuania? Or perhaps you’re thinking of visiting in the near future? Either way, I’d love to hear from you so please add your comments below.
Author: Anita Sane