Vytautas the Great War Museum

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K. Donelaičio str. 64, Kaunas
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The origins of the Vytautas the Great War Museum, a monument to the long and painful history of Lithuania, date back to 1919. The first exhibition was established inside an old wooden riding school that was of the Tsarist Russia III Don Infantry Regiment and that stood on the territory of the current Vienybės (Unity) Square. After a couple of years however, the museum was closed due to emergency conditions.

The new complex made up of two museums of war and culture was designed by Vladimiras Dubeneckis. It was his last design, as the project was completed only after the death of the architect. The cornerstone of the building was sanctified in 1930 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Vytautas the Great. For the foundations of the building, soil was brought from Gediminas Hill and sites where the Lithuanian Wars of Independence took place.

The story of the design of what was known as the House of Nation’s Culture in the interwar press was both a state and a personal matter for every Lithuanian. Architectural contests were held twice, and the construction works, which were financed by both local and foreign Lithuanians, took the incredibly long time of six years to be completed. The building was finally opened on February 16, 1936.

Vytautas the Great War Museum is a symbolic monument to Vytautas the Great. Among the important features of the museum are the carillon tower, where concerts are occasionally held, the arcade with the cannon exposition. The lions that guard the entrance were brought from the Astravas Manor in Biržai in 1938.

A garden can be found next to the museum where a monument to the victims of Lithuanian freedom was unveiled in 1921. In the fire altar, built in 1923, an eternal flame was lit for the first time and in 1934 the remains of an unknown Lithuanian soldier, who died in 1919, was buried next to the monument. At that time, the collection of busts of important Lithuanians in the garden kept expanding. In 1928, a Freedom Monument, created by Juozas Zikaras, was unveiled.
The museum presents the history of Lithuanian warfare in great detail from the Stone Age, the period of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, to the uprisings of the 19th century. A pillar that Lithuanian troops brought home from Afghanistan is also now featured at the museum.

Among the most interesting of the 250,000 exhibits held by the museum is the wreckage of the plane Lituanica that was flown across the Atlantic by Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas and that was brought from the Soldin forest. The only surviving aircraft designed by Antanas Gustaitis, the ANBO-1, is also on display in the museum. The museum regularly hosts themed Saturdays, provides an opportunity to choose from various educational programmes, cultural events and book launches.

Vytautas the Great War Museum

K. Donelaičio str. 64, Kaunas

The origins of the Vytautas the Great War Museum, a monument to the long and painful history of Lithuania, date back to 1919. The first exhibition was established inside an old wooden riding school that was of the Tsarist Russia III Don Infantry Regiment and that stood on the territory of the current Vienybės (Unity) Square. After a couple of years however, the museum was closed due to emergency conditions.

The new complex made up of two museums of war and culture was designed by Vladimiras Dubeneckis. It was his last design, as the project was completed only after the death of the architect. The cornerstone of the building was sanctified in 1930 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Vytautas the Great. For the foundations of the building, soil was brought from Gediminas Hill and sites where the Lithuanian Wars of Independence took place.

The story of the design of what was known as the House of Nation’s Culture in the interwar press was both a state and a personal matter for every Lithuanian. Architectural contests were held twice, and the construction works, which were financed by both local and foreign Lithuanians, took the incredibly long time of six years to be completed. The building was finally opened on February 16, 1936.

Vytautas the Great War Museum is a symbolic monument to Vytautas the Great. Among the important features of the museum are the carillon tower, where concerts are occasionally held, the arcade with the cannon exposition. The lions that guard the entrance were brought from the Astravas Manor in Biržai in 1938.

A garden can be found next to the museum where a monument to the victims of Lithuanian freedom was unveiled in 1921. In the fire altar, built in 1923, an eternal flame was lit for the first time and in 1934 the remains of an unknown Lithuanian soldier, who died in 1919, was buried next to the monument. At that time, the collection of busts of important Lithuanians in the garden kept expanding. In 1928, a Freedom Monument, created by Juozas Zikaras, was unveiled.
The museum presents the history of Lithuanian warfare in great detail from the Stone Age, the period of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, to the uprisings of the 19th century. A pillar that Lithuanian troops brought home from Afghanistan is also now featured at the museum.

Among the most interesting of the 250,000 exhibits held by the museum is the wreckage of the plane Lituanica that was flown across the Atlantic by Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas and that was brought from the Soldin forest. The only surviving aircraft designed by Antanas Gustaitis, the ANBO-1, is also on display in the museum. The museum regularly hosts themed Saturdays, provides an opportunity to choose from various educational programmes, cultural events and book launches.

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