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The Boys Orphanage

Koordinatės: 55.724083, 21.171105
Objekto adresas: Jaunystes Street 12, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Savivaldybė: Klaipeda

The idea to build an orphanage for boys was first proposed by V. A. Rhenius. Rhenius was a very educated man and has seen a lot of the world, travelling and living in distant locations such as America and Suriname. When he returned, he was granted the position of landlord in the Steinort Manor.

In 1784, he joined the Hernhutter Society. His intentions to built an orphanage for boys were based on a set of ideas proposed by the Hernhutters. After lengthy persuasions, he also convinced Lady von Goes, the co-owner of the manor, to support his idea.

Thus, on June 11th, 1795, Lady von Goes and V. A. Rhenius concluded a contract, which was in force until the death of either party. It stated that Rhenius was to pay 1,500 thalers per year to Lady von Goes as rent and to pay an additional 100 thalers as a maintenance fee. Her part of the deal was to acknowledge Rhenius as an honourable and reliable individual. For this reason Rhenius was supposed to be considered the true founder of the establishment.

In 1802, he sought to rent the Klemiškės Manor and to establish an institution, which would educate young ladies on the spirit of Hernhutter. Unfortunately, he never had a chance to make it a reality because Rhenius died in 1833, at the age of 79, and he never finished constructing the building.

Fortunately, he left 3,875 thalers as initial capital within the institution. The government took control and, in only eight years, it was able to increase the initial capital fivefold – to 16,175 thalers. The next step was for the government to chose a location and to prepare the design, leading to the start of the construction works in 1844.

The orphanage was officially opened on March 25th, 1847 and it housed a group of 8 orphans and foundlings. Soon after the construction, the nearby ravine was filled up with dirt, this way uniting the territory of the orphanage and the garden of the manor.

The information found in sources regarding the location of the orphanage within the territory of the manor is conflicting. Some say that the will designated the mansion of the manor to become the location of the orphanage, but others claim that the orphanage should have been built from scratch as a completely new building.

In 1846, a statute for the orphanage was concluded. The head of the Klaipėda region was assigned to serve as the curator. The orphanage was eventually named the Von Goes-Bachmann Fund. Rheinold Grede von Bishop, a teacher, was assigned to serve as the headmaster of the orphanage. Bishop was replaced by Fisher in 1867.

Sources also mention that, in 1879, the building was inspected and it was declared uninhabitable because the structures of the wooden roof were completely rotten and there were some other defects found around the building, which meant it was extremely unsafe. Thus, the solution was to build a completely new building.

It took two years to build a new orphanage (1879–1881), the construction of which costed 55,085 marks. During the construction works, the resident orphans and foundlings were transferred to Gropiškiai. The reopening of the orphanage took place on October 1st, 1881. When the construction of the orphanage was finished, a large garden and small flower beds were planted nearby.

From 1881 to 1905, Benno Gerssz, a philologist from Königsberg, served as the inspector of the orphanage. In 1905, Zander, a teacher from Triušeliai, replaced Gerssz.

The number of orphans and foundlings rose as the years went by. In 1862, there were 12  boys registered in the orphanage; in 1879, the number grew to 15 and, at the dawn of the 20th century, there were 20 registered orphans and foundlings.

The orphanage was renamed in the 20th century to the Von Goes-Bachmann Foster Institute. The newly renamed institution also hosted a folk school. The orphanage was in operation until around the 1920s. Its primary source of income was the money that came in from renting out the Bachmann Manor.

When Lithuania and the Klaipėda region were reunited, the teachers and students of the newly established music school, nowadays called the Klaipėda Stasys Šimkus Conservatoire, had no place to live, so the orphanage became the new dormitory of the music school. Writer Pranas Mašiotas, visual artist Justinas Vienožinskis, and, of course, Stasys Šimkus have visited the school and dormitory. The most noteworthy visitor to the dormitory was Vydūnas.

In 1924, Stasys Šimkus, the director of the Klaipėda Conservatoire, was able to have the state grant free studies, a dormitory, food for 72 youths (primarily coming from poor peasant and worker families), and established an orchestra (capella). Paupiai was the location of the summer music camps and courses during the interwar period. The Paupiai Manor also had a fully functional boarding school, which was open to the public from 1924 until 1930. The ones living in the dormitory were also one of the first musicians forming the Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra. Every morning, they walked to the former Palangos street, where the lectures took place.

Starting in 1950, the building housed the Technical School of Agriculture, namely the dormitory and the classrooms. Later, residential premises were also set up. Kazys Saja, a Lithuanian writer and signatory of the Act of Independence of Lithuania, was one of the students of the school.

At the moment, the building serves as residential space. Several important architectural objects still remain, like the arch-like basements and the well in the middle of the courtyard.

Sources:

Klaipėdos dvarai / editor Kęstutis Demereckas. - Klaipeda, 2005, p. 33

Gražina Juodytė. Klaipėdos akvarelės. II dalis. - Klaipeda, 2011, pp. 28-37

Paupio psichiatrinė ligoninė // Vakarai Nr. 20.- 1937 November 26

Submitted: Bachmano dvaro bendruomenė

 
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    Berniukų prieglauda : [skaitmeninė nuotrauka] / Sida Nakrošytė. - Klaipėda, 2014. - 1 vaizdas

    Source: Sidos Nakrošytės asmeninis archyvas

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    Berniukų prieglaudos pastato vėtrungė : [skaitmeninė nuotrauka] / Sida Nakrošytė. - Klaipėda, 2014. - 1 vaizdas

    Source: Sidos Nakrošytės asmeninis archyvas

    Publisher: Bachmano dvaro bendruomenė

    Contributor: Bachmano dvaro bendruomenė

    Type / format: Skaitmeninė nuotrauka / JPG

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    Berniukų prieglaudos pastato vėtrungė
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    Prie prieglaudos pastato : [negatyvas] / Autorius nežinomas. - Klaipėda, [19??]. - 1 vaizdas

    Source: Rimos Jurčiutės asmeninis archyvas

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