The Kretinga Manor Mansion

Coordinates: 55.899966 21.248941

Object address: Vilniaus street 20, Kretinga, Lithuania

Municipality: Kretinga district

The mansion of the Kretinga Manor was constructed sometime in the 16th century by Kęsgaila, the elder of Samogitia. The manor was later owned and controlled by the Chodkevičius, Sapiega, Masalskis, Potockis and Zubovas families.

Throughout the 1860s, Nikolajus Zubovas ruled in Kretinga and organised the reconstruction of the manor, essentially replacing all of the old wooden framework of the mansion with brick and stone structures. In 1875, the manor became the residence of Juozapas Tiškevičius.

Back then, the mansion was comprised of two plain brick buildings. A pure architectural style cannot be easily described. So, the count started the construction of a conservatory, which would unite the two buildings.

The mansion and park served a representative function. The governor of Kaunas used to be a frequent visitor. Moreover, people from the Eastern Prussia and Palanga would often visit the mansion.

In 1891, the manor was handed over to Aleksandras Tiškevičius. Almost twenty years later, in 1908, a large fire broke out. The fire has destroyed a lot of the property, including a part of the library, the chapel, the Winter Garden, and the west wing of the mansion. Thus. A. Tiškevičius organised the restoration of the manor and its Winter Garden, which took 2 years to complete (1910-1912). This was also the time when he organised the installation of central heating in Kretinga.

In 1915, the Kretinga Municipality Administration and the Headquarters of the Kaiser Military Forces were established in the mansion. During the interwar period, the mansion remained an important part of the city’s life. It was where the nobility of the Kretinga region and state officials gathered to meet or to celebrate certain occasions. In 1940, the Soviet government established the Border Military Headquarters of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs and the mansion became a complex of barracks. During World War II, German soldiers took over the mansion.

The building underwent several more restorations, the first of which started in 1972 and continued for 9 years. The following works were performed during the restoration: the burnt down western section of the mansion was rebuilt, the main section and the conservatory were restored to their former glory, the eastern section and the chapel were restored and a ballroom was built as an addition to the mansion. The Kretinga Mansion Manor was handed over to the Kretinga Museum in 1991. The former 19th–20th century interior design was restored in 1992.

In 2012, the Kretinga Manor underwent yet another restoration. Four unique exhibits were set up, namely the ethnography exhibit The Solar Ring, the archaeology exhibit The Prehistory of the Region, the famous Winter Garden exhibit From Cacti to Bougainvillea, and the exhibit introducing the history and culture of the manor.

The Kretinga Manor Mansion is a state-protected cultural heritage.

Source: Kretingos enciklopedija

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