Simonaitytė Memorial Museum
Address: Vingio g. 11, Priekulė, LT-96340 Klaipėdos rajonas.
Tel. (+370 ~ 46) 45 42 47.
Tuesday to Saturday 10–18.
adults – 2 Lt;
pupils, students, pensioners – 1 Lt;
under 7, disabled – free.
Ordering excursions throughout the Museum.
Ordering excursions to the writer's Birthplace.
Permission to use the Memorial Literary for study needs.
Possibility to carry on educational lessons at the Museum.
The Museum's collection is made up of writer's I. Simonaitytė (1897–1978)
furniture, clothing, dishes, books, paintings and other items.
The permanent exposition reflects the writer's life and her literary work.
Writer's I. Simonaitytė
summer-house's memorial exposition
In the two story summer-house, in visitors' and writer's rooms is created an
authentic environment, where the writer spent her summers from 1961 to 1978.
In the dinning room, writer's work room and living room are exhibited her
furniture, clothing, dishes, personal library, various gifts: souvenirs and
This is set up in the remaining veranda. There visitors are introduced to
separate life and creativity moments of the writer, which reflect in photos.
Authentic first editions published in foreign languages are also exhibited.
There are the writer's several memorial items – eye glasses and typewriter.
The exposition is carried out with new articles from the Museum's funds.
Exhibitions organized from Museum's funds, photos are exhibited.
The museum opened in 1984 in a house where the writer Ieva Simonaitytė
(1897–1978) spent her summer holidays for nearly two decades (1961–1978).
Museum's establisher – Lithuanian Republic's Ministry of Culture, Klaipėda
Region Municipality's Cultural Department.
I. Simonaitytė (1897–1978), writer, born in Vanagai, district of Klaipėda
(then under German rule).
Self-educated, she earned her living as a secretary and translator,
contributing poems and stories to periodicals of Lithuania Minor. She came
to sudden prominence with her novel Aukštujų Šimonių likimas (the Fate of
the Upper Šimonys, 1935), awarded the first Lithuanian state literary prize.
The novel earned her extraordinary critical and popular acclaim and appeared
in numerous editions. A family chronicle, it traces the destinies of the
Šimonis clan between the 18th and 20th centuries, in a mosaic of colorful
episodes. The novel’s historic content is not the product of detailed
research but an imaginary reconstruction filtered through a largely romantic
temperament, alive with emotion and lyricism. Nevertheless, the author
presents much ethnographic data and deftly adapts the linguistic
peculiarities of the Klaipėda area for her literary purposes. Her
protagonists succumb to their own flaws, but even more so to the retentless
encroachment of German colonization of Lithuania Minor, which imbues the
novel with an aura of fatalistic resignation.
Similar in stature is her novel Vilius Karalius (Vilius the King). Epic and
monumental, spanning the lives of several generations, the novel is also
distinguished by its psychological insight and social observation. Of lesser
importance are her novels Pavasarių audroj (In the Storm of Springs, 1938);
the largely autobiographical Be tėvo (Without a Father, 1941); and
Pikčiurnienė, the portrait of a woman consumed by greed.
Six volumes of her collected writings appeared during 1956-1958. She also
wrote several authobiographic books: …O buvo taip (It Was Thus, 1960); Ne ta
pastogė (A Different Home, 1962); Nebaigta knyga (The Unfinished Book,
Priekulė, town in western Lithuania, 21 km southeast of Klaipėda, on the
Minija river. There is an old park with rare European, Canadian, and Asian
trees. The village and the estate of Priekulė are first mentioned in
historical records from the early 16th century. Then under German rule, the
area was inhabited almost entirely by Lithuanians. A Lutheran church, one of
the oldest in the territory of Klaipeda, was built in 1587. A number of the
parish priests were noted men of letters, both in Lihuanian religious and
secular literature; Rev. Kristupas Jurkšaitis, pastor during 1879–1882
published his collection of Lithuanian folk tales and texts illustrating
different dialects; from 1903-15 the pastor was Vilius Gaigalaitis, an
outstanding activist of Lithuania Minor, who headed the Sandara (Concord)
youth society and published the monthly Pagalba (Assistance). Lithuanian
books and newspapers were published at the Schroeder printing house,
established in 1866. The town’s growth accelerated after the building of the
Klaipėda-Tilžė railroad in 1875. The town had a population of 400 in 1897
and was known for its large horse markets. After World War I, the town held
annual summer festivals which featured horseback riding by girls in national
costumes. In 1923, Priekulė, as part of the Klaipėda Territory, joined to
Lithuania and made the township seat. There were two brishworks, a dairy, an
electric power station, a forestry center, and two primary schools.
Photo by D. Aleknas