9 Sv. Mykolo St, LT-01124, Vilnius.
Tel.: (370-5) 2610456, (370-5) 2616409.
Wednesday to Sunday 11.00-18.00.
Booking of excursions to the
exposition and exhibitions of the museum; Booking of a thematic excursion "St. Michael's church".
The Museum activities are based on
the history of Lithuanian architecture. A museum collection contains items of architectural drawings, town planning material, photos,
Lithuanian architecture 1918-1940:
The exposition tells about the organization of creative unions of
engineers and architects, restoration of the activity of institutions of
the country. Designs of buildings of Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas,
works of the first graduates of architecture are shown. Attention is
attracted to projects of planning of Lithuanian cities, the most
significant architectural competitions, designs of public buildings and
creative work of the most famous architects (V. Dubeneckis, S. Kudokas, V.
This part of the exposition acquaints with the architecture of the
period of Stalinism and later achievements of Lithuanian architects of the
Soviet period in planning dwelling districts of the cities and making
designs for public buildings.
The exhibitions on contemporary
architecture, personalities and thematic ones are being arranged.
Exhibitions used to be organized since the very beginning of the
establishment of the museum. During the first decade exhibitions
reflecting urgent problems of life were organized. Those were exhibitions
of future restorers-students of the Institute of Arts, diploma works of
students of the Faculty of Architecture of Vilnius Civil Engineering
Institute (now Vilnius Gediminas Technical University), creative works of
Young Architects, best projects of designing institutes, works having been
awarded prizes, competitive works.
Visitors were invited for the first time to get a closer acquaintance with
the history of Lithuanian architecture in 1974 after the exposition on the
history of Medininkai castle was arranged in a wooden house of the yard of
In 1990 the little house of the castle hosted an exhibition "Castles
of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania".
Personal exhibitions were commenced being organized in 1978 on the
occasion of Vladimiras Dubeneckis' 90th anniversary. The exhibition is
shown up to now. During a personal exhibition visitors have an opportunity to get
acquainted with some concrete architect's works created during several
decades. After such exhibitions the museum is usually replenished with new
displays. In the present period personal jubilee exhibitions, thematic and
one-object exhibitions, exhibitions of works of restorers, architectural
photography are arranged in the museum.
Organization of various
architectural events together with the Union of Lithuanian Architects;
Preparation of and publishing articles about historical buildings and
exhibitions organized in the museum.
The Museum of Architecture in
Lithuania was founded in 1968 as a branch of Lithuanian National Museum.
Nowadays the Museum of Architecture acts as a department of the Center of
The first exhibition on the contemporary Lithuanian architecture was
arranged in 1972, when the Museum has got the premises in the former
A research institute of Architecture and Construction rendered
professional and methodical support from the very beginning of the
establishment of the museum. The first head of the branch was Eugenijus Dirvele.
The beginning of accumulation of the stock - a collection of a former
architect Adolfas Lukosaitis given to the museum. There were several
negatives of designs made by him. The first displays of the museum were negatives, Dutch tiles, bricks, and
cards. The first exposition was arranged in St. Michaels church in
Vilnius, which was allocated to the museum. In 1976 the museum was moved to the corridor of the ground floor of the
former Bernardine observant monastery. The stock of the museum was then
located in a tiny room.
In 1986 the whole complex of Bernardine observant monastery was
transferred to the Museum of Architecture. After the restoration of the
Independence of Lithuania in 1990, these buildings were returned to their
rightful owners. In the meantime, the museum functions in these premises
on renters rights. In 1994 the museum became a member of the International Confederation of
Architectural Museums (ICAM).
Michael (Sv. Mykolas) Church
St. Michael church and a
Bernardine convent were built in 1594-1625 and is a rare renaissance
architectural ensemble in Vilnius. St. Michael's church of Renaissance-precious architecture was built in
1594-1625 as Leonas Sapiega's family mausoleum and a church of a female
Bernardine observant monastery.
Features of gothic, renaissance and baroque interlace in the exterior of
Moderate protruding, not high towers with refined baroque peaks and a
two-phase pediment with volute form the main facade broken by wide
pillars. Pillars dividing the walls of side facades resemble contra-forces
characteristic of Gothic. High arched windows are placed among massive
pillars. A renaissance cylinder vault with lunette predominates in the interior.
Sapiegos' family emblem "Fox" is depicted in the center of the
vault ornamented with stucco moldings of festoons, rosettes and
At the end of the church rectangular in plan a big altar built of black,
red, brown and greenish marble in the middle of the 17th century stands.
On the right of the altar a monument to the founder of the museum, Grant
Hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Leonas Sapiega (1557-1633) is
erected. On the left of the big alter a portal monument to Leonas' son
Jonas Stanislovas Sapiega (1588-1635) built in 1638-1643 stands.
In the southern wall between the second and the third pillars one can see
a monument to Teodora Kristina Sapiegiene built in 1653-1655 after
Giovanni Battista Gisteli's and Francesco de Rossi's design. There are three cellars under the church. In the four smaller cellars nuns
used to be buried, in the big one, under the presbytery - members of the
Sapiegos' family. Coffins and cerements most often were expensive but they
did not remain till our days - the Sapiegos' crypt was plundered in 1655
during the first occupation of Vilnius (coffins, cerements were stolen,
remains desecrated). Since that time the dead rest in modest oak coffins
supplied by monks. The last time Sapiegos' mausoleum was put in order in 1933 when Leonas
Sapiega's 300th anniversary was commemorated. After the first closing of the church (1888) St. Michael's was open to
believers only in 1923-1940. Up to 1971 when the Museum of Architecture was established here, the
church lost its baroque altars built in the second half of the 17th
century, paintings, and jewels. In 1983-1987 the church was restored under the leadership of architects A.
Kunigelis and G. Budreika, the inner yard and facades were put into order,
interior restored. Since June 23, 1993 St. Michael's church is at the disposal of the curacy
of Vilnius archdiocese.
about the Museum
Founder of the museum - Center of
Supporter of the museum - Union of Lithuanian Architects.
Head of the museum - Morta Bauziene.
Photographs from the
museum's collection and
from the booklet
"Architecture Museum", Vilnius, 1998