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Seraja Šapšalas
Trakai
   

Lithuanian integral museum information system (LIMIS)
Trakai Castle. Photo: Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo: Andrius Udovičius

Medininkai Castle
Trakai Castle Trakai Castle
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius

Medininkai Castle
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Trakai Castle. Photo Andrius Udovičius
Festival
Festival
Exposition. Photo: Andrius Udovičius
Exposition. Photo: Andrius Udovičius
Exposition. Photo: Andrius Udovičius
Exposition. Photo Andrius Udovičius

trakai history Museum

Contacts
Address: Kęstučio g. 4, LT-21104 Trakai.
Tel.: (+370 ~ 528) 53 941, (+370 ~ 528) 53 940, (+370 ~ 528) 53 946.
E-mail: info@trakaimuziejus.lt
http://www.trakaimuziejus.lt
Director – Virgilijus Poviliūnas.

Information for Visitor

Opening hours:
May – September: Monday to Sunday 10–19.
March, April, October: Tuesday to Sunday 10–18.
November – February: Tuesday to Sunday 9–17.

Admission:
adults – 6 €;
seniors – 4 €;
pupils and students – 3 €.

Guided tours:
Lithuanian language (groups up to 30 persons) – 12 €,
for pupils – 6 €;
Foreign language (groups up to 30 persons) – 15 €.

Amateur photography within the territory of the museum – 1,16 €.

Additional services:
ordering excursions;
organizing lectures;
organizing festivals.

Collection
Many 16th–17th century tiles, coins, pottery, bone chessmen and other items were discovered while excavating the Castle site. These are now exhibited in the Trakai History Museum. The museum also contains ethnographic and applied art collections.

Expositions

History Exposition
The exposition is installed in the central palace and covers the period from the oldest times up to the middle of 20th century. It contains archaeological finds found in the castles of Trakai and in the Trakai town.
There is a new hall for coin treasures.

Exposition in the Western Casemates of the Castle
This exposition displays furniture, pipes, seals, and pocket watches, articles out of porcelain, glass and bone, hunting trophies from the Museum’s collections.

S. Šapšalas Museum of the Karaite Nation
Address: Karaimų g. 22, LT-21104 Trakai.
Tel. (+370 ~ 528) 55 286.
E-mail v.alvikas[at]trakaimuziejus.lt

Opening hours:
April – October: Wednesday – Sunday 10–18.
November – March: Wednesday – Sunday 9–17.
Admission: adults – 2 €; pupils and students – 1 €.

The Karaite Ethnographic Exhibition was opened in 1967. Most of the exhibits are from the former Karaite History and Ethnographic Museum, founded in 1938 on the basis of the private collection of orientalist Professor Seraja Sapsalas, (1873–1961). The exhibition contains illuminating material on the history and life and applied arts of the Karaites, one of Lithuania’s ethnic minorities.

Exposition of Sacral Art
Address: Kęstučio g. 4, Trakai.
(The former chapel of Dominicans).
Tel.: (+370 ~ 528) 53 941, (+370 ~ 528) 53 945.

Opening hours: April – October: Wednesday – Sunday 10–18.
November – March: Wednesday – Sunday 9–17.

Admission: adults – 1,16 €; pupils and students – 0,58 €.
Guided tours (groups up to 30 persons):
Lithuanian language – 6 € (pupils – 3 €);
Foreign language – 9 €.
There are exhibited unique samples of church art.

Medininkai Castle
Address: Medininkai, Vilniaus r.
Tel. (+370 ~ 5) 250 55 95.
Opening hours: April – October: Wednesday to Sunday 10–18.
November – March: Wednesday to Sunday 9–17.
Admission: adults – 1,74 €; pupils, students, pensioniers – 0,87 €.
Guided tours: Lithuanian language (groups up to 30 persons) – 9 €, for pupils – 6 €;
Foreign language (groups up to 30 persons) – 12 €.
Brick castles of the Great Duchy of Lithuania, weapons of the XIV–XVIII century are presented in the exposition, archaeological findings of the X-century, silver products and collection of hunting trophies and knives of President A. M. Brazauskas are exposed.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions from museum’s collections are being prepared at the museum. Museum is co-operating with other Lithuanian museums and collectors.

Cultural, educational activity
Organizing excursions.
The Museum’s workers give a special lesson for pupils under the name “In the castle of the Trakai island” and a crossword.

Departments
Department of protection;
Department of archaeology;
Department of general affairs;
Department of bookkeeping;
Department of history;
Department of restoration;
Department of accounting and storage of collections;
Department of relations with the society and education;
Department of Medininkai Castle;
S. Šapšalas Karaite Museum (department of Karaite Science);
Department of economics.

Public Museums
Schools’ museums of Trakai City, Aukštadvaris, and Road Museum of Vievis are under the warship of the museum.

Other news
Founded in 1948, the museum is situated in Trakai Castle, a unique ensemble of fortification architecture. The construction of the Castle was begun in the second half of the 14th century and completed by Grand Duke Vytautas at the beginning of the 15th century. In the 15th century the Castle was the residence of Lithuania’s sovereigns. During the 1654-1667 war with Moscow the Castle was destroyed. The exploration and restoration of the Trakai Castle ensemble have been going on since 1951.
Museum’s founder is Ministry of Culture of Republic of Lithuania.

Seraja Šapšalas
S. Šapšalas (May 8, 1873 in Bachcisaraj (Crimea) – November 18, 1961 in Vilnius).
The most outstanding Karaite-born scientist, he witnessed the tolerance of the Lithuanian State to inhabitants of other nationalities. In 1932 he, in co-operation with some others, founded the Society of Karaite History and Literature Admirers in Vilnius, in 1941-1951 he directed the Museum of Karaite History and Ethnography, and donated a great amount of collected exhibits (1,323 books, 213 manuscripts and 803 others). He published works on the history, culture and linguistics of the Crimean Chanate, Karaites and other Oriental nations. One of the compilers and editors of the Karaite-Russian-Polish Dictionary.

Trakai
Trakai is small town in southeastern Lithuania, 23-km southwest of Vilnius. It is built on a narrow, elongated peninsula dividing Lakes Galvė, Totoriškės and Luka. These lakes form part of an interconnected group that consists of at least 30 larger or smaller lakes.
Trakai is mentioned for the first time in the Lithuanian Chronicles in 1322.
Several years later (ca 1328) Trakai became the domain of Grand Prince Kęstutis, who built a new Castle on the lake-washed peninsula. This castle and the town emerging around it became the seat of a large principality that embraced most Western and central Lithuania. Trakai acquired especially great fame after Kęstutis’ son Vytautas became grand prince (1392-1430).
Following the Polish administrative pattern, the principalities of Vilnius and Trakai were reorganized into palatinates composed of districts in 1413. Palatines of Trakai and their assistants, the castellans, were appointed from among prominent magnate families - Goštautas, Kęsgailas, Radvilas, Oginski, Sapieha and others.
When Lithuania was joined to the Russian empire (1795), the palatinate of Trakai was abolished and its territory devoted among the newly created provinces of Vilnius, Gardinas, and Kaunas.
After World War I the district of Trakai was cut in half by the demarcation line between Lithuania and Poland. The western part remained in Lithuania with Kaišiadorys as the administrative center. The eastern part, together with the town of Trakai itself, fell to Poland and was assigned to the Vilnius-Trakai district. Since Vilnius became the district seat, Trakai ceased to have any administrative role. Nevertheless, the Polish government established teachers’ college, propagated tourism and water sports, and began restoring the castle ruins (1929).
When Lithuania recovered a portion of the Vilnius territory, including Trakai, in 1939, restoration work was continued before being interrupted by World War II and the attendant Soviet and German occupations. Recently it has been resumed under Soviet rule.

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© Lithuanian Art Museum, © Association of Lithuanian Museums. ISSN 1648-8857 Page updated 26.11.2015
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