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Vytauto Didžiojo karo muziejus naktį. Nuotr. Artūro Užgalio.
Vytautas the Great War Museum.
Artūras Užgalis photograph.
Museum logo
Mūsų ištikimieji. Nuotr. Artūro Užgalio.
Our Faithfuls.
Artūras Užgalis photograph.
Vytauto Didžiojo karo muziejaus Didžioji salė. 2011 m. Nuotr. Artūro Užgalio.
Great Hall. 2011 m. Artūras Užgalis photograph.

vytautas the great war Museum

Contacts
Address: K. Donelaičio g. 64, LT-44248, Kaunas.
Tel.: (+370 ~ 37) 32 07 65, (+370 ~ 37) 42 21 46.
Fax (8 ~ 37) 32 07 65.
E-mail: vdkaromuziejus[at]kam.lt 
Director – Kęstutis Kuršelis.
http://kariuomene.kam.lt/lt/karo_muziejus.html

Opening hours:
April – September: Tuesday to Sunday 11–17.
October – March: Tuesday to Saturday 10–17.

Admission:
Charge – 4 Lt – 1,16 €
pupils, students, pensioners – 2 Lt – 0,58 €

Guided tours
20 persons – 30 Lt – 8,69 €;
21–30 persons – 40 Lt – 11,58 €.

Additional services
Booking of excursions;
Booking of thematic excursions;
Organization of itinerant exhibitions;
Providing consultations;
Organization of lectures;
Permission to use displays for research.

Collection
The museum contains archaeological finds, weapons, firearms, ammunition, army uniforms of various states, objects and documents relating to the transatlantic flight of the "Lituanica", a collection of Balys Buračas' (1897–1972) ethnographic photographs.

Expositions

Pre-history of Lithuania

The History of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Fragment of the ExpositionThe exposition is displayed in two halls. The first one is dedicated to the military skills of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) from the 13th century up to 1648. Stands of the Order of the Knights of the Cross and GDL illustrated by archaeological material and pictures, J. Styka's "Vytautas" Oath" and a series "The Grunwald Battle" painted together with his son among them, are devoted to the period of heathenish. The Grunwald Battle takes the central place of the exposition. Schemes of battles at Orša and Salaspils, some weapons, pictures of knights, a peculiar set of cuirass from the 17th cent, a copy of a Swedish gun reflect events of 1430–1648. In the center of the hall copies Radvilos' guns and ordnance of the 16th–17th cent. are displayed in their full splendor.
The exposition in the second hall represents the history of the Lithuanian Army during the period of 1748–1795.
Reproductions of uniforms, examples of weapons, music instruments and artillery are displayed. Due attention is given the wars on the territory of Lithuania in the 18th cent. The end of the exposition reflects reforms of the Four-year period (1788–1792) and the uprising under T. Kosciuška's guidance.

Exposition of the History of Military Skills of Lithuania (1795–1940)
The 1812 War;
The 1830–1831 and 1863 Uprisings;
World War I;
Exposition gives emphasis on the following events in the history of Lithuania:
Events of 1812 in Lithuania and the way of struggle of the Lithuanian national units in French and Russian armies;
Uprisings of 1831 and 1863 in Lithuania;
Lithuanian soldiers in the Russian army in the 19th beginning of the 20th cent.
Lithuania and the World War I;
Defense of the fortress in Kaunas in 1915;
Organization of Lithuanian units in the Russian army in 1917;
Restoration of the Lithuanian military forces in 1918-1920 and struggle for independence;
Development of the Lithuanian army in 1920–1940, military technique.

Weapons History
Fragment of the ExpositionA wonderful collection of weapons and cuirasses has been accumulated in the museum. A part of it is introduced in the exposition of the history of weapons having preserved traditions and the style of the inter-war period. The most interesting examples of blank weapons are displayed: arbalests, bows, a collection of shaft weapons, sets of cuirass from the 16th cent. and representational shields of the 18th–19th cent. acquired from the countess Capskiene in the 4th decade of the 20th century. Copies of Lithuanian guns of the 16th–17th centuries, evolution of the light firearms from the 15th century up to Word War II are demonstrated.

Fragment of the "Lituanica" Exposition"Lituanica" Exposition
Exposition devoted to pilots' S. Darius' and S. Girėnas' flight across the Atlantic Ocean with the airplane "Lituanica".
Memorial exposition demonstrates fragments of the plane, pilots' personal things, photographs, and documents.
Having taken off from the airport in New York on July 15, 1933 and having crossed the Atlantic ocean the pilots died on July 17 in Germany, in the environs of Soldin (now – the Republic of Poland).
This flight is significant in the history of the world aviation by the fact that the pilots covered 6 411 kilometers without landing and stayed in the air 37 hours and 11 minutes. This is the second result in the world having in mind the distance of the flight and the fourth – having in mind the time spent in the air. During the flight airmail was officially carried from the North America to Europe for the first time. 

The Crypt to those Perished for the Independence of Lithuania
The crypt was opened on November 23, 1938 following painter's M. Dobužinskis design. The walls of the room and the ceiling are covered with black marble, among them plates of white marble are placed with  golden inscriptions of the names of people having died for the freedom of Lithuania, as well as the dates of their death. 
During the Soviet regime the crypt was closed, on November 23, 1998 it was restored and reopened.

Exposition of Vytautas’ Chapel
An exposition of Vytautas Chapel reflects an effort to recreate the spirit the thirties. Most of exhibits are the same ones that were present in this place before 70 years. Sculpture of Vytautas, ordered by the museum and created in 1934 by one of the most famous Lithuanian sculptors Vladas Grybas stands in the centre of it. In the most important hall of the museum portraits of Lithuanian rulers painted by famous interwar period painters (J. Mackevičius, P. Kapokas, V. Didžiokas, J. Janulis, J. Vienožinskis etc.) are exhibited. Gallery of rulers which consists of 30 portraits begins with the king of Lithuania Mindaugas and ends with the last king of Poland and the grand duke of Lithuania Stanisław August Poniatowski. Alongside portraits of rulers one can see pictures of the most relevant battles of Vytautas lifetime and before it (A. Kruka’s “Battle of Saulė”, V. Norkus’ “Battle of Durbė”, P. Grušys’ “Battle of Blue Waters”, I. Rudolfas’ “Battle of Grunwald” (a copy of J. Matejko’s canvas).
One of the most precious works of art stored in Vytautas the Great War Museum, J. Styka’s canvas “Vitold’s Oath”, artistically decorated canons used by the army of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the end of 16th – beginning of 17th c., sets of armors of 15th–16th c. – everything can be seen here.  

Exhibitions
Archaeological exhibitions, exhibitions on the history of military skills of Lithuania, history of diplomacy of Lithuania, history of culture of Lithuania etc. are organized in the museum.

Cultural, educational activity
Educational programs;
Organization of lectures, seminars, lessons;
Organization of celebrations;
Book presentations;
Organization of events for kindergartens;
Organization of events for conscripts;
Making reports;
Preparation of articles for press.

Departments
Department of archaeology. Tel. (+370 ~ 37) 32 12 48.
Department of the history of military skills of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Tel. (+370 ~ 37) 42 21 49.
Department of the history of military skills. Tel. (+370 ~ 37) 42 21 49.
Department of the history of military skills of the newest age. Tel. (+370 ~ 37) 20 87 51.
Department of education and information. Tel. (+370 ~ 37) 32 09 39.
Department of registration and protection of the collections. Tel.: (+370 ~ 37) 32 07 09, (+370 ~ 37) 42 66 64.

Branch Museums

Underground Printing-House "ab"
Address: Salių kaimas, LT–54376, Domeikavos seniūnija, Kauno rajonas.
Tel. (+370 ~ 37) 55 32 49, +370 601 86 521.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10–17.
Admission: free of charge.

In 1979 printer Vytautas Andziulis installed a secret printing-house in the vault under his house. Here during the Soviet period patriotic and religious publications were printed. It was very important while fighting for the freedom of Lithuania.
 
When Vytautas Andziulis and Juozas Bacevičius agreed to collaborate they named the illegal printing-house “ab” (after the initials of their surnames). The printing-publishing-house operated for ten years (1980–1990) and was not found.
 
The first book published by this printing-house was “The Elements of Religion” by the bishop Kazimieras Paltarokas. Later memoirs by Juozas Urbšys, study on the Soviet genocide by Adolfas Damušis, works by the poets Juozas Gražulis, Robertas Grigas-Rasūnas, Kęstutis Genys and others were printed here as well.
 
During the period of Soviet occupation, patriotic and religious publications of 23 titles were secretly printed there and distributed afterwards, 138000 copies in total.
 
Since 1997 the underground printing house "ab" was passed into the subordination of the Soldiership History of the Recent Times Section of the Vytautas the Great War Museum (VGWM). Visitors can observe equipment of relief printing, copies of anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet struggle documents, photographs of underground press publications and resistance movement members at the underground printing house-museum.
 
In 2008 VGWM Underground Printing House "ab" was drawn into the list of historically valuable equipment and locations left by the Cold War.  

Vytautas the Great War Museum's Technique and Transport Department in Vilnius
Address: Olandų g. 21A, Vilnius.
Tel. (+370 ~ 5) 269 76 98.
Fax (+370 ~ 5) 269 76 97.
More information >

History of the Museum
The museum was founded in 1921 by the general Vladas Nagevičius (1881–1954), who became its director.
The museum was founded in 1921 in a wooden manage of the Cossack regiment of the Don and is one of the oldest museums in Lithuania.
The founder of the museum – Vladas Nagevičius (1881–1954). He was the director of the museum for a number of years. Corner stone of the new building of the museum was consecrated in 1930. The same year the museum was named after Vytautas Magnus.
On February 16, 1936 a new building of the museum was opened.
On July 25, 1940 the museum was deprived of the name Vytautas Magnus.
On January 29, 1990 the real name was returned to the museum.
Founder of the museum – Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania (since January 1, 2006)

Vytautas the Great War Museum photographs

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© Lithuanian Art Museum, © Association of Lithuanian Museums. ISSN 1648-8857 Page updated 10.12.2014
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