Vytautas the Great War Museum.
Artūras Užgalis photograph.
Artūras Užgalis photograph.
|Great Hall. 2011 m. Artūras Užgalis
the great war Museum
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.
Director – Kęstutis Kuršelis.
April – September: Tuesday to Sunday 11–17.
October – March: Tuesday to Saturday 10–17.
Charge – 4 Lt – 1,16 €
pupils, students, pensioners – 2 Lt – 0,58 €
20 persons – 30 Lt – 8,69 €;
21–30 persons – 40 Lt – 11,58 €.
Booking of excursions;
Booking of thematic excursions;
Organization of itinerant exhibitions;
Organization of lectures;
Permission to use displays for research.
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.
Pre-history of Lithuania
The History of the Grand
Duchy of Lithuania
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
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
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
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
Development of the Lithuanian army in 1920–1940, military technique.
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.
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.
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
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
Organization of lectures, seminars, lessons;
Organization of celebrations;
Organization of events for kindergartens;
Organization of events for conscripts;
Preparation of articles for press.
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.
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.
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.
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