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Museums | In Lithuania | Search by Region | Vilnius | National Museum the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
Lietuvos didžiųjų kunigaikščių rūmai iš pietų pusės. Dailininkė Vilija Mačiulytė, 2008 m.
Lietuvos Didžiosios Kunigaikštystės valdovų rūmų salė
Žiedas su brangakmeniu, XVI–XVII a.

National Museum the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

Contacts
Address: Katedros aikštė 4, LT-01100, Vilnius.
Tel. (+370 ~ 5) 212 74 76, 262 00 07.
Fax (+370 ~ 5) 212 74 70.
E-mail: info@valdovurumai.lt
http://www.valdovurumai.lt/
Director – dr. Vydas Dolinskas.
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Information for Visitor

Opening hours:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10–18, 
Thursday 10–20,
Sunday 10–16.

Closed on Mondays and national holidays, except July 6, February 16, March 11.
Last visitors admitted one hour before museum closing. 

Entrance fee:
2,90 €
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Expositions
In the reconstructed Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania there are two exhibition tour routes directly related to the historical functions of this residence.  

The first tour will show the historical and architectural development of the palace by highlighting the ancient ruins still in place and the excavated artifacts as well as by using models and iconographic materials. The second tour route will bring the visitors into the ceremonial halls, which have been reconstructed in such a way as to show the evolution of architectural styles – from the late Gothic to the Renaissance to the early Baroque. The tour ends at the special Treasury Hall featuring the treasuries of the Grand Dukes and of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.  

Current and future expositions marked in the plane of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania   

When the reconstruction will be finished and new part of the building will start to operate, there will be equipped third and fourth tours. The third tour will be dedicated to the musical and everyday life of the palace, and will feature a multipurpose hall for concerts, plays, exhibits, and educational programs. The fourth tour will lead visitors through the temporary exhibition center, which will meet international standards for traveling exhibitions and will focus on exhibits dealing with European and Lithuanian material culture from the era of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. There will be public spaces for State ceremonial events, conferences and seminars, as well as educational programs. Visitor services will include a café-restaurant serving traditional national dishes and drinks, and wine cellar.

History of the Palace
In Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, grand dukes had their residences in Lower as well as in Upper Castle. Until the end of the 15th c. the main place of residence remained the Upper Castle where the remains of the gothic palace can be seen until nowadays. During the 15th c. grand dukes of Lituania also liked in live in the castles of Trakai.
Grand Duke Alexander Jagiellon (1492–1506) moved his residence from the Upper to the Lower Castle.
The period of 16th and 17th centuries was the time of prosperity for the Vilnius residence of the grand dukes of Lithuania and the kings of Poland. Legates from the Holy See, Holy Roman Empire, Moscow, Hungary, Turkey, Persia, France, Spain, Venice, Toscana, Mantua, Ferrara and many other places used to be received in the Palace, political goals of the of the last Jagiellonians and Vasas were pursued, privileges were granted, the Council of Lords and Sejm gathered, Statute of Lithuania was edited, trials were organized, Lithuanian Metrica and the treasury were kept, money were forged. Sigismund Augustus accumulated a huge library, impressive collections of tapestries, armours, paintings, and hunting trophies. A gorgeous residence surrounded by the picturesque park had become a centre of Renaissance and Early Baroque culture and art not only in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but also in all over Central Eastern and Northern Europe.
The prosperity of Vilnius’ Palace ended in 1655 with the Muscovite and Cossack armies’ occupation of Lithuania’s capital for 6 years. Armies devastated and looted the Palace of the Grand Dukes as it served as a shelter for them. In 1661 the Palace was devastated repeatedly when efforts were made to banish the enemy. A deplorable state of the treasury was the main obstacle for the reconstruction of the Vilnius’ Palace.
During 1799–1801 Russian Tsarist administration initiated the demolition Palace’s remains. Consistent archaeological examination of wider scope of the territory of the former Palace was started only in 1987. During the excavation more than 3 00 000 various findings have been collected. During 2000–2001 the Government and the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania had accepted resolutions on the matter of reconstruction of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in the Lower Castle. It is planned to open the Palace in 2009. It should contain permanent expositions with partially reconstructed historical environments. Besides, educational activities, exhibitions, concerts, conferences and events of the State representation are going to be organized in the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.

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© Lithuanian Art Museum, © Association of Lithuanian Museums. ISSN 1648-8857 Page updated 30.05.2017
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