Parks

VARPUTĖNAI MANOR PARK

Address: Varputėnai Village, Kuršėnai Eldership, Šiauliai Distric

(1 km west off Kuršėnai-Šaukėnai Road)

Area: 12.3 ha

Varputėnai is a settlement situated along the brook Kesautis, 28 km southwest of Šiauliai. The manor has been known since the 16th century (the first mentions of it refer to 1590 in the Acts of the small rural district Beržėnai, to which it belonged at the time). In 1778, it was purchased by the landlords Jelenskiai. In 1792, the Church of St. Anthony of Padua was erected in Varputėnai by Motiejus Jelenskis. In 1860, Miss Jelenskaitė married M. Burba who built an ornate two-storey mansion with a tower in Varputėnai. The manor owned 3,000 ha of land and a big stud farm. It was a representative farm at that time. The landlords had a large collection of pipes. They took care of the park, organised picnics, outdoor fete, and boating. In those days the park was well maintained. Ponds were connected by pathways. There were small islands, bridges, and observation sites. A bittern was standing in the vicinity of the mansion. The brook Kesautis inflowing the River Venta was rippling through the park. During independent Lithuania, the park was famous for a barn that had been constructed without using a saw; the wood was treated with a mere ax.

Varputėnai Park is mixed with the prevailing elements of landscape style. The park mainly contains native tree species. A large pond has been a nice park attraction so far. The previous composition of Varputėnai Park has waned. Research and a restoration project are required for the park to be further adapted for tourism.

The park has been preserved and safeguarded by the State since 1958. The 19th century manor was included in the Immovable Cultural Property Register of Lithuania on 12 December 1997 (code G113K) for its architectural, historical, and landscape value. The complex consists of the mansion erected in the first half of the 19th century, the park, two stables, a storeroom, and a peasant farm.

KURŠĖNAI MANOR PARK

Address: Kuršėnai, Šiauliai District

Area: 5 ha

The former Kuršėnai Manor on the left bank of the Venta belonged to the Gruževskiai from 1631 till the First World War. A town was developing in the vicinity of the manor. A restored wooden manor house and several ancillary outbuildings still persist.

Kuršėnai Park of a mixed type was founded on the left bank of the Venta in the 19th century. A pond was set up in place of the old riverbed on the northern edge, between the river and a small tributary. There is a circular meadow, about 70 m in diameter, planted with a row of trees and surrounded by a broad access avenue loop in the middle of the park. The lime avenue along the banks of the river Venta especially appeals to the eye. An old wooden mansion-house and a residential house are located in the eastern part of the park.

Native trees and shrubs dominate in the park, including the Norway maple, small-leaved lime, common ash, European white birch, downy birch, European mountain elm, grey alder, and Rowan.

A relatively large number of exotic plants include the following: the large-leaved lime, European beech, balsam fir, Swedish whitebeam, Crimean linden, horse chestnut, Siberian larch, and European larch which grow in groups and individually at the edges of the park. The Swedish whitebeam can also be found in the park. Silver firs and lowland firs grow next to the mansion-house.

The central part of the park has a square where the town festivals and events are held.

There are Kuršėnai Culture House and a warehouse close to the park.

The park has been preserved and safeguarded by the State since 1958. It was declared a natural monument of local importance in 1986. In recent years, the park has been managed and maintained pretty well.

KURTUVĖNAI PARK

Address: Višinskio St. / Parko St., Kurtuvėnai, Šiauliai District

Area: 13.6 ha

The estates of the former six following manors: Bubiai, Gelučiai, Kurtuvėnai, Mirskiškė, Šaukėnai, and Šilas Pavėžupis (Putvinskiai) are situated within the territory of Kurtuvėnai Regional Park. The first mentions of Kurtuvėnai Manor in historic sources refer to the first half of the 16th century. The estate plantations were not mentioned in the extant manor inventories of 1592. The gardens of Kurtuvėnai Manor were first mentioned in the manor inventories of 1674. Native trees and shrubs must have been growing there at that time since introduced plants in Lithuanian parks appeared only in the late 18th century. It was at that time that a severe decimation of the green plantations of Kurtuvėnai Manor took place whereupon not a single fruit tree was left.

The Nagurskiai managed Kurtuvėnai from 1716 until the turn of the 18th century. The manor garden was replanted during the period of their host.

There is reason to believe that the establishment of the current park started at the end of the 18th century. A contract concluded in 1796 between the landlord of Kurtuvėnai Manor and Kazimieras Bolmanas, the then well-known architect of Vilnius gardens, is still extant. It specified that K. Bolmanas had to work a fortnight on the reconstruction of the Manor Park in Kurtuvėnai and had to spend another 5 years teaching a young man the techniques of horticulture. A geometric park in Kurtuvėnai is assumed to have been formed at that time. Extant straight tree avenues typical of geometrical parks bespeak of the said park. A cobbled path in the park near the old well of the manor has been preserved since the late 18th century.

The Plater-Zyberks purchased the manor in the second half of the 19th century. In 1862, the lands of Kurtuvėnai came into the possession of Heinrich Plater. He allotted the manor to his son Ludwig who married Teresa Zamoiska.

The Platers were resourceful town keepers who cared for the welfare of the town. They established plenty of ponds and a centre of active culture on the site of the manor.

The old manor house was replaced with a new one in the late 19th century. The surrounding park was rearranged as well. Following the reconstruction, it took on the features of a landscape park with prevailing elements of a geometrical park. The park was renovated in the second half of the 20th century once again, and now it has an irregular network of straight pathways.

In the Platers’ times, the manor could be entered through a beautiful gate on the church side. The apple and currant orchard stretched behind the manor barn. The gardener’s cottage was at its elbow.

In 1901, the Counts Platers invited P. Višinskis to the manor to teach their children. P. Višinskis stayed there until 1903.

During the First World War, the manor house burned down.

The park continued to be impeccably tidied up until the Second World War. A tennis court and a children’s playhouse were equipped on a hill in the park before the war.

There were three ponds on the site of the manor, two of which have survived. One of them lies next to the hill and the other one is behind the manor barn. The Manor Park used to be surrounded north and east by a stone fence in ages. There also used to be wooden fences with brick pillars (whose fragments alone have survived).

The manor was nationalised in 1940.

Research carried out in Kurtuvėnai Manor Park in 1996 have shown that among native trees and shrubs there are Pedunculate oaks, European white birches, downy birches, sallows, aspens, Norway spruces, white willows, European mountain elms, bird cherries, Norway maples, rowans, common ashes, European hazels, European spindle trees, and alpine currants. There grow 7 kinds of introduced trees: horse chestnuts, large-leaved limes, European larches, Douglas firs, Eastern arborvitae, fragrant poplars, and lemonade sumacs. There are 8 introduced shrub species: the syringa, sweet mock orange, elm-leaved spirae, false spirae, common snowberry, Pacific ninebark, red-barked dogwood, alpine currant, and yellow acacia.

Only part of the old manor garden has survived.

For a long time, a wooden barn constructed around 1796 without using a single nail (rectangular two-storeyed with an attic and a four-slope roof, columns and ornamented doors) was the oldest and most valuable building on the site of the manor. The barn was burned by unknown villains in 2002. The barn had been renovated before the fire: its preservation and restoration works were performed. (As far back as the 19th century, after a visit abroad, the landlord Nagurskis devised the serf theatre in his barn. Serfs would dance, sing, and show performances to the houseguests. The Germans stored grain in the barn during the First World War.)

Currently, Kurtuvėnai Regional Park Administration is located in an old-style red brick building in Kurtuvėnai Park.

Kurtuvėnai Park is a popular gathering and recreation place among the town dwellers. The park has the sculpture “Thunder Tree”.

The park is rich in edible snails. Hollows of old trees are occupied by 5 species of bats, owls, eagle owls, and woodpeckers.

Kurtuvėnai Manor Estate was included in the Immovable Cultural Property Register of Lithuania on 31 December 1997 (code G112K) for its architectural, historical, and landscape value. The complex presently consists of the park, the oficina, a cowshed, stables, a kitchen, a barn, a cellar, and two peasant farms. The park has been quite well managed and maintained in recent years. This is the concern of Kurtuvėnai Regional Park.

PAEŽERIAI MANOR PARK

Address: Paežeriai Village, Raudėnai Eldership, Šiauliai District

Area: 4 ha

Paežeriai Manor and mixed park were set up by Pavenčiai landlord Gurskis. A historical statement about the old Paežeriai Manor, prepared in 1992 by S. Gasparavičienė, testifies that Paežeriai Manor House was surrounded by a park designed in 1900-1905 by the then prominent Lithuanian pomologist Zaleskis. According to R. Aftanazis, the park at the lakeside occupied a 500 m long and 300 m wide plot. Zaleskis integrated the park and garden that had grown before it.

Paežeriai and the adjacent Juozapava Manor were connected by a long avenue planted with trees which converted into a road. The park was populated with rare species of cedars, poplars and, supposedly, larches brought from Kuršėnai. There were two round parterres and a lawn in front of the mansion-house. One of them had an open stone arbour whose roof rested on pillars. A magnificent view to the lake revealed from there.

After the First World War, the manor was parcelled out. The Gurskiai barely inherited the estate, the park, and the lake. The Manor House and the park came into the possession of Pavenčiai Sugar Factory in 1981. The mansion perfectly fitted for representational events and visitor entertainment at the factory. It has been well preserved so far. The neighbourhood was occupied by 2 new buildings for the factory workers’ recreation. The establishment of an international youth centre within the park territory is currently projected.

Paežeriai Park has very beautiful surroundings. Great views of the lake and the neighbouring vicinities open from the manor house. However, the park has not been quite adequately maintained in recent years. Its dimensional structure has been damaged in the Soviet years by reclamation which raised water levels at the lake entailing inundation of part of the park.

Paežeriai Park has been preserved and safeguarded by the State since 1958. It was declared a natural monument of local importance in 1986. The park is now populated with both native trees (maples, lindens, oaks, ashes, birches, aspens, elms, firs) and exotic trees such as thick clustered wych elms, European larches, tilia estrella, and horse chestnuts.

http://www.oginski.lt/

GRUZDŽIAI MANOR PARK

Address: Jaunimo St. 10, Gruzdžiai Village, Gruzdžiai Eldership, Šiauliai District

Area: 17.8 ha

Gruzdžiai Manor Estate of the 18th century - the first half of the 20th century was included in the Immovable Cultural Property Register of Lithuania on 31 December 1997 for its architectural, historical, and landscape value. The complex is made up of the following 26 facilities: a park set up in the middle of the 19th century, a mansion built during 1740-1769 and reconstructed in 1817, a steward’s cottage built in 1817, a peasant farm, a storeroom, a barn erected in 1818 and renovated in the first half of the 20th century, a building, cowsheds (1819), a sty, a carriage house, a stable (1820), a cart shed (1820), a barn, an outbuilding, a house built in 1938, the mews (1928), a water tower with a riding hall (1820), a peasant farm, a cote, a shed (1894), the oficina, an icehouse, a dairy, a farm building, a storeroom (1828), and a steam mill with a stove.

BUBIŲ DVARO PARKAS

Address: Dubysos St., Bubiai Village, Bubiai Eldership, Šiauliai District

Area: 25.05 ha

Bubiai Manor Estate situated on both sides of the road Šiauliai-Kelmė was included in the Immovable Cultural Property Register of Lithuania on 31 March 1999 (code G211K) for its architectural, historical, and landscape value. In addition to the mansion built in 1908, the manor complex also includes a park, a stable built in the 19th century and reconstructed at the beginning of the 20th century, a grain store (1830), a gardener’s cottage, a lodge (the early 20th century), a school, a teacher house, three peasant farms (1830; the turn of the 19th to the 20th century; the early 20th century), a barn, a silo, two sheds, a distillery, a spirit repository, an outbuilding, a house, and an equipped sawmill.

 
 
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Photos used in this site were made by Zigmas Ripinskis
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