PAŽAISLIS MONASTERY – AN ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE
Near Kaunas, at the Lagoon, stands Pažaislis Monastery surrounded with secrets. This is one of the most impressive architectural complexes of buildings across the entire North-East Europe, a masterpiece of mature baroque architecture. The building is more than three centuries old, and has a history with many legends, and fascinating colourful appearance and the surrounding environment. Throughout the year, Pažaislis Monastery welcomes its visitors in peace and tranquillity, but in summer it is disrupted by the sounds of music.
Worthy of your special attention
The monastery founder Kristupas Žygimantas Pacas was highly versed in art and architecture, and could be distinguished by impeccable taste, so he invited the best Italian masters for the construction and decoration of the monastery. Exclusive architectural solutions were used for the first time in Europe: a hexagonal church plan, and a concave facade, which determines the uniqueness of the ensemble.
The monastery captivates with it 140 murals of different sizes and scenes, painted by Michelangelo A. Palloni. It also exhibits his six painted easel portraits. In addition, the monastery has the painting of Mary Belle Mother and Child, revered by the congregation, two bells of the church and St. Romuald titles, cast in the seventeenth century and the oldest church clock tower in Lithuania.
History of the abbey
The building history experienced everything, and its owners were constantly changing: Kaunas was devastated, and the monastery was plundered by Napoleon's army; during the First World War, the Germans again devastated the buildings and founded a hospital in them, and during the Soviet period the monastery was completely closed. It then served as the national archives, a tourist camp, and even as a psychiatric hospital. Only in 1992 sisters of St. Casimir's Congregation returned to Pažaislis and so far they patronage and take care of the monastery ensemble.
Pažaislis Music Festival
Since 1996 every summer Pažaislis music festival takes place in the territory of the monastery. It attracts music fans with the abundance of delighting concerts. During the festival, the monastery walls come alive with classical music, opera, and jazz sounds.
Pažaislis Music Festival is one of the most prominent cultural events in Lithuania. For Kaunas residents and visitors to the city it has become a traditional event, and summer cannot be imagined without it. The festival is already well known far beyond Europe, it is highly appreciated by visiting famous foreign artists, musicians and ensembles.
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