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Pazaislis Camaldolese Monastery
 

Pazaislis Camaldolese Monastery

paz2Pazaislis Camaldolese Monastery:

• a unique baroque monument which is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of the mature baroque in northern and eastern Europe

• distinguished by the quality of its art

• established by Kristupas Pacas, the chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

• the founding act was signed in 1664 and the Monastery was built in 1667-1712

• built as the most important camaldolese hermitage in Lithuania and Poland

• the Camaldolese order was established by the monk St. Romuald from the Benedictine Order in Campus Maldoli, Italy, at the beginning of the 11th century. The name Camaldolese

originates from this placename

• eremites lived in absolute silence. They distanced themselves from the world and devoted themselves to God and work

• camaldolese monks had lived in Pazaislis about 170 years

• after the camaldolese monks had been expelled from the Monastery in 1832, the highest class orthodox monastery Uspenija was established here in 1842. It functioned until the First World War

• in 1915-1918 when the orthodox monks retreated, a German war hospital was established in the Monastery

• the Monastery was transferred to the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Casimir in 1920

• in 1940 Soviet authorities expropriated the property of the Monastery. In 1948 Sisters of St. Casimir were forced to move out. The Monastery lost its monastic purpose and spirituality

• after the restoration of independence of the Republic of Lithuania from the Soviet Union, the Monastery was returned to the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Casimir in 1992

• since then the Monastery is open for tourists

• Italian architects Carlo and Pietro Puttini, the painter Michelangelo Palloni, and the molder Joan Merli worked in the Monastery

• about 140 frescos, a number of paintings, portraits, mouldings, and sculptures survived despite the considerable loss

• it took 20 years to decorate the church with natural polished marble

• high solid black and rosy marble columns, a less ornate balustrade, and the frames of the frescos created the impression of solidity and eternity

• the floor of the central nave, which was paved with marble, was irredeemably trampled by the horses of Napoleon’s army, which was based in Pazaislis in 1812

• the stucco mouldings of Pazaislis are created by the Italian Joan Merli

• his compositions, with favourite floral elements (big bunches of grapes, palm branches, stylized lilies, vine or laurel leaves),

decorate not only the interior, but also the exterior of the church, the dining hall of the Monastery and the hall of the guesthouse

• opposite to a number of other sanctuaries, the stucco mouldings of Pazaislis are not painted or gilded. They have their natural white colour, which perfectly emphasises the frescos on the ceiling vaults

• the highly valuable frescos of Pazaislis were created by Michelangelo Palloni

• the main iconographic theme of the church - Apotheosis of Mary

• the scene of Mary’s coronation is concentrated at the highest point of the church - the well lit fresco of the dome (this fresco is ascribed to Giovanni Rossi). The figure of The Holy Virgin Mary who is being crowned reaches 3 metres

• all the frescos are painted using al fresko and al seko techniques

• the frescos painted in the presbytery and on the walls of the corridors of the church reflect the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland

• the cycle of 11 frescos testifying the first Christian missions to the Baltics is unique in Lithuania

• it corresponds to the story described in the annals of Quedlinburger of 1009 where the name of Lithuania was first mentioned

• Pazaislis is famous for the painting The Mother of Beautiful Love, known for its miraculous power

• Pope Alexander VII presented Camaldolese monks with the painting of The Mother of Beautiful Love and permitted the establishment of a Camaldolese monastery on the outskirts of Kaunas

• supposedly painted by a Flemish painter in the XVII century

• the monks' choir, the chapter and the sacristy were decorated with wood carvings, whose author is unknown

• the sacristy is distinguished by a big number of refined wood carvings. Ornamented oak wall panels cover the walls up to the ceiling

• niches of the walls imitate double lilies. The arches are decorated with shells. A child's and an angel's head above them eternalized the founder's son's memory

 

The Monastery is open: II-V 10.00 - 17.00, VI 10.00 - 16.00

Ticket price: 5 Lt. For pupils, students, seniors – 2 Lt.

Advance reservation for group excursions is needed. Excursions are not charged additionally.

The Holy Masses in the Church: each Sunday at 11.00

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