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Vaišalgas (Vaišelga) 1264-1267
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Jogaila (Władysław Jagiełło) 1377-1381, 1382-1392
Žygimantas Kęstutaitis 1432-1440
Sigismund (Žygimantas) the Old 1506-1548
Sigismund (Žygimantas) August 1544-1572
Henry Valois 1573-1574
Stephen Bathory 1576-1586
Sigismund Vasa 1588-1632
Władysław Vasa 1632-1648
John Casimir Vasa 1648-1668
Michael Korybut (Kaributas) Wiśniowiecki 1669-1673
John Sobieski 1674-1696
August II 1697-1706, 1709-1733
Stanisław Leszcziński 1706-1709
August III 1733-1763
Stanisław August Poniatowski 1764-1795
The Birth of Lithuania
“In the year 1009, St Bruno, also known as Boniface, archbishop and monk, during his eleventh year after having become a monk, was killed by pagans at the border of Rus’ and Lithuania on the 9th of March with 18 of his brethren, all of whom went to heaven.” – Quedlinburg Annals, St Servatius Monastery, Germany
The first reference to the name of Lithuania in written sources comes to us in the story related to the tragic end of St. Bruno’s mission in1009 as described in the annals of Quedlinburg, Germany (Annales Quedlinburgenses). The text written in the 11th century failed to survive and its copy made in the middle of the 16th century is kept in Dresden, Germany.
St. Brunon, alias Bonifacius, archbishop and monk was killed by the pagans together with 18 of his brethren on the Russian –Lithuanian border on the eleventh year of his conversion and on the 9th of March ascended into the heaven.
On 30 December 1997, the Directorate for the Commemoration of the Millennium of Lithuania (CML Directorate) under the auspices of the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania was formed by the decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania No.1490 to draw up, coordinate and implement the programme for the commemoration of the millennium of Lithuania. Proceeding from the proposals made by the educational, scientific and cultural institutions as well as the broader public, the CML Directorate and its Coordinating Board charted a Programme for the Millennium of Lithuania (Programme), which was approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania by its Resolution No. 971 of 18 July 2003. The Programme is implemented by the CML Directorate, Ministry of Culture, counties and municipalities of Lithuania, scientific and cultural institutions as well as other organizations.
The Programme aims at:
• consolidation and livening up of the historical and civic self-awareness of the Lithuanian society;
• making the cultural heritage more topical;
• rendering assistance in the implementation of projects, which are vitally important for the nation;
• adequate introduction of Lithuania and its culture to the world.
The Programme is based on the principles of openness, statehood, purposefulness and universality. It encourages state, municipal and public institutions and organizations as well as all citizens of Lithuania to develop and implement projects devoted to the given anniversary.
Programme for the Millennium of Lithuania consists of three parts:
• research and publishing projects;
• cultural heritage and architecture projects;
• national and international culture, art and social projects.
The majority of those projects are being successfully implemented.
CML Directorate Implements Research and Publishing Projects.
Implementing the goals of the Programme, the CML Directorate staged contests for the preparation and release of publications devoted to history and culture. In the period of 1998-2007, the CML Directorate co-financed around 300 editions – to this end, LTL 4 million were allocated. 235 books bearing the millennium mark have already been published. They are delivered free of charge to the libraries and representative offices of Lithuania abroad. Publications, which are issued by using the funds of the Programme for the Millennium of Lithuania, introduce the society to the valuable editions devoted to history, culture and literary sources, the most recent works on the science of history as well as publications, which reveal and attractively promote the culture of the country. Books published within the framework of the Programme were exhibited in Lithuanian and world book fairs and expositions.
Prof. Alfredas Bumblauskas, President Valdas Adamkus and prof. Edvardas Gudavičius to welcome the book The History of Ancient Lithuania, 1009-1795. Photo by Džoja Barysaitė.
Projects Devoted to Cultural Heritage and Architecture
In the process of preparing for the 750th anniversary of the coronation of King Mindaugas, a monument to King Mindaugas was erected in the capital in 2003.
In 2009, the National Art Gallery of the Lithuanian Art Museum will be opened in Vilnius. At present, the building, which will house it, is under reconstruction. The mission of the gallery is to accumulate and exhibit modern and contemporary art of Lithuania, investigate its ties with the world culture, broaden the horizon of the viewers and develop the culture of perception of visual art.
Reconstruction of the Royal Palace of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Vilnius is one of the most outstanding projects of the Programme for the Millennium of Lithuania. The Royal Palace is to be the symbol of the long-lived tradition of Lithuanian statehood and national pride, an important historical centre of the international relations, culture, art, law, finances and state administration of Lithuania of the 13th- 17th centuries. The reconstruction is being perceived as the reinstatement of the symbol of the sovereignty of the state and the nation, as the restitution of the historical truth, which is highly important for the development of the national and civic self-awareness as well as historical memory. The reconstructed Royal Palace shall be opened to the public on 6 July 2009, the Lithuanian Statehood Day (the coronation of King Mindaugas). The reconstructed Royal Palace of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania shall become a poly-functional historical centre of culture and shall organize a broad scope of activities in the fields of the representation of the state, museology, education and other aspects of culture and tourist information. It is planned that the Royal palace will become an independent and an up-to-date national institution to nurture and promote culture and its mode of activities will be in line with the traditional methods as well as those, which are tested in the world practice by institutions accommodated in historical residences and at the same time it will make use of all high-tech possibilities.
Kernavė cultural reservation (in Kernavė, Širvintos district) is a unique object of UNESCO world heritage. The complex project of the research, regeneration and introduction to the public of the values present in it will allow to bring into being the dormant possibilities of the Kernave cultural reservation to become an object representing the pre-history of Lithuania and the early period of the formation of the state.
The Vytautas Magnus Military Museum (Kaunas) is under reconstruction. It endeavours to become the most up-to date museum relating the tales of the struggle of the Lithuanian state and the Lithuanian nation for freedom and independence and introducing the history of Lithuania and other countries as well as the soldiership.
The M.K.Čiurlionis National Museum of Art (Kaunas) is the oldest and largest museum in Lithuania. After its reconstruction, scheduled in the Programme for the Millennium of Lithuania, the museum will display a major part of the legacy of the great and highly talented Lithuanian artist M.K.Čiurlionis (1875-1911) and new vistas to acquaint visitors with the evolution of Lithuanian fine arts.
In 2009, the complex of Open Air Museum of Lithuania (in Rumšiškės, Kaišiadorys district) will be completed. Preserved in the museum is the historical and cultural heritage of everyday life from the end of the 18th to the beginning of the 20th centuries. The museum spotlights the peculiarities and oneness of the national identity of Lithuanians, teaches the society succession of traditions and invites the visitors to have a rest.
The Millennium Programme also provides for the commemoration of the Battle of Saule (1236) by a memorial complex in Joniškis district.
Since 2006, the CML Directorate has staged contests for educative projects related to cultural heritage. Projects promoting the nurturing and knowledge of cultural heritage have been further developed.
National and International Projects Related to Culture, Art and Social Sphere Designed for the Year 2009
In 2003, the CML Directorate initiated and financed the composition of a piece of music devoted to the State of Lithuania’s 750th anniversary, and this gave birth to the opera-ballet Fire and Faith by Bronius Kutavičius.
The International exhibitions Žalgiris Battle, Classicism of Vilnius, Christianity in Lithuanian Art and the most valuable collection of the sacral fine arts Treasury of Vilnius Cathedral were organized in the Lithuanian Art Museum. The CML Directorate supported the exhibition of the painting Fowl in Kwedlinburg by the painter Filomena Linčiūtė-Vaitiekūnienė. When in 2009 Lithuania will be celebrating the millenium of its name, three international exhibitions – Art of the Balts (coordinated by Vilnius Art Academy), Jogailian Europe (coordinated by Lithuanian Art Museum) and Lithuania in Ancient Documents (coordinated by the Department of Archives of Lithuania) will be organized in the Royal Palace.
The CML Directorate uses the funds of the Programme for the Millennium of Lithuania to co-finance scientific conferences devoted to the problems of Lithuanian history and culture.
On the occasion of the commemoration of the millennium of the name of Lithuania, a feature film on history should be produced.
The millennium of the name of Lithuania urged the capital of the State of Lithuania, Vilnius, to seek the status of the 2009 European Cultural Capital. It was officially granted on 14 November 2005 by the Resolution of the European Council No.2005/815/EU. The Programme funds are used to finance those projects, which will attract the guests and our countrymen by the events of modern culture and will make the cultural life of Vilnius close to each citizen of Europe.
All publications and events as well as projects within the framework of the Programme for the Millennium of Lithuania, which are furthered by the CML Directorate, are marked by the symbol of the millennium of Lithuania (author - Ilona Kukenytė)
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