Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view

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Rumšiškės – an outdoor ethnographic museum with wood carvings

Rumšiškės is a small town of about 1600 people 20 km east of Kaunas.

Much of it was submerged under a lake – but not before they pulled down and relocated the 18c church of St Michael the Archangel.

The outdoor museum is the biggest ethnographic museum in Europe covering 190 hectares. It’s very similar to the one outside Kiev in Ukraine.

There are the old houses and other things you would have seen in the villages across the different regions many years ago from the 18 c to the mid-20c.

In one of them was a piece of embroidery promoting the temperance movement.

This was big in Lithuania in the mid 19c. The initiative was started by Pope Pius IX and spread from Poland to Lithuania where over a million people in Kaunas and Vilnius joined the societies. Tax revenue from sales of alcohol dropped markedly – by 9 times in Kaunas – and the Russian Empire considered this a hostile act and  after tax reforms banned the societies in 1863.

And then to the collection of wood carvings.

Some amazing pieces ranging from one depicting Eve giving birth to the world to George and the Dragon and my favourite – a full orchestra!

This was another really interesting visit.



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The horse museum (Arklio Muziejus) at Anykščiai 

A trip to a horse museum (Arklio Muziejus)? How interesting can that be? Well very as it turned out.

It was a fascinating experience with its collection of horse-drawn vehicles and craft workshops.

So heading North-East on a 110 km trip through Ukmerge (famous for the song about the plumber) and towards Panevėžys.

First we visited  the collection of horse-drawn vehicles of various types including a fire engine

Then we had an opportunity to bake some bread, guided by a very competent looking lady, which we took home to eat.

Then into the craft area where we were given the chance to make a copper ring in the traditional way.

We also polished a piece of amber.

Amber doesn’t come out of the sea all honey coloured but as a dirty grey piece of what looks like stone. Only after rubbing hard with an emery board does it gain its lustrous warm sheen. Quite hard work.



This was a really interesting visit. Did I mention I actually got to ride a horse?