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.