MUSEUM OF THE DIOCESE OF SAMOGITIA
- MUSEUM OF THE DIOCESE OF SAMOGITIA
WE ARE NOT WORKING. THE MUSEUM IS CLOSED FOR RECONSTRUCTION.
The Museum of the Diocese of Samogitia has been operating in the heart of Samogitia - Varniai - since 1999. It is a subdivision of the Samogitian Museum "Alka".
The museum is housed in the former Varniai Samogitian Seminary, built in 1770. Here you can get acquainted with the artistic, historical and memorial heritage of the Diocese of Samogitian (Medininkai) and the Diocese of Telšiai (since 1926).
The museum is housed in the late Baroque building of the former Samogitian Seminary, built in the 18th century.When the Tsarist Russian administration closed Vilnius University in the 19th century, the Varniai Seminary and the Vilnius Faculty of Medicine were the only higher education institutions in Lithuania. Many prominent Lithuanian personalities in the fields of culture, art, science and politics worked and studied here.
The seminary remained in operation until 1864, when the centre of the Samogitian diocese, the seminary and Bishop Motiejus Valančius were moved from Varniai to Kaunas. Varniai, as the centre of the Samogitian diocese for almost 450 years, occupied a special place in the religious, cultural and political life of Lithuania.
At the end of the 19th century, the building was occupied by the Don Cossack Regiment of the Russian Imperial Army. After the restoration of independence, the site was occupied by a discipline company of the Lithuanian army, the Eighth Kaunas Infantry Regiment of the Duke Vaidotas. In the interwar period, the Varniai Concentration Camp was located in the museum buildings. During the Soviet era, the Varniai Secondary School was located here, and later the building was handed over to the Varniai Village Vocational Technical School. After the restoration of independence in 1995, the bell tower and the original roof structure, typical of late Lithuanian Baroque, were restored. In 1999, the building was handed over to the Samogitian Episcopal Museum.
In 1999, on the initiative of the Samogitian Cultural Society, a monument to the Samogitian Bishop Merkel Giedraitis and the Canon Mikalojus Daukša was erected in front of the palace, created by sculptor Arūnas Sakalauskas.