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Hi! I am Asta! I am a philologist and a philocalist to the heart's core. Here I share things that I consider being aesthetic and fantastic!

3 Sept 2021

The Enchanting Gelgaudiškis Manor

My personal quest of visiting as many manors in Lithuania as I can continued this summer during my vacation in the regions of Jurbarkas and Šakiai: me and my husband ended up visiting at least six of them. Today I want to tell you about the manor in Gelgaudiškis that surprised us with an extremely large park!

The idea of a picnic in a manor's park have long occupied my head and since just before the start of our vacation I managed to find the P E R F E C T picnic basket (thrifted, of course), it was time to fulfill it. Gelgaudiškis Manor seemed like the best option because somewhere we have read that it has a large park that later blends into a forest and this was exactly what I was looking for!

The main building itself dates back to the 1842-1846 when it was ruled by the Koideliai family. Later the estate was bought by the family of Komarai and resold to establish an orphanage. During the WWI the building hosted (I guess German) headquarters and later - a hospital. During the soviet times Gelgaudiškis Manor once again served as an orphanage, later it was turned into a boarding school. Currently it is renovated and it is used to host all sorts of events. Sadly, on the day that we have visited the manor the main building was closed but from what I have read it has a nice exposition of antique furniture and other things.

After looking around the manor, we moved on to the park and found it beyond charming and lovely! The view of an old alley of horse chestnuts was the moment that this place stole my heart!

The tidy park slowly merges with the forest and soon you find yourself trotting down the paths among old oaks and firs. The forest once was adorned with sculptures and stairs to facilitate the climbing, but it is now quite heavily neglected. Quite a few times I was finding myself standing by the stairs and thinking how am I supposed to climb it because many integral parts of the construction were... missing. However it was quite an experience to see all that lush greenery and notice all kinds of trees and shrubs that were described in helpful boards.

After walking in the forest for an hour, we circled back to our car, took out the picnic basket and sat down in the shade of immense chestnut trees to fulfill my general idea. After sipping a glass of refreshing aloe vera drink, munching down home made sandwiches with salmon, and reading a good deal of pages of a novel, I was happy as a clam and ready to include Gelgaudiškis Manor among my favorite manors in Lithuania.

Stay tuned for more posts about manors (and castles)! 

Photos © Aesthastic