Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Conversion of a mansion

The Lithuanian countryside is littered with big, old mansions from before WWII. These mansions were either left to decay or converted into public buildings when the Soviets took over. Now some of the ruined ones are being restored to former glory and used as museums. This one, the Verkiai Palace, was long the residence of the bishops of Vilnius. The first manor here was built in the 13th century by the Grand Duke of Lithuania. After WWII, the remaining palace buildings were used as educational institutions and an art museum. With a nice restaurant and a big park, it's a popular refuge for many citizens from Vilnius.