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Experiencing Baroque in a Convent

October 8, 2012

I’ve been planning to visit this place for of number of years. I finally got there! and wasn’t disappointed. Well, in fact, I was, as we didn’t get to see the inside of the church (instead we saw some baroque dances), so I guess I will have to return, hopefully sooner rather than later…

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Pažaislis convent and church is the most magnificent example of Italian baroque architecture in the country and maybe even the whole of Central Europe.

It was founded in 1662 by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Great Chancellor Krzysztof Zygmunt Pac for the Order of the Camaldolese (the Camaldolese monks and nuns are part of the Benedictine family of monastic communities which follow the way of life outlined in the Rule of St. Benedict, written in the 6th century) Hermits. The church was designed by brothers Carlo and Pietro Puttini and Giovanni Battista Frediani.

In 1832 the church was closed by the Russian authorities and later converted into an Orthodox church (the author of the Imperial Russian national anthem God Save the Tsar, Alexei Lvov, was interred there in 1870). After 1920 the ruined church returned to Roman Catholics and was restored by sisters of the Lithuanian convent of St. Casimir. After World War II, the Soviet authorities converted the church and monastery into an archive, a psychiatric hospital and finally – an art gallery (in 1966). In 1990s the whole complex was returned to the nuns and reconstruction work began.

A small plan that should help you to view my photos

The gate that greets all visitors (1)

The church seen in the distance

The church spires under the grey October sky

Very unexpected – baroque dancers under the convent roof (4)

Something that you don’t see every day…

Musicians and dancers standing next to the door that leads to the church

I could almost forget that it’s the 21st century…

What is life like behind this window?

That’s what you call fashion!

One more door leading to the church

View from the inner yard, standing underneath one of the arches

Apples from the local orchard, offered by the nuns to every visitor (3)

The guest house (2)

You can just about see the apples on the left side of the stairs (3)

One more arch

Incredible architecture

Today the convent is home to the annual international Pažaislis Music Festival. The festival is held during the three summer months and offers about 30 different concerts. It features classical music ranging from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to ABBA classics.

For more information please click here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2012 6:18 pm

    Thanks for making us aware of this incredibly beautiful church!

    Very best wishes.

    Elliott (

    • October 10, 2012 5:45 pm

      Thank you, Elliott, for visiting our blog. It is always a pleasure to find a comment. Kristina

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