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Baroque Architecture in Lithuania (17th – 18th centuries)

In the baroque epoch (17th – 18th centuries) many families of the wealthy nobility funded churches hoping to secure a better place after death. Nowhere is this as visible as in Vilnius. It is said that in Vilnius downtown there is no place from which a church spire would not be visible (and many of these spires and domes are impressively baroque). This is not entirely true of course, but not far from truth.

Baroque is characterized by elaborate details. They are so numerous that they overshadow the main elements of the building.

The interior of Saint Peter and Saint Paul church in Vilnius that depicts life as a theater and includes over 2000 white figurines is among the most famous Vilnius churches and a great example of this baroque trait.

A detail of Saint Peter and Paul church interior with only a small fraction of its meticulously shaped white human figures. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Among other Lithuanian pearls of the baroque is the late 17th century Pažaislis monastery near Kaunas.

Due to its prevalence and impression the Baroque style was typically considered "the most Lithuanian one" in the 20th century. Not that surprising as there is even a distinctive Vilnius Baroque church style with tall and narrow twin towers.

Article written by Augustinas Žemaitis

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