- March 6, 2013
Renovation Commences in Jašiūnai
Long ago decaying walls of the historic Jašiūnai Manor have started to cry out for favourable view and concrete actions of restorers and authorities.
Staying within the competence of the Šalčininkai district municipality, the building has finally come by its great moment—on February 28, 2013 was signed an agreement between the Director of Administration of the Vilnius District Municipality, Bolesław Daszkiewicz, and the Director of Ekstra Statyba company, Kazys Eidukaitis, on the commencement of the first stage of the project.
– I’m really glad that the work has eventually started. So many years of awaiting has passed, so many conversations with the Minister of Culture has been held—says Zofia Griaznowa, Staroste of the Jašiūnai commune, who was present at the signing of the contract on the renovation work execution. – And there were so many planned and unfulfilled projects… Thus, later I remained sceptical about all the promises concerning the manor’s renovation. However, since the agreement has been already signed and the Ministry of Economy gave its consent, I do believe now that the things will move forward.
The transfer of the manor building to the building company will take place after 10 days following the contract signing. The restoration shall be carried out in 22 months. As states Zofia Studiennikowa from the Department of Architecture and Building of the Šalčininkai district municipality, costs of the renovation’s first stage is 5m 063K 728 Lt and 37 ct.
– There is much work to do: initially we intend to replace the roof, restore the elevation, move the water supply, gas and sewage systems, the power transmission lines, an abstraction borehole. Inside the building we plan the installation of a wiring system, a ventilation system, gas heating, air conditioning. Safety will be ensured by a lightning conductor, a burglar alarm and a fire alarm. Further restoration covers walls and vaulting cleaning as well as the replacement of windows by the wooden ones.
In the manor we will arrange rooms for a conference hall, a scientific library, a restaurant and a hotel housing up to 40 people.
– We intend to hold here scientific sessions, lasting even several days; thus, it is necessary to open a café and provide places to stay the night for local and foreign delegations—asserts the Staroste of Jašiūnai. – In parallel we will revive the palace surrounding—the municipality has received means from the European Structural Funds to restore the old park around the manor; thus, I am really elated that the work will begin and if a letter ‘a’ has been uttered then there will also appear ‘b’ and ‘c’ until we reach the end of the alphabet.
Will you preserve the historic character of the manor?
– Yes, the renovation will be held so as to preserve the historic character of the manor and the park. It is supervised by the Department of Historic Preservation and the restoration will be executed by the arrangement with the Department. Its employees repeatedly visited the manor; they were recording rooms arrangement, trying to map their original position and purpose—says Zofia Griaznowa.
Construction works will be executed by the “Ekstra Statyba” company, which won the tender. This company carries out monuments renovations as well, e.g. it was working on the reconstruction of Tuskulėnai Manor, Medininkai Castle, Trakai Island Castle.
HISTORY OF THE MANOR
Late neoclassical Jašiūnai Manor was erected in 1928 according to Karol Podczaszyński design. Young Michał Baliński, a historian and a writer, with his wife Zofia Balińska (a daughter of Jędrzej Śniadecki) resided here. Together with his niece dwelled here a former Chancellor of the Vilnius University, a prominent scholar, a mathematician, an astronomer—Jan Śniadecki. Since then Jašiūnai “attracted all the country’s personages of the epoch.” Among dignitaries who sojourned here were Fr. Stanisław Jundził;, a bishop of Vilnius, Fr. Jędrzej Benedykt Kłągiewicz; an astronomer, Piotr Sławiński; a parish-priest from nearby Turgiele, a famous successor of Pawłów, Fr. Paweł Brzostowski; Juliusz Słowacki’s mather, Salomena Becu. There came also the young ones: Juliusz Słowacki, feeling unrequited love towards Ludwika Śniadecka, a daughter of prof. Jędrzej Śniadecki; Tomasz Zan, Antoni Edward Odyniec, Józef Mianowski; a neighbour from Bolcieniki, Maryla Wereszczakówna’s husband, Wawrzyniec Puttkamer. The manor was a meeting place of outstanding intellectuals. Frequent visitors were Joachim Lelewel, Ignacy Domeyko. Social life was flourishing here, famous hunts were organized and many guests invited, people discussed eagerly with each other and took part in the arranged evenings of poetry.
The renovation work in neoclassical Jašiūnai Manor will soon begin. Photograph by Marian Paluszkiewicz.
Manor’s rooms will be arranged for a conference hall, a library, a restaurant and a hotel. Photograph by Marian Paluszkiewicz.
Tłumaczenie Hanna Hołub w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Hanna Hołub the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.