Orangeries: exceptional buildings in manors surroundings

2020 06 11

Orangeries in Lithuanian manors became popular in the 18th-19th century. Flourishing, thriving heat-loving exotic plants and, often, the animals that lived here, were the source of great joy and refreshment for the soul of the owners of these year-round green oases and their guests, the pride of the landlords, as well as the buildings that adorned the manor ensemble. Let’s take a look at today’s manor orangeries.  

The orangery of Liubavas Manor - the oldest in Lithuania

The surviving orangery in the Liubavas Manor together with the officine form a Baroque architecture ensemble, the construction of which dates back to the 18th century. Both buildings have similar shapes, bright colours, broken silhouette roofs, but the windows of the orangery are much larger than the ones of the officine. Today, the restored buildings of Liubavas Manor are adapted for museum purposes.

Today, in the orangery of Liubavas Manor you will not see many species of exotic plants that once grew here (according to a remaining number on one of the flowerpots of the orangery it is estimated that about 150 plants could have been grown here at a time), but you will have the opportunity to see what the oldest orangery in Lithuania looks like and visit the exhibition.

The orangery of Liubavas Manor had a complex heating system.In the restored building, a heated wall has been preserved, fragments of underfloor heating have been exhibited, and an 18th-century furnace has been restored.

It is interesting to see how different indoor premises were planned and connected - those for growing plants, spending free time, those for the gardener to live, those for servicing heating stoves and storing garden inventory.

Winter Garden at Kretinga Manor, once founded by Count Tiškevičius, is being taken a good care of

The orangery of Kretinga Manor, or the Winter Garden, was established in the second half of the 19th century on the initiative of Count Tiškevičius. The orangery, rich in both flora and fauna at that time, had palms and cacti, banana trees, lemon trees and laurel trees, the rippling waters were flowing around and fish were swimming in small ponds. This Winter Garden, formerly the largest orangery of its time on a private estate in Europe, was unfortunately destroyed in the first half of the 20th century.

In 1987, on the initiative of the heads of Kretinga Agricultural Technical School and the specialists of Klaipėda Restoration Workshop, the Kretinga Winter Garden was restored, and since 1991 the orangery has been a part of the Kretinga Museum.

Today, the visitors to Kretinga Manor can see the orangery filled with life and its plants that in some cases came from very far away. In total, more than 170 species of plants grow here, it contains collections rich in weeping plants, succulents, epiphytes, dracaena and members of the mulberry family. Like in the old days, some fauna can be found here among the green flora - Japanese carp swim in the orangery pool, pond turtles and a parrot live in the garden.

The orangery of Aukštoji Freda Manor - the largest in Lithuania

The history of both the Botanical Garden of Vytautas Magnus University and the orangery, operating in the vicinity of the Aukštoji Freda Manor, began in the first half of the 20th century, almost a hundred years ago. In 1923, the first cornerstone for the orangery was laid by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Aleksandras Stulginskis.

Today, the orangery operating in the vicinity of Aukštoji Freda Manor is the largest in Lithuania. More than 900 species of plants grow here, covering an area of more than a thousand square meters. Visitors to the orangery can admire sub-tropical, tropical, desert and semi-desert plants, 30 different species of palm trees, 38 species of ficus and more than 350 species of succulents. One of the exclusive plants preserved in this orangery is dioon, an exotic plant that has been growing in Oginskiai Manor in Rietavas for more than 130 years.

The orangery of Raudondvaris Manor houses a restaurant

Raudondvaris Manor has the remaining castle palace, two officines, stables, an ice-cellar and an orangery. The last owners of the manor were the Counts Tiškevičiai. Count BenediktasEmanuelisTiškevičius replaced the wooden buildings of the manor that did not survive the fire in 1831 in Raudondvaris with new, brick ones. He created the manor ensemble with the help of famous architects of that time.

Today, the manor buildings and their surroundings have been restored, revived, and almost each one of them has a specific purpose. Various events take place in the main building of the manor, Kaunas District Tourism and Business Information Centre operates in the ice-cellar, the stud farm houses an art incubator, while a restaurant has been operating in the orangery since 2013.

The construction of the orangery of Classicism and Neo-Gothic forms dates back to 1837–1839. Count BenediktasEmanuelisTiškevičius, who liked to travel, added more and more new species of plants and animals to the collection of the orangery after his trips - monkeys and parrots lived here.

Both a clock and an orangery at Plungė Manor

The orangery in Plungė Manor is an exclusive building called a clock-orangery. It is a construction built in the middle of the 19th century, which looks like a castle with a clock in a 12-meter-high tower. The orangery on the eastern side of the building was set up in the second half of the 19th century for growing seedlings and exotic plants. The clock tower was equipped with the living quarters for a clock-man and a gardener.

During the first half of the 20th century, the clock building changed significantly, and the orangery fell into disrepair. It was only in 2011 that the tower clock was restored, later the entire clock building, and the gardens next to it were gradually revived.

The clock-orangery of Plungė Manor is the oldest building in this manor.