Panemunės pilis
Panemunės pilis
Panemunės pilis

Panemunė castle

The oldest history

Along the Nemunas River, the father of the Lithuanian rivers, the Baltic tribes formed their ancient settlements, and later the defensive castles, which helped the Lithuanian state to defend itself from the Teutonic Knights. It is believed that in the territory of Panemunė Castle there could have been the manor of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytenis, and the hills in the castle’s park might be the graves of the Duke and his wife.


A period of about 150 years of the rule of the Eperješ family

In 1597, Panemunė Manor, which was then owned by Stanislovas Stankevičius-Bilevičius, a Samogitian nobleman, was sold to a Hungarian nobleman and wood merchant Jonuš Eperješ. It was his initiative to build a residential brisk castle along the Nemunas River. The castle was designed by the Dutch architect Peter Nonhart.


From the 18th century to the present day

In 1759, the castle was given to Antanas Gelgaudas, a nobleman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and was called Gelgaudai castle for some time. In 1783, after the reconstruction by Antanas Gelgaudas, Panemunė Castle acquired many features of Classicist style and became a luxurious residence of Gelgaudai family. After the death of A.Gelgaudas, the castle went to his son Mykolas Gelgaudas, and in 1828, to his wife Eleonora Gelgaudienė and their children Antanas and Jonas. Both brothers were active in the uprising of 1831. Antanas Gelgaudas became the commander-in-chief of the uprising in Lithuania, died in the fights and his brother withdrew to Prussia. They both were considered state criminals and their castle was devastated, and in 1832, it was taken over by Tsar’s authorities. In 1925, Panemunė Castle was expropriated by the Lithuanian state. In 1939 and later the castle was conserved and restored. In 1961, the castle was included in the list of Lithuanian architectural monuments. Since 1982, Panemunė Castle belongs to Vilnius Academy of Arts.
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