Vėžaičiai Manor

Vėžaičiai is a town in western Lithuania, Klaipėda district, near the impressive valleys of the Minija river. 

The history of the town is inseparable from the Manor, which determined the life of the entire settlement. The town by itself is mentioned in the historical sources of the 16th century, but the Manor is mentioned since the beginning of the 18th century. 

For four generations and 300 years, the Manor belonged to the noble family Volmeriai. In the Lithuanian nobility counts Volmeriai we famous for their good education and engagement in educational and cultural activities. They nurtured their Manor house, built a church, accumulated an impressive library, but at the same time they promoted vodka, developed agriculture, forced serfs and then peasants to work.

The ensemble of the Volmeriai Manor consists of a park, a jäger's house, two gates, a stable, a guardhouse, a vodka distillery - a bravura, a cowshed, a barn, a house and a chapel.

The Manors' chapel was built in the 19th century by Marija Gorskytė-Volmerienė in memory of her husband the Count Edvards Volmeris. It is said that at the place where the chapel now stands, in 1883 the count was gored by a bull. 

The park and the Manor buildings was reconstructed in the in the middle of the 20th century. In 1986 the park was declared as a natural monument of local significance.

Currently, one of the best-preserved surviving manor buildings are the brewery and the neo-gothic style horse stables. Today the stables are home to the "Vēžaičiai culture center" which host art exhibitions, contemporary dance groups, ethnographic ensemble concerts, and dance evenings. The Vėžaičius branch of the J. Lankutis public library of the Klaipėda district municipality is also located here.

Also in 2019, UAB "Alkanta" director Antons Kontautas restored one of the manor buildings and adapted it for use by establishing a care home for the elderly under the name "Senior Manor". It is a modern institution that provides long-term and short-term care services for the elderly. The place is adapted so that seniors can enjoy the peaceful environment, nature and life.

Next to the southern Red Gate is the former house of the manor's caretaker, the jaeger, which was also restored at the expense of the private owners of the house.

Efforts are being made to restore other manor buildings and adapt the whole complex for the needs of cognitive and ecological tourism.

Various cultural events are often held on the territory of the Manor park like the annual festival of Vēžaičiai town - Oninės. This festival of indulgences has been held in Vēžaičiai since 1914.

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