Religious sites in Lithuania

Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church

The Holy Resurrection Church is an Orthodox church built in 1862 in the area of the local Orthodox cemetery. Initially the church belonged to St. Alexander Nevsky parish, but in 1882, due to the constant growth of the number of Orthodox Russians living in the city, it was made a parish church as well. From 1884 on, the church ran a parish school. The church was closed after the Germans entered to Kaunas during World War I ...
Founded: 1862 | Location: Kaunas, Lithuania

Siauliai Cathedral

A Samogitian elder M. Kęsgaila built the first wooden church in Šiauliai in 1445. Later, the church was destroyed several times, burned down, until it got its present Renaissance appearance in the early 17th century. When pope John Paul II established Šiauliai Diocese, the church became a Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. The church is painted from inside and outside with two shades of white. The Cat ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Šiauliai, Lithuania

Holy Cross Church

The monks of the Order of Carmelites bought several plots of land for the monastery in Kaunas near the Nemunas river in 1706. Some years earlier, the Holy Cross Church (Šv. Kryžiaus bažnyčia) was sanctified nearby in 1685 and consecrated in 1700. The church was built in the late Baroque style. It is a two tower building of Latin cross shape. The painting in the main dome represents the prophet Elijah. It was created i ...
Founded: 1685-1700 | Location: Kaunas, Lithuania

Zapyskis Church

Zapyškis Church is an early Gothic church built between 1530 and 1578, which is also depicted in town's coat of arms. It is the oldest rural church in Lithuania and one of the few brick-made Gothic buildings.
Founded: 1530-1578 | Location: Zapyškis, Lithuania

St. Joseph's Church

The wooden St. Joseph"s Church was built in 1766. It was originally part of the Carmelites monastery, but the monastery was closed in 1832. Later the church was used as a barracks, but restored to worship use in last years.
Founded: 1766 | Location: Kėdainiai, Lithuania

St. George's Church

The red brick St. George"s Church was built in 1909 as a garrison church for tsarist troops stationed in the city. The classic neo-Byzantine building was taken over by the city’s Catholics in 1919 and remodelled along less Orthodox lines in 1923. Suffering the usual Soviet fates and misfortunes, the building was used for non-religious purposes for many years before being returned to the Catholic Church and subs ...
Founded: 1909 | Location: Šiauliai, Lithuania

Panevezys Cathedral

The Cathedral of Christ the King (Kristaus Karaliaus katedra) is a Roman Catholic cathedral, seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Panevėžys. The cathedral is eclectic combining features of Baroque and Neoclassicism and it was built between 1908-1933. In 1860, bishop Motiejus Valančius began preparations for construction of a new church in Panevėžys. However, after the Uprising of 1863, the Tsarist autho ...
Founded: 1908-1933 | Location: Panevėžys, Lithuania

Kretinga Monastery

In 1602 Jan Karol Chodkiewicz built the first wooden church in Kretinga and established a Benedictine monastery, which became a great success. After about ten years a new brick church with an impressive organ was built. In 1610 a church school was opened. In 1621 the Sapieha family gained control of the city; they changed its coat of arms to represent Saint Casimir. In 1659 and 1710 the church and monastery were destroyed ...
Founded: 1602 | Location: Kretinga, Lithuania

Holy Transfiguration Church

Holy Transfiguration Church is an Orthodox church in Kėdainiai. The first, wooden Orthodox church was constructed in 1643. From 1652 it belonged to an Orthodox monastery of the Holy Transfiguration, which was destroyed by fire in 1771. After this event the monastery was never rebuilt and the monks moved to the Holy Spirit Monastery in Vilnius. In 1798 it was officially closed. Despite the advice of the Holy Synod of ...
Founded: 1895 | Location: Kėdainiai, Lithuania

St. Louis' Church

The first church on the site was built in 1524. The first wooden church was called St. Jonas Baptist church, The Virgin Maria Assumption church and St. Nicola’s church. After the church burnt, in 1818 a new stone church in classical style was built next to the old church. In the honour of the priest Liudvikas Kaminskas, the initiator of the construction, the church was sacred to the memory of St. Louis. Today this i ...
Founded: 1818 | Location: Alytus, Lithuania

St. John the Baptist Church

St. John the Baptist Church is a Roman Catholic church in Židikai. The community worshiped in a wooden chapel as early as 1636. The current stone church, constructed in 1821, reflects Classicism and Romantic period features. In 1842 the current belfry was built. In 1853 there was established a parish and priest Jonas Vaškevičius became the first parson of Židikai parish. Around 1861 the church was renovated ...
Founded: 1821 | Location: Židikai, Lithuania

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.