Sapieha Palace

Vilnius, Lithuania

Sapieha Palace is a High Baroque palace in Vilnius and the only surviving of several palaces formerly belonging to the Sapieha family in the city. The palace, ordered by the Great Hetman of Lithuania Jan Kazimierz Sapieha the Younger was built in Baroque style in 1691-1697 in the place of former wooden mansion of Lew Sapieha (who died here in 1633). The palace was designed by Giovanni Pietro Pertiand decorated with frescos by Michelangelo Palloni. The piano nobile has initially displayed Dutch tiles and mosaics representingblazons, churches, castles, and palaces owned or built by the Sapiehas. Originally, the palace had multi-floor arcades on its sides, which were later built up to gain more space inside the building.

In 1809 the palace was acquired by the Russian government and restructured (according to Józef Poussier's design) into a military hospital in 1843. Much of the rich interior was destroyed throughout the 19th century. The exterior of the palace was restored only in 1927-1928 and the building housed University's ophthalmology institute until World War II. Since the war it has been used as military hospital again and fell into disrepair. Today the complex houses the Sapiega Hospital.

The palace is surrounded by the remains of the 17th century formal park, with parterres, ponds, and avenues. The impressive Baroque gate secures the entrance to the park from the Antakalnis street and the other gate is in the opposite side of the park, near the palace. Both of them have been recently restored.

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Founded: 1691-1697
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Lithuania

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