Grūtas Park (Grūto parkas) is a sculpture garden of Soviet-era statues and an exposition of other Soviet ideological relics from the times of the Lithuanian SSR. After Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, various Soviet statues were taken down and dumped in different places. Viliumas Malinauskas requested the Lithuanian authorities to grant him the possession of the sculptures, so that he could build a privately financed museum. This Soviet-theme park was created in the wetlands of the Dzūkija National Park. Many of its features are re-creations of Soviet Gulag prison camps: wooden paths, guard towers, and barbed-wire fences.

The exposition, consisting of 86 statues by 46 different sculptors, is organized into spheres. Each of the statues features a Soviet or socialist activist, many of them ethnic Lithuanians. The Totalitarian Sphere features sculptures of the main Communist leaders and thinkers, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Karl Marx. The Terror Sphere is dedicated to sculptures of founders of the Communist Party of Lithuania (Zigmas Aleksa-Angarietis, Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas) and officers of the Red Army (Feliksas Baltušis-Žemaitis, Ieronim Uborevich). It also has a sculpture of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the organizer of the Red Terror.

The Soviet Sphere includes sculptures of the four leaders of Lithuanian Communists, executed in the aftermath of the 1926 Lithuanian coup d'état, and activists of the Lithuanian–Soviet War of 1918–1919. The Red Sphere is dedicated to Soviet partisans, including Marytė Melnikaitė. The Occupation and Death Spheres showcase the brutal side the Soviet regime: mass deportations, suppression of the Lithuanian partisans, etc.w



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A4, Grūtas, Lithuania
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Founded: 2001


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Test (2 years ago)
The atraction is very unique and intresting. There are audio guides available or you can follow your own path. The park has set out description written in Russian English and Lithuanian. The animal welfare is also not bad. I would recommend if your interested in soviet history.
shawn cabral (2 years ago)
A great place to experience Soviet propoganda and life under soviet rule. A wonderful educational tool for all ages. Would have easily been a five star experience had it not been for their horrible attempt to create a zoo there as well. Seeing baboons and other animals locked in small cages inside a Soviet gulag exhibit was really depressing and rather confusin. The museum would be much more powerful and could be taken much more seriously without the distraction of a bizarre zoo.
Sailor Jack Rinkin (Nick) (2 years ago)
Incredible window into the past, totalitarian regime particularly. Amazing collection of fragments from different era. Position of the sunlight falling on the monuments through big trees, at the proper time of the day is pretty spectacular. Only thing that I don't get is the small ZOO at the park. Completely unnecessary and cruel.
Ignas Poška (2 years ago)
Great place to feel Soviet atmosphere. Lots of sculptures and history artifacts. You can buy Soviet souvenirs inside. What surprised me was that big part of the park is zoo. Zoo is really good, lot of versatile animals. Recommend!
Daniel Morris (2 years ago)
Amazing place and well worth the hour drive from Vilnius. The soviet statues, carvings, paintings, large stained glass panels and even a couple monumental wooden heads of Lenin teach us a couple things. First, because many items on display include a photo of where the item was placed before, we can feel how oppressive it must have felt to walk by these statues every day. Second, because of the owner's style of collecting these items, we can see exactly what is meant by the term "soviet realism". This style of art was the only one allowed in soviet times. If an artist was unable or unwilling to create in this style he or she was cut off by the system. I also learned how desperately the soviets tried to paint Lithuanians as good soviet citizens: there are at least 3 statues of a seemingly courageous young woman communist partisan. This is an example of a propaganda machine gone mad. She was not ethnically Lithuanian nor did she even speak Lithuanian. On a particularly weird note there is a zoo on the grounds (?) as well as an ersatz soviet canteen. In addition the owner has salvaged soviet era play ground swings and teeter totters that are extremely dangerous for children to play on! Ultimately these oddball additions which also include a souvenir shop do not detract from the value and importance of this park. I can highly recommend a visit. Perhaps this is the type of place that the USA may ultimately set up to display statues and murals of slave owners and people who actively fought against the nation. We will see...
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Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".