Pažaislis monastery and church

Address: T. Masiulio g. 31, Kaunas

Map of Pažaislis monastery and church

Pažaislis monastery and church form the largest monastery complex in Lithuania, and the most magnificent example of Italian baroque architecture in the country.

Founded in 1662 by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Great Chancellor Krzysztof Zygmunt Pac for the Order of the Camaldolese Hermits, the main construction continued until 1674 and resumed in 1712. The church was designed by Pietro Puttini, Carlo and Pietro Puttini, and Giovanni Battista Frediani. In 1755 the addition of the towers and the dome was funded by the king's chamberlain Michal Jan Pac.

In 1832 the church was closed by the Russian authorities and later converted into an Orthodox church. The author of the Imperial Russian national anthem God Save the Tsar, Alexei Lvov, was interred there in 1870. After 1920 the ruined church returned to Roman Catholics and was restored by sisters of the Lithuanian convent of St. Casimir. After World War II, the Soviet authorities converted the church and monastery into an archive, a psychiatric hospital and finally an art gallery (in 1966). In 1990s the complex was returned to the nuns of the convent and reconstruction work began.


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