• The Apartment of Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas

        The Apartment of Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas

      In 1920-1933, a famous public figure, a writer, and a priest Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas lived in the house by the Church of Assumption of Blessed Mary to Heaven (or Vytautas the Great Church), in Aleksoto Street,Kaunas, then the temporary capital of Lithuania. He was a colourful and active participant of Lithuanian national revival of the 19th-20th centuries, the most popular and restless pre-war highlander in Kaunas. Vaižgantas was a well-known publicist, educationist, literary historian, and a museologist. He amazed his contemporaries with a dazzling wit and wisdom, was loved by the youth for his lively and energetic spirit. He moved from Vilnius to Kaunas in 1920 when Antanas Smetona asked him to be the editor of the newspaper "Tauta". Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas took the rector’s position at Vytautas the Great Church, taught history of the old Lithuanian literature at the University of Lithuania. His apartment was a place where Kaunas intelligentsia, artists, soldiers, priests, and other famous public figures would gather.

      The house where now the museum is situated was built in 1901. It was the property of Kaunas citizens Stanislava Musteikienė and Petras Musteikis. In 1930, major repairs were carried out in the apartment – a third floor was added and all home comforts were installed. Before that, inhabitants had only electricity. Through the windows one may see the Church of Assumption of Blessed Mary to Heaven which is the oldest example of Early Gothic in Kaunas. For nearly twelve years, Vaižgantas was a rector there and took care of its restoration and repair. Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas Memorial Apartment-Museum was established in 1997 as one of the branches of Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum. The 4-room apartment now looks practically the same as it did when Juozas Tumas lived here. Iconographic material that Vaižgantas left was of a huge help – he had made a picture of each of his rooms which served well when authentically restoring the flat. Four rooms have been reconstructed – they are now furnished with original furniture, various stuff, and artworks that used to belong to Vaižgantas. The flat’s interior is decorated with photographs that reflect writer’s life.

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