• Home of Jonas Mačiulis-Maironis

        Home of Jonas Mačiulis-Maironis

      The Old Kaunas was the city of Maironis. Here he studied and graduated from the gymnasium, here he was the ordinand and later the lecturer and professor of Kaunas Spiritual Seminary. After spending nineteen years in St. Petersburg, where he studied and worked at the Imperial Roman Catholic Spiritual Academy, Maironis returned to Kaunas in 1909, when, according to him, he “got tired of feeding the birds of the foreign land”. The poet was appointed to rector’s position at Kaunas Priest Seminary. He associated this city not only with the native Lithuanian surroundings, not only with stressful and hard work, but also with his devoted friends and fellows.

      When Jonas Mačiulis returned to Kaunas from St. Petersburg he had to decide where to live. The abandoned mansion was standing right next to the Seminary, at the very centre of the Town Hall. Maironis’s friends convinced him to buy this mansion. The poet was a well-paid lecturer at St. Petersburg Spiritual Academy, therefore, pooling all his savings, the dowry money of his unmarried sister Marcelė and taking the loan from the bank, he purchased this huge mansion. The renovations works were completed in about a year and, in 1910, he finally moved in. This date is reminded by the inscription “1910 – J. Maironis” on the pediment of building.

      A lot of visitors wonder why the poet needed such spacious premises. When buying this mansion, Jonas Mačiulis expected it to be the place of gathering of the people of culture and intelligentsia. He also had an enormous wish to beautify and revive his native region. Maironis and his sister Marcelė Mačiulytė settled in eight rooms of the second floor. The first floor was reserved for the cultural fellowships of Lithuania: here was the editorial office of magazine “Garnys”, publishing house “Sakalas”, Catholic Women’s Fellowship. The President of the Republic of Lithuania, Antanas Smetona, and composer Juozas Tallat-Kelpša used to live in the remaining part of the second floor.

      Jonas Mačiulis lived here until his death in 1932. On the fourth anniversary of poet’s death, in 1936, Maironis Museum was founded here. In his testament, the poet expressed a wish for the future museum to be looked after by an “honest and serious-minded person, especially a litterateur” elected by the Minister of Education. Thus, the first head of museum was poet Bernardas Brazdžionis. This nice tradition has survived to this day. Currently, the head of museum is poet and writer Aldona Ruseckaitė.

      Maironis memorial exposition is situated in eight rooms of this mansion that have been renovated very authentically. It looks practically the same as it did when the owner himself live here. The museologists are grateful to poet’s sister Marcelė Mačiulytė, who, after the death of her brother, saved the majority of his belongings, looked after the home and designed the furnishing plan of each room. You are invited to explore this unique restored interior.

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