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History-before-1900

A Stroll Through the Courtyards of Vilnius University

by Julie Skurdenis EVER SINCE I FIRST VISITED VILNIUS MORE THAN 30 years ago, one of the first places I go to, once I have set my suitcase down in my hotel room, is the University in Old Town. I love to meander through the complex of courtyards comprising the ...

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A Grand Undertaking: the Famous Radvila Map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

The Famous Radvila Map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Some 400 years ago, an enterprising Lithuanian magnate produced the largest and most accurate representation of Lithuanian lands. His map is regarded as one of the greatest cartographic achievements of all time. DUKE MIKALOJUS VIII KRIS- tupas Radvila (1549-1616), nicknamed ...

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Restoring Faith and History

by Val Ramonis photographs by the author Two sanctuaries in Vilnius reflect the nation’s desire to revive its neglected and forgotten religious, cultural, and historic heritage. EVERY TIME I AM IN VILNIUS, I MAKE A POINT I I to revisit some of my favorite sites, or to discover new ones ...

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Antanas Kaztauskis, From Lithuania to the Chicago Stockyards – an Autobiography, 1904

BY ERNEST POOLE Antanas Kaztauskis, From Lithuania to the Chicago Stockyards – An Autobiography, 1904 Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the publication of Upton Sinclair’s classic novel The Jungle. The book describes the life of a Lithuanian immigrant in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood and his ...

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The Four Wives of Jogaila

BY EDVARDAS BARANAUSKAS IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE HOW Jogaila (1350–1434), the ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, became involved with the Polish royal family, and his eventual marriage to their young queen. Very little is mentioned by historians that he was widowed three times, that his fourth marriage ...

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Easter Holiday Customs and Traditions in Lithuania

BY ANGELĖ VYŠNIAUSKAITĖ FROM GOOD FRIDAY UNTIL THE RESURRECTION devotions, the Church’s bells during Masses are silent, replaced at the Consecration by the dry, solemn rattle of the wooden clappers. But on Easter morning, in joyous celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, all the bells inside the church and those in its ...

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My Father was a Smuggler

by John Millar (Jonas Stepšis) The two swimmers carefully pushed their water-proof wrapped bundles onto the sloping riverbank and slipped silently out of the water. Shaking themselves like dogs to rid their bodies of as much water as possible, they hurriedly donned the clothes that were secured to the top ...

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Lithuanian History Highlights: Lithuanian Military Under Napoleon

BY ILYA KUDRIASHOV The article by Vytautas J. Šliūpas about “Napoleon’s First and Last Steps in Lithuania,” and the report of the discovery of the mass grave of Napoleonic soldiers in Vilnius—both of which appeared in the July/August 2002 issue of Lithuanian Heritage— stirred more interest among readers of this ...

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Culture: Goldsmithing in Lithuania: Seven Centuries Plus

BY K. PAUL ZYGAS The complete absence of gold or silver-bearing ores in their country has never stopped the Lithuanians from appreciating and crafting the noble metals. Jewelry found in archaeological sites reveals that silver has been prized and fashioned in Baltic lands continuously since times immemorial. While small deposits ...

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Lithuanian History Highlights: the Bajorai of Lithuania Then and Now, First of Two Parts

By K. Paul Žygas WHE THE BAJORAI ESTABLISHED A SOCIETY IN VILNIUS several years ago, the announcement was generally met with a fair measure of genuine surprise. Most everyone believed that, given the long record of assimilation, waves of deportation, and the generations lost through war, the bajorai had become ...

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