The symbol of the Homeland Museum of Bishop Motiejus Valančius is a wooden sculpture of Juzė of Palanga. It stands proudly in Nasrėnai, the village where Motiejus Valančius was born, welcoming every visitor. Nasrėnai is the place where Motiejus Valančius spent his childhood - the man who later became a famous bishop, writer, educator and promoter of abstinence. He is undoubtedly one of the top ten most venerable Lithuanians who promoted and preserved Lithuanian culture. The Lithuanian Litas banknotes released in the period from 1993 to 2007 had a portrait of Motiejus Valančius on them.
Almost none of the old buildings have remained in the homestead of Motiejus Valančius. The only structure still standing and dating back to the end of the 18th century is the granary and several wells, and all of them have been enrolled as the cultural heritage of Lithuania. The five-chamber granary hosts an ethnographic exhibition of the mistress’ granary, a young girl’s box room, a storage room and a grain storehouse.
The museum offers the visitors over 300 exhibits. The exhibition reflects the life and creative endeavors of the writer from 1850 to 1875 through the books, personal belongings and photos of Motiejus Valančius. There is also a chest that was gifted by Motiejus Valančius to the book smuggler Pranciškus Straupas in 1868. This gift to the book smuggler whose life purpose was promoting the prohibited Lithuanian language was a very symbolic one. It is worth to remember the words of Kazys Binkis, “Valančius taught Lithuanians to read and ever since they remember how to do that.”
The homestead of the museum is adorned by wooden sculptures created by folk artisans and dedicated to different topics and events, such as the Uprisings of 1831 and 1863, the educational activities of Motiejus Valančius, the Village of Nasrėnai, the Temperance Movement of Motiejus Valančius and the characters created by Motiejus Valančius (Mikė the Little Liar and Spirited Vencė). The 200th Anniversary of Potato in Samogitia is another noteworthy sculpture illustrating the Novel Notions novel by Motiejus Valančius, where it states that the locals of Nasrėnai have been cooking potato dishes since 1806.
An oak grove planted in 1995 and named after Motiejus Valančius can be found on the other side of the road. The grove is home to a monument created as a tribute to this prominent Samogitian by Sculptor Kęstutis Balčiūnas.
Post a review