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Rumšiškės

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Rumšiškės

Rumšiškės
Town

Coat of arms
Rumšiškės
Location of Rumšiškės
Coordinates:
Country Lithuania
Ethnographic region Dzūkija
County Kaunas County
Municipality Kaišiadorys district municipality
Eldership Rumšiškės eldership
Capital of Rumšiškės eldership
First mentioned 1382
Population (2001)
 • Total 1,833
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Town square in the museum
One of the wooden houses in the museum
Recent addition to the exposition – a dwelling that was used by Lithuanian deportees to Siberia

Rumšiškės is a Lithuanian town (population 1,700), situated 20 km (12 mi) east of Kaunas on the northern bank of Kaunas Reservoir. Southern part of the town (including the birthplace of Lithuanian poet Jonas Aistis) is now under the waters of the artificial lake. The 18th century St. Michael Archangel church of Rumšiškės (rebuilt in the 19th century) was saved and moved to its present place in 1958, when the reservoir was created.

History

Rumšiškės was first mentioned in the 14th century. In 1940–1941, a Soviet concentration camp was created in a nearby village of Pravieniškės. After 1941 the camp was used by the Nazis. Around 700 Lithuanian Jews were murdered by the Nazis near Rumšiškės during World War II. [1]

Kaunas Lagoon now lies in the place of the old Rumšiškės. The old town was flooded as a result of the construction of Kaunas hydroelectric power station, while the main objects – St. Michael the Archangel Church, its bell tower and the chapel that stands in the current Rumšiškės town cemetery – were moved.

Open-air ethnographic museum

Today, Rumšiškės is best known for its excellent open-air ethnographic museum (established in 1966 and opened in 1974), one of the largest in Europe.

The open-air museum in Rumšiškės displays the heritage of Lithuanian rural life in a vast collection of authentic resurrected buildings where the Lithuanian people lived and worked. The total area of 175 ha (432 acre) contains 140 buildings from the 18th–19th century with the restored original interiors and surroundings. This museum was established to help to preserve and research the former ways of living.

The buildings of this museum are exposed as farmsteads and all of them together represent the main ethnographic regions of Lithuania: Aukštaitija, Samogitia, Dzūkija and Suvalkija. Each has the homes, barns, granaries, stables, barns, barns, mills characteristic to the area. They all have restored unique interiors with ancient Lithuanian used household furniture, utensils, and home decorations. Some buildings are equipped with workshops, presenting the ancient Lithuanian handicraft works, showing how the tools were made and antique farming implements were used.

The museum has a sector dedicated for exile and resistance. In this section there is a yurt covered with turf, an animal deportation wagon, a partisan bunker camouflaged at the stream slope and well-equipped.

The territory of the museum is a very popular place where ethnographic festivals are celebrated and folk song and dance concerts are held. This museum is very easy to reach since it is located 18 km (11 mi) to the east of Kaunas near the Kaunas-Vilnius highway. Rumšiškės belongs to the Kaunas Reservoir Regional Park.

The museum was featured in the reality show The Amazing Race 12 in 2007.

External links

  • Web site of the museum
  • Rumšiškės on jewishgen.org
  • The official website for tourism in Lithuania
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