Trakai History Museum

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Trakai History Museum is split-sited in a scenery nature spot, in the most famous complex of Lithuanian defensive architecture, in two Castles – in Island and Peninsular. The administration of the museum is in the premises of Trakai Peninsular Castle, in the renovated building of previously Dominic Monastery (Kestucio Str. 4).
During 55 years of active working practice there were collected huge archaeological, numismatic, handwritings, arts and crafts, historical collections of showpieces in the funds of the museum, which reflect Lithuanian and worldly history. SECTIONS OF THE MUSEUM are the following: archaeological, historical, karaitical. They hold precious showpieces, organise exhibitions, arrange exhibitions catalogues and publish articles. They also participate in scientific conferences and seminars; organise museum events and arrange training seminars for the guides from travel agencies and touring firms. The security section is responsible for the safety of museum territory, museum buildings and premises round the clock. In 2004 there was opened a new section of the museum – the Medininkai Castle. TRAKAI HISTORICAL MUSEUM consults the Trakai Vytautas Magnus High School Museums and Aukstadvaris School Museum, also the Road Museum in Vievis.
In 1948, July 28th, there was founded Trakai Regional Museum (its first director was V. Saulys). At the end of 1952 the first exposition was opened. The Museum intensified its work since 1955, when Mrs. N.Kovrigina, a historian, was assigned as a directress of the museum. The first showpieces were being collected, archaeological research in the territory of Trakai Castles and Trakai town were started. However, a systematic, consistent scientific museum research works and amassment of showpieces began in 1959; after the directress of the museum was assigned I.Misiūnienė (she kept the position till 1992). Under the handling of I.Misiūnienė there were organised exploratory ethnographical expeditions and archaeological research were intensively carried out, the founding of which was rendered to Trakai Historical Museum. The material about Trakai land history and people was continuously collected: the collections of showpieces were systematized; the exhibits were accessioned, preserved and renovated. In 1961, after having renovated the central palace of the Island Castle, the latter was rendered to the museum, and the museum was reorganized from regional into historical. The administration of the museum remained in the building at address Karaimu Str. 22.
In 1948, July 28th, there was founded Trakai Regional Museum (its first director was V. Saulys). At the end of 1952 the first exposition was opened. The Museum intensified its work since 1955, when Mrs. N.Kovrigina, a historian, was assigned as a directress of the museum. The first showpieces were being collected, archaeological research in the territory of Trakai Castles and Trakai town were started. However, a systematic, consistent scientific museum research works and amassment of showpieces began in 1959; after the directress of the museum was assigned I.Misiūnienė (she kept the position till 1992). Under the handling of I.Misiūnienė there were organised exploratory ethnographical expeditions and archaeological research were intensively carried out, the founding of which was rendered to Trakai Historical Museum. The material about Trakai land history and people was continuously collected: the collections of showpieces were systematized; the exhibits were accessioned, preserved and renovated. In 1961, after having renovated the central palace of the Island Castle, the latter was rendered to the museum, and the museum was reorganized from regional into historical. The administration of the museum remained in the building at address Karaimu Str. 22.
In 1962 in the central palace of the Island Castle there was installed the first exposition, where little attention was devoted to the history of Lithuanian. On the ground of this the museum it was decided to install an exposition, which would reflect Trakai land history – reaching the oldest times and going up to the present days. Such exposition was opened in 1965. In 1967 there was set a separate Karaim Ethnographic exhibition.
Later it was renewed and extended – in 1997 – in order to commemorate the 600 Anniversary of the settlement of Karaim and Tartar in Lithuania (Karaimu Str., 22).
Trakai History Museum had two branches: an exposition in Kernave (since 1968) and Medininkai Caslte (1969-1974). In 1989 Kernave branch became a self-dependent museum, while Medininkai Caslte was again rendered to Trakai History Museum. In 1987 there were renewed the ante-castle and the west casemates; these were later installed with a new museum expositions (the chief author I.Misiūnienė). Thanks to her and the rest of the museum workers – a small museum of regional studies became one of the largest historical museums in Lithuania.
In 1993 the chief manager of the museum was assigned V.Poviliunas. The scientific, cultural, educational practice of the museum expanded: using the museum funds the new exhibitions were opened every year; new contacts to foreign museums were established in collaboration with the Republican museums and hobbyists: Rhein museums (Germany), Rakver museums (Estonia). There were signed the collaboration contracts with these museums: Varmija and Mozury museums in Olsten (Poland, 1997), Brodnica museums (Poland, 2001), Malbork castle museum (Poland, 2003). Trakai History museum is a member of the Association of Castles and Museums around the Baltic Sea and actively takes part in its activities. The educators of museum prepare projects the topic of which is “History alive”. In the Peninsular Castle a Medieval Festival every year takes place. Then the town revives with medieval characters, showing the medieval craft and trade specialities, chivalry competitions.
Today Trakai History Museum and Island Castle are the objects representing Lithuanian culture and history, there come almost all delegations that are for a visit in Lithuania. The Castle was honoured with the visit paid by Danish Queen Margaret II, Swedish King Carl XVI Gustav together with Queen Silvia, the presidents of Hungary, Estonia, Greece, Kazakhstan, China, Latvia, Poland, Macedonia, Portugal, Ukraine and Uzbek; Prime Ministers, Ministers, Ambassadors of many countries paid their visits to Trakai History Museum and Island Castle. In the Great Chamber of Island Castle some intergovernmental treaties were signed.
Trakai History Museum is awaiting of each tourist, where one will find interesting visuals and impressions, where nature and architecture harmonically supplement each other.

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