The Museum of Orvydai Homestead

Sometimes out of the way corners may surprise even those who have seen a lot. One of such an amazing places is the Orvydai homestead located in the north west Lithuania in a little village of Gargždelė. It is an amazing place both for its environment created here and for the atmosphere. For some mystic reasons visitors from all over Lithuania and foreign countries come here in order to satisfy their curiosity, regain strength after tough life moments and relax.

Orvydai homestead is a unique open air museum of modern, sacral and mystic art. The homestead museum was created by a talented folk artist and sculptor Kazimieras Vilius Orvydas. A skilful hewer intercepted the knowledge of working with stones from his father Kazimieras, who built this homestead. Son used his knowledge for turning the homestead into a fascinating museum and he made a great job with that. 30 years was the period which changed the outlook of the homestead into a picturesque and untraditional shrine of art.

There are plenty of stones of various forms, sculptures, crosses, stems of old trees and other huge exhibits that are being changed by natural forces also. 30 years ago the establisher of the museum started bringing stones from fields where the intensive irrigation was started. Many stones were dig out there. As boulders disturbed irrigation works, they had to be chopped up. But Vilius envisaged these stones as miracle creatures of nature that cannot be depreciatingly chopped and simply left to lay somewhere on the dark skirts of wood or on dirty waysides. From the stones  brought home the artist created incredible compositions, carved amazing sculptures. In this way he expressed religious and artistic attitude which, however collided interests of Soviet government.

Eventually the homestead became a symbol of sacral and religious convictions. The Soviet government tried to eliminate the museum in various ways many times, however, thanks to many enthusiastic and persistent people, the museum survived despite the fact that many influential clerks then  ignored and prejudiced the Orvydai homestead. In 1990 the homestead became well known in all over Lithuania and in foreign countries also.

Some people say that the Orvydai homestead is a place where heaven and hell exists side by side.  Visitors of this museum are people of many different lots and cravings. The public coming here varies from former alcoholics and drug addicted to high office officials. Everyone finds there peace of mind somewhere in surroundings of marvelous exhibits. Maybe people feel the strong selfless love predicted for the museum by its establisher who, by the way, died here struggling to put one more stone into the right place? Now a sculpture of Vilius was set in the same place he left this word. Whatever it is so special, it attracts people a lot.