Viduramžių architektūros interpretacijos Vaclovo Michnevičiaus bažnyčių projektuose
Early 20th century
End of 19th century
End of the 19th century
Interpretations of Medieval architecture
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AbstractThe beginning of the creative activity of the architect Vaclovas Michnevičius (1866-1947), originating from the Middle Lithuanian, coincided with in the abolition of prohibition introduced by the Russian Empire to build Catholic churches (1897). With the beginning of construction of new temples, the architects were invited from Liepaja (K. E. Strandmann), Riga (F. Wyganowski), and Warsaw (J. P. Dziekonski). Shortly after the local ones joined them, Vaclovas Michnevičius was one of the most productive ones. This article is intended to analyse a neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque church architecture forms designed by Michnevičius. In European countries following Gothic (Gothic revival trend) began in England in the first half of the 19th century. The theoreticians of romanticism were convinced that Gothic perfectly embodied the Christian ideal. In the region of Central and Eastern Europe German brick Gothic was followed (Backsteingotik). At the end of the 19th century in Poland so-called the Vistula Gothic style (styl Nadwiślański) based on the local Gothic motifs emerged. This trend was represented by works of Józef Pius Dziekoński and Jan Sas-Zubrzycki that influenced Michnevičius’ creation. In 1893 V. Michnevičius graduated from St. Petersburg Institute of Civil Engineers. Having returned to Vilnius, he worked as the city architect and designed the market hall, theatre, hospital, residential houses. After the First World War, he moved to Kaunas that served as a temporary capital of Lithuania. From 1897 to 1936, he designed 30 Catholic churches, 20 of which were built. There were 18 churches created in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque forms where 8 of them with two towers, 10 with one tower. Churches with two towers had three naves, usually 5 bays long, a presbytery that is pentahedral surrounded by sacristy extensions (Žeimiai, Ratnyčia, Vidžiai, Saltoniškės in Vilnius, Belogruda).
The one tower churches are smaller with three naves, 4 bays long, sacristies are integrated into a single volume on both sides of the presbytery and apse is lower. A few one tower churches have interior space as whole (without supports) (Chažava, Perloja, Barzdai). Basilica volume and Latin cross design were used by Michnevičius in Vidžiai, Belogruda and Saltoniškiai in Vilnius’ churches. All other temples were of hall-volume, similar to rectangle design. Spatially Žeimiai’ church is distinct with side galleries. Uniform neo-Gothic buildings (Žeimiai, Vidžiai, Derečinas’ churches) are to be linked to the Polish Vistula Gothic style. Elsewhere neo-Gotic forms are simplified (Birštonas, Nemunaitis). Designs of Daugai, Derečinas, Chažava churches are considered to be the most original examples (1906-1908), where Michnevičius used motif of intertwining arches characteristic in Lithuanian Gothic (Vilnius St. Anne and Bernardine churches, House of Perkūnas in Kaunas).