The architecture of manor and sacral buildings in Vepriai area

Marija Rupeikienė

The architecture of manor and sacral buildings and parish houses in Vepriai Valsčius (rural district) has been studied comprehensively for the first time. Fragments of manor homesteads can be seen in Vepriai and Sližiai, while sacral buildings stand in Vepriai, Sližiai and Upninkai. Only few authentic fragments of the Vepriai manor buildings have survived by now. According to its forms, there is an authentic wooden house, the stone foundation of which reminds us about the stonework technique used in the 19th century provincial manors. The western building of the manor palace is a sample of a representational architecture, but its construction time is not determined. The Sližiai manor palace is authentic but outworn greatly. According to their forms, ethnical construction features typical of provincial buildings are intertwined with details of professional architecture.

The main buildings in the Vepriai sacral compound are located in the churchyard with a church, a belfry, a chapel, three smaller chapels, chapel-poles and a cross standing there, as well as marked seven stations of the Way of the Cross. The church and the chapels are of original “brick style” architecture. A chapel at the 35th station of the Way of the Cross was used as a model to restore the chapels destroyed. A belfry is a new metal structure. 28 stations of the Way of the Cross are in the eastern and southern parts of the town and in a forest, and a small baroque chapel stands at the northern end of the town. Nearly all chapels of the Way of the Cross were restored after one model. Gates symbolising nine stations of the Way of the Cross also do not differ in their form. The composition of all of them is the same, only some details differ slightly. The Sližiai Chapel is of traditional folk forms, while the architecture of the main facade is obviously affected by the Classicism style. The architecture of the Upninkai Church is eclectic and non-integral. Its exterior shows marked romanticism style features intertwined with primitive folk architecture elements. The spatial structure of the interior is original with its vaulting connecting the stonework and wooden parts of the building. The belfry is of traditional folk architecture.

The investigations of the architecture of manor and sacral buildings in the area of Vepriai allow to conclude that there are no culture heritage sites of significant architectural value (except for a small baroque Bar Confederation Chapel); nevertheless, the buildings studied are different, and many of them contain original and exclusive details.