Historical review and artistic solution of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Upninkai and Holy Virgin Mary the Queen of the Rosary Church in Vepriai

Povilas Spurgevièius

The churches as art monuments represent the evolution of culture in Upninkai and Vepriai. Their architecture and fine arts reflect the world-view of a certain period. Historical evolution of churches is more complex due to changes in religious creed. This was reflected in the churches of Upninkai and Vepriai. The St. Michael the Archangel church in Upninkai prospered during the Baroque period that was notable in 18th century for the formation of magnificent two-tower church. Later due to devastating fires in Upninkai and economic conditions, it was forced to be moved beyond the limits of the town. It was being constructed gradually and rather inventively–a donated granary was turned into a church, where different building materials and styles were combined and a monumental image of a rather small building was reached.
The church of Holy Virgin Mary the Queen of the Rosary in Vepriai has also come a long historical way. Its start was the old stonework chapel with further done extensions. The enlargement resulted in a new church that was wooden with the olden chapel as its constituent enabling to form a cross-shaped space. Now the church is a reflection of world-view typical of the Romanticism époque. Vepriai is also an artistic symbol of national rebirth presented by the Neogothic architecture. Regrettably, the key stress of the building–its tower–was damaged during the World War II and had not been fully restored. Therefore, this partly diminished its dominant role in the town space.