History, architecture and art of the Jesus Name Church in Daujėnai

Regimanta Stankevičienė

The church in Daujėnai now is one of few filial brick churches built at the turn of the 18th-19th centuries in Lithuania; it is a sacral architecture monument distinguished by its original baroque relics. The temple standing for two centenaries had been repaired many times, some its elements and constructions (floor, ceiling, windows and roof) had been reworked. The exterior of the building also underwent some changes, but it retained its primary expression; while the interior changed more, because its old hall-like space of the church interior had been later reworked into a pseudo-basilica with a windowless upper part of the central nave. The decor of its interior and walls now lacks moderation and do not tone with the style of the building; but one can hope that it will be put in order by providing with more harmony.

Three original and rather peculiar altars of early Classicism have survived in the interior of the church. They are important for investigations how art forms have been changing and corresponding to the architecture of building. The altars seem to have been designed by the author of the building, although there are no documents confirming this. The equipment and furniture of the second half of the 19th century – things having traits of historism and folk art – are valuable for investigations of folk art and handicrafts in the North Lithuanian region.

Although there are few pieces of visual and applied arts in the Daujėnai church, but some of them (a statue of Jesus of Nazareth, Crucifix statue of the 17th century, the bust of archbishop Juozapas Skvireckas, a stained-glass, bronze candles, as well as the confessionals decorated by a Pentecost symbol) are artistic and rare. Other art objects are also of certain value. They reflect mainly the traditions of devotion and play a role in their spreading. A specific art piece very closely related to the history of the church in Daujėnai and to the devotion of its parish is the dressed sculpture of Jesus of Nazareth – it is one of the most famous miraculous figures of the Saviour in Lithuania.