The architecture of sacral buildings and parish houses in Ramygala area

Marija Rupeikienė, Antanas Rupeika

Sacral buildings, parish houses and small sacral structures have been studied in six places: Ramygala, Anciškis, Barklainiai, Ėriškiai, Truskava and Uliūnai. There is a church in Ramygala with its parish houses, small sacral structures and monuments erected on various occasions; a synagogue building has also remained. The church with its yard and former synagogue is in the centre of Ramygala, the Catholic cemetery lies in the northern part of the town, while some fragments of old Jewish cemetery are remained in the south. The church of Ramygala had been built of red bricks without plaster during the Historicism period. It is a one-tower, three-nave pseudo-basilica.

The architecture of the church is original with numerous small details and decor elements. Several vertical sculptural accents, i.e., crosses, a roof-pole and monuments erected on different occasions are in the churchyard and beyond it. At the north-eastern corner, there is a red brick single-storey chapel of simple size. The Sopulingoji (Sorrowful Mother of God) monument to the Genocide victims is erected in the central square of the town as a modern interpretation of the Christian theme of the Mother of God. The parsonage homestead embraces the presbytery, two additional outhouse structures and a house belonging to the church. The presbytery is wooden, of monumental complex size, one-storey with an attic and a vault; its architecture is traditional, characteristic of parish buildings in provincial towns. The house architecture is simple, resembling that of spitals in small towns. The house beyond the northern side of the churchyard fence also has belonged to the church. The former synagogue now doesn't resemble a sacral building; its architecture is simple without style features. The photos of Ramygala from the end-19th century to the beginning-20th century show a belfry. It was of a pole type, built of timber, of two stages, simple forms, covered with a hip roof.

The church of Anciškis and a cemetery is in the southern part of the village; there is a spital homestead at the churchyard, while the presbytery homestead is a bit away of the church. The Anciškis church is built of timber with a decorative turret, it is a three-nave pseudo-basilica built during the Romanticism and Historicism period. The two-stage belfry is of skeleton construction, pole-type, covered with hip roof. It is of folk architecture with elements of Romanticism style. The spital of traditional architecture stands beyond the eastern fence of the churchyard at the Bažnyčios Street, with a clay outhouse clay house perpendicular to it. A chapel of original Neo-Gothic forms stands between the street and the churchyard. A bit father there is one more monument with a Saint Florian statue. A presbytery is in the parsonage homestead, three outhouse buildings, as well as a smoke bathhouse (sauna) at the pond. The architecture of the presbytery is traditional, typical of buildings in small towns.

The Barklainiai cemetery is in the northern part of the village with a chapel at the southern fence. It is of complex space, built of stones in 1858 with chipping inclusions, covered with a gable roof. The chapel is an original building of the Romanticism period.

The southern part of the Ėriškiai village has a Catholic church with a parsonage homestead and a spital. The church is wooden, one-tower, one-nave, hall-type, covered with gable roof, but the tower has a small hip roof. Due to recent repair works, it lost its authenticity, because the shape of openings were changed, the interior wall paintings providing comfort for the interior were removed. The churchyard is surrounded by a cemetery, where not only traditional monuments typical of cemeteries but also original ones had been erected to perpetuate important dates, as well as folk art pieces have been erected. On both sides of the church there are a presbytery and a spital standing opposite each other, as is typical of parish buildings in small towns. The parsonage homestead has a presbytery and a small barn (granary) being a part of an elongated former farm building, as well as a well with its lever. The architecture of the presbytery is typical of such buildings. The architecture of the barn is simple, typical of village houses. Another homestead that belonged to the church has an old wooden house used most probably as a spital (or presbytery firstly, and a spital later); there is also a well. The house is old, but it is obvious it had been an important building with pronounced elements of stylistic architecture. A bell-fry that was in the churchyard now can be seen fixed only in the photographs. It was of primitive ethnic forms, open constructions, four-pole, with a small gable roof covered with laths.

In Truskava, there is a Catholic church, cemetery chapel, parish buildings and small sacral and decorative accents. The present-day church is fractured in volume, one-tower, three-nave, its basilican space is built of bricks and plastered. It is of modern forms; the symbolic motives of cross and triangular prevail in the interior. There is a small chapel in the churchyard–a single remnant of the former Way of Cross stations, an original ceramic monument, masonry chapel-pillar erected to perpetuate the Truskava parish. Its bell-fry, that hasn't remained, was wooden, pole-type, two-stage, simple forms, resembling the Ramygala bell-fry that also hadn't remained. The parsonage buildings are at the Truskava Street. The presbytery is in the former Saint Vincent sheltered home built of bricks. The cemetery chapel is simple in its volume and built of timber with a high stonework wall base (socle); it is of primitive folk forms with architecture elements typical of Baroque and Classicism.

In the central part of Uliūnai, there is a Catholic church, old presbytery (now a school), outhouse buildings and new brick presbytery. The churchyard and adjacent sites have a number of vertical decorative accents, such as crosses, roof-poles and sculptures. The walls and the tower of the church had been built at different times and of different style. Stonework walls are of Romanticism period, the lower part of the tower shows modernised medieval styles prevailing, while its upper stage forms are modern and typical of inter-war period. Only ruins with gable-roofed porch remained of the old presbytery. The barn is a building of typical Lithuanian ethnic architecture. The present-day presbytery is built of red bricks, no plaster, with a wooden mezzanine.