The architecture of sacral buildings and parish houses in the area of Žarėnai
Marija Rupeikienė, Antanas Rupeika
Sacral buildings stand in Žarėnai, Lauko Soda and Medingėnai. In Žarėnai there are a Catholic church, a belfry, small sacral buildings, two cemeteries, a cemetery chapel, and several parish buildings. There was also a synagogue in the block between the northern cemetery and the churchyard. The church is wooden, two-tower, three-aisle pseudobasilic. Its architecture is of fragmented character. In the exterior, the modernized Neo-Gothic forms are originally intertwined with restrained details of the modernised order and various plank siding. The interior is dominated by a modern stylised three-aisle space with Neo-Gothic elements and fragments of decorative paintings on walls and ceilings matching them. Belfry is of simple ethnic architecture forms and belongs to a rather rare type of belfries; it has two purpose rooms: a bell tower and a mortuary; moreover, the belfry construction site is unconventional, situated behind the church apse. The churchyard is of an irregular hexagonal plan, uneven relief, fenced by a stone masonry wall with one large and four narrow gates. There is a chapel in the Catholic cemetery in the southern part of the town. It is of a simple size, made of stones and red bricks, rectangular in the plan. The chapel’s architecture forms are laconic; the interior space is covered with a wooden cylindrical vault. The cemetery is surrounded by a stone masonry fence with two gates. Now in the old parsonage homestead there is a parsonage and two outbuildings. In Lauko Soda, there is a Catholic church, a belfry, small sacral buildings, and parsonage homestead. The church is wooden, of simple forms, in which elements of ethnic and professional architecture intertwine; the interior is notable for bright stylised features of Neo-Baroque and Neo-Classicism. The bell tower is of ethnic architecture and simple forms; an unconventional second-stage solution provides it some richness. The churchyard is of an irregular quadrangular plan; it is surrounded by a stone masonry fence with two gates. There is a parsonage and two outbuildings in the parsonage homestead. In Medingėnai, there is a Catholic church, a belfry, small sacral buildings, and the remains of the basement of the old parsonage homestead. The church is wooden, two-tower, with pseudobasilic spaces. Its exterior is dominated by Neo-Gothic forms, there are some stylised order elements, while the decor of the lower casings of the windows is typical of ethnic architecture. The interior also features a stylistic combination of Neo-Gothic and modified order forms. The bell tower is made of stones and red bricks; it is two-staged, square plan. It belongs to the historicism period, laconic architecture, with stylised order elements. The churchyard is of an irregular octagonal plan, flat relief, stone masonry fence with a large gate and three smaller ones. A parsonage homestead was established away from the churchyard.