The architecture of sacral buildings and parish houses in the Sintautai Valsčius

Marija Rupeikienė

The sacral buildings in the Sintautai area stand in Sintautai, Kiaulupis and Rūgiai; the Suodžiai chapel is beyond the rural district but belongs to the Sintautai neighbourhood. A stone brick church, makeshift wooden church (former parsonage), belfry, parsonage (former almshouse), farm building and parish house are in Sintautai. All the buildings stand on the southern part of Prano Vaičaičio Street. There is a brick church with a spacious yard in the central part of the street. West of the churchyard, there is a parsonage plot extending as far as the Antano Tatarės Street. The premises consisting of a makeshift church, a belfry, a parsonage and belongings are set regularly in the plot. East of the churchyard, beyond its fence, there is a parish house standing on the corner of Prano Vaičaičio and Pentos streets. The exterior of the reconstructed church of Sintautai is of modernised neo-Roman forms, while the interior shows combination of modernised forms typical of the Historicism period and elements of modern architecture. There are some graves, chapel-poles and sculptures in the churchyard. All the decorative accents in the churchyard are wooden and stand at the sides of the main facade.

The homestead of parsonage lies beyond the western fence line of the churchyard and is enclosed by a wire-mesh fence. The architecture of the makeshift church exterior is simple; its volume with the tower and decorative elements, such as rising crosses, windows with stained-glass crosses and door framing reveals its former sacral purpose, but the shape of windows and chaotic dissection of side facades as well as the architecture of the eastern-end facade shows that the sacral function is not authentic. The belfry is of modern forms, and its architecture is non-traditional. The architecture of parsonage (former almshouse) is simple and typical of living houses of provincial towns. Before the reconstruction, there were double windows with panel shutters. After they were replaced by plastic windows without shutters, the building lost its authenticity. The architecture of parish house is simple and characteristic of such type buildings.

The Kiaulupiai chapel is of simple folk architecture forms. The Rūgiai chapel is of folk architecture forms with original little apse windows.

The compound of Suodžiai chapel structures lies in a large wide field between Suodžiai and Keturnaujiena. The compound consists of a chapel, a yard, a house with belongings and small sacral structures, such as crosses, statues, and small chapels. The chapel is a building of logical sacral architecture notable for an original architectural constructive solution. This is an example of new expressive architecture reached by modifying traditional ethnic architecture forms.