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  • The story of this site starts from the times of old Vilnius when it was called Radvilų Lukiškės, later known as Zakret (Закрет). At that time 'twas a residence of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and voivode of Vilnius Mikołaj "the Black" Radziwiłł. Highslide JSThere in suburb of Vilnius he has given a shelter to Calvinists prior to their relocation to the old town of capital. Son of Mikołaj Radziwiłł turned into catholic and donated the mansion along with the woods to Jesuits. Thus it was called Jesuit Lukiškės. Running their trades Jesuits have built a lavish manor by the project of Johann Christoph Glaubitz. In 1773 after liquidation of the Jesuit order this manor was given to Vilnius bishop Ignacy Jakub Massalski and used for educational purposes. In 1794 after bishops death this manor was owned by few including governor-general Levin August Bennigsen in 1812.

    Then Alexander I of Russia used this manor during his one month stay Vilnius. He then brought this manor along with the woods from Benningsen for 12000 ducat. Reaching Vilnius Napoleon's army took this manor for their hospital, which was burned along with the injured soldiers. After the war with Napoleon this manor was left abandoned, and in 1855 'twas demolished. Throughout 1855-1857 this site has been used as a military polygon, that later was designed into park. It was then that Zakret was first used as a leisure. At the entrance to the park there is a chapel, built in 1800 by Nikolai Vasilyevich Repnin, the firstHighslide JS governor of Vilnius. This small neo-gothic chapel-mausoleum contained his wife's Natalia Alexandrovna Repnina remains after her departure.

  • During World War I site near present park Vingis became official cemetery, where hundreds of soldiers were buried including German, Austrian, Turkish, Russian, Hungarian and Polish armies. Highslide JS During 1930s in the park of Zakret Polish army built a warehouse and a narrow gauge railway for military needs. The train was functioning throughout the park, crossing the bridge and moving towards other districts of Vilnius.

    Right after WWII Soviet Army demolished the cemetery. During demolition of cemetery in this place there were found remains of Jewish victims of plague, buried on this site in 1710. In 1950s this park was once again used for leisure and events.

    In times of 1960-1970 Vilnius went through the rapid improvement in infrastructure. Highslide JSThis place then called Vingis in 1965 was reconstructed and became widely used by people for mass events and leisure. Cemetery of park Vingis were demolished and the area became an amusement park up until early 1990s.

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    After Lithuanian independence and the fall of Soviet Union this site was abandoned and held as an unused space of Vingis Park. Facing new millennium cemetery was restored by Germans and taken into care of National Union for the Care of German War Graves and registered in the Cultural Heritage. In present days these authorities maintain it.Highslide JS

    This page serves as a tribute to the places that were dwelling for my soul and the city of Vilnius. Photographs in the gallery were taken by Emi Vaičiūnaitė, Monika-Uele Daužickaitė, Jolanta Jarmolovičiūtė, Aistė Ustinavičienė, Valdas Striužas, Kastė Šeškevičiūtė, myself, various open public sources, personal archives and Register of Cultural Values between 2005 – 2012. I am deeply grateful for y’all who appreciate and respect this place.

    - V.D.W.V.

    External links and resources worth visiting:

    Флавиан Добрянский "Старая и новая Вильна"
    Ефим Курганов "Шпион Его Величества. Апрель-июль 1812 г. Вильна"
    Валентин Пикуль "Секретная миссия Нарбонна"
    Закрет вчера - Вингис сегодня
    1812 - Накануне героического юбилея
    Исчезнувший дворец в парке Вингис
    Репнинская часовня
    miestai.net Radvilų (jėzuitų) rūmai Vingio parke
    Вильна 1867-1875 в личных воспоминаниях
    О героях былых времён
    miestai.net Vilnius until 1918
    Vilnius University Library
    Vilna Ghetto

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