Memory of Vytautas the Great in the interbellum Lithuania
In year 1430 on October 27th, 590 years ago, in Trakai Island castle Vytautas the Great, son of duke Kęstutis and Birutė, one of the most significant personas in Lithuanian history, has passed away. He ruled the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in difficult times, which were marked by continuous wars with the Teutonic order, his cousin Jogaila and other foreign enemies. Despite all difficulties, during Vytautas reign Lithuania became the strongest and largest it has ever been. The good deeds of Vytautas the Great have not been forgotten during the ages. XIX-XXth centuries many Lithuanian and foreign historians wrote about the merits of Vytautas the Great, however a significant rise of interest in the history of Vytautas grew after year 1918, when Lithuania announced its independence.
90 years ago, in year 1930, Lithuania commemorated the 500th anniversary of the death of Vytautas the Great. On this occasion a law was passed giving year 1930 the name of Vytautas the Great. Moreover a vast chain of events, dedicated to remembrance of Vytautas the Great, took place for the whole year. To plan and execute these events a Commitee of Vytautas the Great was established, which was led by the president of the Republic of Lithuania Antanas Smetona. The first event took place on 11th of January, when a newly built bridge, built over Nemunas river in Kaunas, was officially opened to public. It was named after Vytautas the Great. Many other events followed, from which a few are worth excluding. In 18-22th of June a Agriculture and industry fair in Kaunas was opened. This exhibition had a separate pavilion, dedicated solely to Vytautas the Great, in which various paintings, sculptures, engravings, busts, maps, emblems, medallions, orders, literature and many other artefacts reminiscent of Vytautas history. On 27th of October an elaboratious commemoration of the day Vytautas the Great died took place. The last event in the name of Vytautas the Great took place on 23rd of November – the day of Lithuanian armed forces. The celebration was crowned by the consecration of the cornerstone of the future Vytautas the Great.
There is no doubt that year 1930 was deservedly named the year of Vytautas the Great, as his name directly permeated all spheres of everyday life. This commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Vytautas' death has become a separate and extremely important historical event for Lithuania, which is remembered by a multitude of publications of that time. Thus, in this virtual exhibition, Trakai History Museum invites you to get acquainted with the colorful works published in year 1930, which include, but are not limited to books, brochures, postcards, stamps, documents and etc.
Objects of the exhibition
Virtuali paroda „Šventasis Jurgis – (ne)užmirštas Lietuvos globėjas“