In this museum I got opportunity to see such Soviet stuff as banknotes of roubles with heads of Lenin, the various medals (of being very good worker (proletarian) or very good fire-fighter or soldier). I believe and I have heard that people wanted to get some extra money for their work instead of getting one more medal :)Museum consisted of...more
The main exposition of Grutas park is, of course, Soviet sculptures. It consists of sculptures of such famous people as Lenin, Stalin, Marx, but also there are sculptures of people, who helped for soviet propaganda, actions of sending people to Siberia and so on in occupied Lithuania (let say, Antanas Snieckus). What is more, there are lot of...more
Soviet pictures, as I have seen in that gallery, were based on putting here Stalin, Lenin, Marx ... and of showing promotion of Soviet Union - new factories appearing, people working in fields and more.I have found very strange thing in pictures - Lenin was showed standing in Lithuania' territory (let say, in Vilnius, near St. Ann church). I really...more
At Soviet style library it could be possible to see what kind of books people were "allowed" to read that time. Most of them is associated with communism ideology (Karl Marx) and books how Russian soldiers were good at Second World War. When I was smaller I have read one book about Red Army as well, and for me it looked quite "hollywoodic" - some...more
There is the part of the Grutas Park Museum devoted to resistance against Soviet authorities and esp. anti-Soviet partisans who fighted till 1953. I wrote a lot of interesting info (in English) and I saw many documents and pictures - including this one of Stalin-cow which announced anti-soviet proclamation of Pasvalys district youth organisation...more
There is a part of the Grutas Park Museum which discloses the farse of Soviet elections. I was standing there long time reading (in English) a lot of very interesting information on the subcject and Lithuanian Partisans' Actions against Soviet elections - look at the picture shared by them that time.I can't forget so called "elections" (to Polish...more
There was the only restaurant I found in the Grutas Park - local monopolist, I could say. It was called just kavine (cafe) and offered wooden tables and benches in quite nice, a little bit dark interior. Our waitress was... rather slow, very serious (well, maybe she was tired at the end of working day) and... Lithuanian speaking. But menu in...more
Well, it's not at all restaurant... but small picnic area with wooden, roofed benches and tables put just outside local restaurant/cafe in the Grutas Park. My suggestion, for driving a car visitors especially, is to buy some food in local grocery for example in Lazdijai and bring it there. Well, I would buy and enjoyed Lithuanian great dark/black...more
Grutas - Druskininkai bus can take you near the gates of Grutas park. There is a bus stop as well, served by local (not Vilnius) bus companies. Bus Grutas-Druskininkai cost about 0,3 Euro. The schedule is not so comfortable, but I think it is possible to stop a bus Vilnius - Druskininkai to continue trip to Druskininkai as well.more
Vilnius - Grutas bus is actually the same as Vilnius - Druskininkai bus, because you pay money till Druskininkai (about 5,50 euros one way), but you ask to stop at Grutas station. When you have to walk about 1 kilometre through Grutas village to Grutas park. Grutas is about 7 km from Druskininkai. The morning schedule (2007 June) from Vilnius to...more
GRUTASGrutas is a village in southeastern Lithuania close to both Belarus and Poland. The village itself is located along main highway A1 from Vilnius, Lithuania to Hrodna (Grodno), Belarus and only 12 km from Druskininkai, the best European balneology resort! (chosen by Eurepean edition of "Newsweek" magazine).GRUTAS PARKGrutas park is located 1...more
Grutas park is not only for sculptures waching, but also for other Sovietic stuff that makes special feelings. You can buy water from special water machine and to buy kvass (in Lithuanian - gira) from...kinda strange looking cisterns. I haven't seen such equipments before, but, lets say, my parents frequently were using it at Soviet times.That...more
There were glasses and mugs with various writings and pictures from the Soviet era put on them offered at the Grutas Park ticket office. A mug with comerade Nikita Khrushchev or Lenin or with flags of great family of Soviet republics. There was an inscription in Russian language: "For tea, not for vodka ---> you can't drink much" on the last...more
The ticket office to the Grutas Park offered some items from the Soviet era and a few leaflets on the Grutas Park, nothing authentic though. You can buy these two boxes of jigsaw puzzle on my picture... if you like to do a jigsaw... Alternatively you can buy a matchbox with Grutas Park logo, with Lenin's or Stalin's face. 0.20 Lt for a...more
This wooden, green watchtower is put by a river in the Grutas Park. There are two loudspeakers fixed it and... no explanation what is that. Well, it should have been a watchtower of Soviet concentration camp somewhere in deep Russia (nowhere), I thought. Loudspeakers were used to annouce working prisoners rules and orders and to transmit propaganda...more
This shack or better to say a shelter was put by a river in the Grutas Park. It was a house of a prisoner of Soviet concentration camp called Gulag, I thought. Well, it looked a little bit idyllic, unnatural as for such terrible place... REAL MOVING STORYWell, I got to know from a friend of my father (he passed away a few years ago) or better to...more
I found this wooden structure, on my picture, at the edge of forest in the Grutas Park. There was a stage for communist propagandists, I thought. The stage was decorated with a quotation from Lenin - a slogan which I couldn't understand at it was in Lithuanian language. There were numerous loudspeakers around the Grutas park and there was Soviet...more
They gave me a small piece of paper in the ticket office to Grutas park - a permission to take pictures (5.00 Lt). There was a camera picture, a stamp (with date written) and a pin to fix it to a cloth, just in case of park staff check-up. I pinned it to my jacket and shortly... I lost it. Luckily, no-one from the park staff paid any attention to...more
It was difficult to take good quality picture of animals (well, almost only birds) in the mini-zoo of the Grutas Park. First the birds were moving, sometimes quite fast. Second, they were put behind bars.I had to switch automatic set up of my digital camera to manual. It allowed me to focus at the birds instead of the bars. If your camera doesn't...more
There was warning info put on a cage of a mini-zoo in the Grutas Park. It was written exclusively in Lithuanian and Russian language. Just in case you can't speak the two languages: do not feed the animals. There was no childrens zoo - a place where kids were allowed to touch and feed animals.more
The ticket office (closed when I was going back, on my picture) offered limited choice of post-Soviet items. I could find more choice around the parking lot earlier. But there were NO authentic post-Soviet items. Instead there were a lot of copies of Soviet pictures, banners, slogans put on mugs, glasses, plates, posters etc. At least some items...more
The mini-zoo put in the Grutas Park was small, messed and very badly signed. I could see only birds there (+ a few rabbits). There was no information about the birds except short name of each bird species in Lithuanian and Latim language. Pass by... Generally I don't like any ZOO. The only ZOO I liked was in San Diego, California. Welcome :-).more
I was very dissapointed to see only 2 small and useless leaflets on the Grutas Park at the ticket office instead of great bookstore with huge variety of simple and real historical books on Soviet era which involved over half of our globe in not so old past. Additionally these useless leaflets were sold for 5.00 Lt as I remember. This one (8 pages)...more
Luggage and bags:
For walking around Grutas Park, small, city backpack and surely bag for your camera - both water-proof esp. in summer.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable walking shoes preferrably water-resistant: like good trainers or better special walking shoes (one example: Danish Ecco are very comfortable and... expensive but worth the cost).
Sun-glasses esp. in winter and summer and always a rain coat, eventually less comfortable umbrella.
Read info on climate in Lithuania:
Climate of Lithuania
Average temperatures in... Grodno (Hrodna), Belarus (48 km south of Grutas):
Check weather (10-day forecast) for Alytus (50 km north of Grutas):
Weather forecast for Alytus
Photo Equipment: Take as many films as you can or as large memory card as you can - Grutas Park offers a lot for photography lovers :-).
Miscellaneous: The most important: do not forget to take BIG SMILE :-) Enjoy!
Grutas village was located by Grutas lake where I could easy find some swimming (catching fish) and flying birds like white storks, grey herons and others, excuse, I didn't know the names. There were some smaller and colorful birds among pine trees of Grutas Park as well.No wonder, the area north of Grutas belongs to the largest national park of...more
This statue of Vladimir Ilich Lenin, on my picture, was created by sculptor Jakubonis and stood at Lenin's Square (presently Laisves Square) in Panavezys from 1983 till 1990.Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870 - 1924) was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union and the founder of the ideology called...more
This huge statue of Soviet soldier, on my picture, stood in Siaulai in 1947-1991. There were numerous monuments devoted to the Soviet Army in Lithuania and there were a few in Poland as well. They called themselves "liberators" although vast majority of both Poles and Lithuanians called them occupants.Until 1946 the Soviet Army was called the Red...more
There was area designated for kids in the Grutas Park. There were a few swings, see-saws and a carousel (merry-go-round) there. It was advertised as a lunapark (funfair) of Soviet times. In real it was small area with modest equipment surrounded by a forest, empty when I visited the park.
When walking in Grutas park I have seen the part of history of Lithuania, that for some people was good (especially who had friends in high positions of communistic parties, other institutions or those, who agreed with ideology), and for some was bad - here mostly people, who simply wanted to be more free in everyday decision making, planning...more
There were signs in three languages: Lithuanian, English and Russian put in the Grutas Park. But some documents displayed in the museum were surely originally exclusively in either Lithuanian or Russian language. They usually where not translated into English but often partly were, with some comments in English.more