This manor house on my picture stood opposite to a church and was proudly called Rudamina Palace by natives. Well, it was the only edifice in the village which was renovated, clean and surrounded by mown grass. It was built at the end of 18th century. I have no idea who lived there but I can say that there were and still are many, very many similar manor houses around Lithuania and even more around Poland.
Yesterday on TV news I heard that more and more... Spaniards buy such manor houses in Poland, esp. among lakes of Masuria region, that is very close to Rudamina. More, they want to open a real estate office in Madrid, Spain to make that business easier. I was told that such houses cost 10 times less in Poland than in Spain. Hmm... won't they be more expensive soon? What about Lithuania?
I found this wooden cottage on the right (southern) side of highway 134 from Rudamina to Lazdijai. Notice stork nest with white stork on its top, a mess around and wild, high, unmown grass.
Welcome to Lithuanian countryside :-).
From the main highway 134 I turned southwards to main, asphalt street of Radumina and after maybe 1 km the asphalt pavement ended. Unpaved road to a village called Zimaitkiemis started there. Well, the village was accessible by paved road from nearby town of Lazdijai.
But some (very few) villages in this area of Lithuania were accessible exclusively by such, unsurfaced roads like on my picture. That's why I could see few very dirty cars and buses which were covered by thick layer of dust.
This made of stone cross, on my picture, was put on the grave of Juozas Zdebskis (1929-1986), Lifhuanian priest, defender of the faith and freedom of religion under Soviet regime killed in an automobile accident arranged by the KGB. It looked very old or was just damaged by... weather or "some unknown perpetrators"?
Well, I am not crazy about religion, any religion, but I am crazy about religious tolerance and freedom at all, including freedom of religion. So, I would light a candle or put a flower there if I had any...
I decided to stop in Rudamina when I saw two white towers of local church. Driving main highway 134 from Kalvarija to Lazdijai I had to turn right. The church stood among old trees on a small hill, 100 m futher.
Well, a little bit neglected, from the outside, church looked very secret for me. It was built in 1592 that was in times (1569 - 1795) when Poland and Lithuania were united and formed together one state, Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom, called Commonwealth of the Two Nations: Poland and Lithuania as well. It was a kind of federation with one parliament, one king, one foreign policy but seperate central and land offices, treasure, army and courts.
The church was rebuilt in 1795 - 1797 that was just after incorporation this area to Russian Empire and again in 1810-1817.
Unfortunatelly it was closed at least when i visited it on business day. But I found interesting places around...
At the end of the main street of Rudamina an asphalt street changed to unpaved road. At that place there was wooden direction sign "RUDAMINOS PILIAKALNIS" to the right. Short unpaved road leaded to the parking lot on my picture, surely unguarded parking.
That time I had no idea what for the parking was put up there. Being in Lithuania for a couple of hours with my (wrong!) prejudicies on car thefts in Lithuania and my limited time I didn't stop there. I turned back to the main highway 134 and drove to my next destination - city of Lazdijai. Now, I know: I made a mistake. The parking lot was designated for visitors to archelogical site put on a top of a hill, a few minutes walk futher.
This is the main street of Radumina on my picture. There were no walkways along and houses were hidden behind trees growing along. There was almost no traffic when I was driving there.
Well, there were walking locals, one or two old cars and this one cart drawn by a horse. The carts drawn by one or two horses were very rarely seen on Lithuanian highways. I could see them maybe 3 or 5 times and always on off the beaten path roads.
This statue of angel was put on the top of high column which stood among beautiful coniferous trees by Rudamina parish church.
At the stone base of the column there were commemorative plaques whith some writings in Lithuanian, I couldn't understand. But I did understand that it was was the monument to Lithuanian priest Antanas Milukas (born 1871 in Sestokuose, Lithuania; died 1943, New York, the USA). As I know, he was high rank priest and fighter for Lithuanian independence who published his magazine "Zvaigzde" (The Star) for nearly 40 years... in Philadelphia, the USA.
Hmm... KGB archives in Vilnius disclosed that he was registered by the NKVD and characterized as individual "in support of a foreign intelligence service”. Most of KGB files were destroyed in and around 1991. It's often impossible to determine who was a hero and who was a traitor in the past.
There were neither flowers nor candles put by his monument.
I was lucky to find this wooden, old, pretty neglected house surrounded by probably never mown grass, just by a church. There were clean sheer curtains hang behind its barred windows, so, I think the house was still inhabited.
As I noticed, in Rudamina and generally in Lithuania, old wooden houses were very rarely roofed by wood. Did the original wooden roofs fall down of winds or burn in the past? Never mind, locals used to put metal roofing, corrugated iron sheets especially. Hmm... not the most beautiful roofing unless... it's mossgrown like in that house on my picture.
This red-brick house on my picture stood opposite to a church. Nothing great, but with all those green plants which covered its wals and a strange well in front it looked interesting. The well was still in use. There was: Visuomeninis kulturos centras "Tris Pilniakaliai" inside. Did it mean Cultural Centre "Three Oaks ???" ? Well, the door was closed.
Walking around the church I discovered a few graves of which this one on my picture looked the most interesting as someone took special care about it. That time I had no idea who was burried there. There was no-one to ask and the inscription on the grave was almost unreadable, looked like someone had destroyed it.
When I came back home I made some researches and finally I did find !!! It was the grave of Juozas Zdebskis (1929-1986). He was famous Lifhuanian priest, defender of the faith and freedom of religion under Soviet regime. He was accused and sentenced for... catechisation of children a few times in 60' and 70'. He was an enemy for KGB and became a threat to the Soviet system because he was not afraid to tell people the truth.
KGB was unable to break him by trials, warnings and threats. Then the Communists resorted to measures of terror. They (that means "unknown persons") almost killed him in 1980 using some chemicals.
He survived, recovered and served in Rudamina parish until his death on Feb 5, 1986. He was killed in an automobile accident arranged by the KGB. The Soviet authorities wanted to forbid his burial in Rudamina's churchyard. But, as you can see on my picture, the grave had already been dug.