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Pažaislis Church and Monastery Complex

EUFCN Location Award

The Pazaislis Church and Monastery Complex is one of the most magnificent masterpieces of mature Baroque architecture in North-Eastern Europe. The shrines were built in the 17th century by the Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Kristupas Žygimantas Pacas (1621–1684) for the Camaldolese monks in a remote forest in the Kaunas Lagoon peninsula. The ensemble was designed by Italian architect Giovanni Battista Frediani, decorated with moldings by Lombardy’s craftsmen and frescoes by Florentine painter Michele Arcangelo Palloni.

The breathtaking history of the monastery, which has lasted for more than three centuries, is marked by various spiritual traditions, wars, fires and destruction. The Pazaislis Church and Monastery Complex currently belongs to St. Casimir’s Sisters Congregation. In 2011, the Sacral heritage museum was established in the Monastery.

Some of the scenes of the HBO and Sky miniseries Catherine the Great were filmed in this magnificent location. The production turned Pazaislis Church into an Orthodox church, and parts of the Monastery became guards’ barracks, and even a morgue. The uniqueness of the ensemble contributed towards the sense of authenticity in the depiction of the splendid and opulent reign of one of the most powerful monarchs in history.

(Description provided by EUFCN and Kaunas Film Office)

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