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Dwelling house

(former Municipality, Police Station) and Freedom Monument

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Laisvės al. 8, Plungė
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The city of Plungė, referred to in written sources since 1567, was granted Magdeburg rights in 1792. In the 19th century Plungė was ruled by the Zubovai (Zubov) family, who were counts, from whom Plungė Manor was acquired by the Oginskiai (Ogiński) family. They founded one of the first music schools in Lithuania inside the manor as well as a park.

The prestigious Plungė Boulevard, leading towards the manor park, was designed and planted with bird cherries on order of Mykolas Oginskis (Michał Oginskis) at the end of the 19th century. Originally it was called exactly that—Bulvaras (Boulevard) Street—and it was renamed to Laisvės alėja (Freedom Avenue) after the re-establishment of independence.

During the years of the First Independent Republic of Lithuania, the street was one of the town’s main ones, with many state institutions established there such as the Plungė City Municipality, a gymnasium, police station, fire station, the riflemen’s headquarters, the restaurant Šaulių klubas (Riflemen’s Club), a cinema, a forestry agency and a pharmacy. After the Second World War the avenue was named Žemaitės Avenue. After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the name of Laisvės alėja was restored.

In the house located at Laisvės al. 8, which was built before the First World War, the Plungė City Municipality operated between 1919 and 1930, and for some time it was also a police station there. It was in this house that the first Burgomaster of Plungė, Boruchas Dovydas Goldvaseris (Boruch David Goldwasser), worked, as he managed the town between 1918 and 1930. In 1928, he was awarded the Lithuanian Independence Medal. In 1937, Goldvaseris (Goldwasser) and his family emigrated to South Africa. He died in 1956.

As the 10th anniversary of Lithuanian independence approached, Plungė decided to build a Freedom Monument. Construction began in 1928, and was completed in 1931 at the end of the summer. Just before the official end of the works, the local Catholic society expressed dissatisfaction, as the symbol of freedom—an angel—was depicted by Kleinauskis with a naked chest. By the way, the Freedom Monument was planned to be built in front of the church, but the statue with Christian symbolism was not accepted by Plungė’s intellectual community.

After a couple of years the sculpture was removed and its fate remains unknown to this day. Its concrete base was blown up in the 1950s. On September 7, 1992, whilst commemorating the 200th anniversary of Plungė Municipality, the monument was rebuilt in bronze and sanctified by the Catholic Church. The author of the sculpture, Vilimas Ketvirtis, is a sculptor from the Vilnius Art Workshop.

Dwelling house

(former Municipality, Police Station) and Freedom Monument

Laisvės al. 8, Plungė

The city of Plungė, referred to in written sources since 1567, was granted Magdeburg rights in 1792. In the 19th century Plungė was ruled by the Zubovai (Zubov) family, who were counts, from whom Plungė Manor was acquired by the Oginskiai (Ogiński) family. They founded one of the first music schools in Lithuania inside the manor as well as a park.

The prestigious Plungė Boulevard, leading towards the manor park, was designed and planted with bird cherries on order of Mykolas Oginskis (Michał Oginskis) at the end of the 19th century. Originally it was called exactly that—Bulvaras (Boulevard) Street—and it was renamed to Laisvės alėja (Freedom Avenue) after the re-establishment of independence.

During the years of the First Independent Republic of Lithuania, the street was one of the town’s main ones, with many state institutions established there such as the Plungė City Municipality, a gymnasium, police station, fire station, the riflemen’s headquarters, the restaurant Šaulių klubas (Riflemen’s Club), a cinema, a forestry agency and a pharmacy. After the Second World War the avenue was named Žemaitės Avenue. After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the name of Laisvės alėja was restored.

In the house located at Laisvės al. 8, which was built before the First World War, the Plungė City Municipality operated between 1919 and 1930, and for some time it was also a police station there. It was in this house that the first Burgomaster of Plungė, Boruchas Dovydas Goldvaseris (Boruch David Goldwasser), worked, as he managed the town between 1918 and 1930. In 1928, he was awarded the Lithuanian Independence Medal. In 1937, Goldvaseris (Goldwasser) and his family emigrated to South Africa. He died in 1956.

As the 10th anniversary of Lithuanian independence approached, Plungė decided to build a Freedom Monument. Construction began in 1928, and was completed in 1931 at the end of the summer. Just before the official end of the works, the local Catholic society expressed dissatisfaction, as the symbol of freedom—an angel—was depicted by Kleinauskis with a naked chest. By the way, the Freedom Monument was planned to be built in front of the church, but the statue with Christian symbolism was not accepted by Plungė’s intellectual community.

After a couple of years the sculpture was removed and its fate remains unknown to this day. Its concrete base was blown up in the 1950s. On September 7, 1992, whilst commemorating the 200th anniversary of Plungė Municipality, the monument was rebuilt in bronze and sanctified by the Catholic Church. The author of the sculpture, Vilimas Ketvirtis, is a sculptor from the Vilnius Art Workshop.

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