Alternative discussion space

HERITAS and Vilnius University Faculty of History invite you to an alternative discussion space – it is a testing ground for the search of ideas and collective solutions. It is a meeting point for heritage theorists, practicians and the wider public, a place to speak out and communicate. Here everybody has a common purpose – to actualize and preserve cultural heritage. It is time to act together.

2 October 2020, 9.00 – 17.30

Faculty of History, Vilnius University, Universiteto g. 3, Vilnius

9.00-10.45 – “Heritage – a renewable resource” Matas Šiupšinskas, Moderator

11.00-12.45 – “How to “employ” cultural heritage? Adaptation challenges and opportunities”, Dr. Viltė Janušauskaitė, Moderator

13.30-15.15 – “Heritage communication – a translator wanted”, Prof. Dr. Rimvydas Laužikas, Moderator

15.30-17.15 – “Heritage conflicts – harmful or helpful?”, Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Salvijus Kulevičius, Moderator

Discussions will have a simultaneous translation to English.

To watch a the discussions online with a simultaneous translation to English, please send a request to 

*According to the instructions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, an online registration to all events must be carried out. You only need to fill in the registration form if you are planning to attend the event physically (in Vilnius University, Faculty of History).

Heritage – a renewable resource

Matas Šiupšinskas, Moderator

Interpretation is a source of life of heritage. Until interpretation does not make an item of heritage speak, it is only a mute and unknown matter. By interpreting, we “recharge” heritage with meanings. And the meaning as such are created and redesigned by us so that we could better understand who we are and what the past means to us. It is this persistent desire to understand, this creation and recreation of meaning that makes heritage not only alive but also a renewable resource. “Heritage – a renewable resource” – sounds optimistic and defies the idea that tangible heritage keeps vanishing eroded by time. The weathering of heritage and its renewal, however, coexist and do not defy each other. Renewal does not take place on its own; in order to enable it, compromises are necessary. Compromises concerning the questions to what extent physical changes are possible without losing the value and to what extent a change in functions or meanings is possible. Hence, the first topic for discussion is the relationship between changes and authenticity.

The second topic is the perception of heritage as a renewable resource. The assumption to start from is that it is a resource which becomes meaningful as a result of its use. That in a sense rules out another approach – that something could be useful in itself. To reveal certain signs of the past, they do not need to become objects of active use. Can it be that it is specifically their peaceful “existence in the background” that is their identity?



Dr. Martynas Mankus, “Change in Heritage Meanings – Between Adaptation and Exorcism”

Darius Žakaitis, “Heritage and the Joy of Creation”

Audrius Ambrasas, “Power of Heritage”

Heritage conflicts – harmful or helpful?

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Salvijus Kulevičius, Moderator

The discussion will address the topic of heritage protection processes and, first of all, the issue of “obstructions” in “recharging” the heritage. The focus in not so much on the nature, typology or complexities of “obstructions” (conflicts) but on their outcomes. The question is whether each conflict is evil? Or perhaps that is one of the manifestations of diversity and pluralism in public opinions, meanings of heritage and heritage protection solutions; the challenges to be followed by new, better-quality decisions rather than confrontation? That sounds idealistic and hardly plausible and yet – is such outcome of conflicts possible?

The discussion will make efforts to embrace several perspectives and cross-sections:

  •         definition and knowledge of heritage;
  •         the issue of the “weight” of decision-making (role sharing among experts, community and owner/manager);
  •         flexibility and ability of the heritage protection system to adapt.



Dr. Vaidas Petrulis, “Controversies in Heritigisation of the Architectural Heritage of the 20th century”

Rėda Brandišauskienė, “In search of the Heritage Owner – Expert or Community? Lithuanian Realities and Prospects”

Arūnas Survila, “Reviving Historical Objects and Places: Heritage Protection – Help or Hindrance?”

Heritage communication – a translator wanted

Prof. Dr. Rimvydas Laužikas, Moderator

We often use the concept “dissemination” when talking about heritage communication, assuming that a society only needs access to heritage objects and information about them and that will immediately lead to major changes. In fact, heritage communication processes are far more complex. Research shows that societies consist of many diverse target stakeholder groups and communities with members connected by different ideas and that such ideas predetermine how their members understand heritage. As a result, the messages sent by heritage communication authorities and persons dealing with this issue are not perceived literally– they are “translated” into the “language” of a particular community. Part of the information sent during this process is lost, the other part is structured into a message understandable for the community, using its own rules. That can lead to a major difference between the initial message and its perception in the target audience. As a result, the purpose of communication (meant by the sender authority or individual) can be unaccomplished. One of the ways to deal with this issue is understanding the target audiences, their needs and information behaviour as early as at the time of the message construction. Knowledge of the purpose for which a message is constructed and sent is equally important. Hence, a heritage communication professional has to become not the “disseminator” of information but its “translator” who delivers targeted messages to specific audiences.

The discussion will involve different professionals of communication who represent academic community, communication business and museums.



Dr. Zinaida Manžuch, “Societies, Communities and Heritage – Ethical Issues of Communication”

Mindaugas Ardišauskas, “Translator of Heritage Communication – View of a Professional of Communication”

Nideta Jarockienė, “Heritage Communication and Interpretation at the Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Cinema Museum: Ideals, Problems and Challenges”

How to “employ” cultural heritage? Adaptation challenges and opportunities

Dr. Viltė Janušauskaitė, Moderator

Heritage stays for decades, centuries or millennia and its existence consists of stages that leave unique traces. They merge in our times (the present), but at the same time continue as different lives of one object. How to dovetail them?

Adaptation is a multiple process where enthusiasm often fades away in the trap of harsh or dull reality, therefore, it is important to consider the relevance of different, even most unexpected or trivial aspects in “recharging” the heritage. The “employment” of a heritage object becomes its “recharging” in terms of its idea (by changing its designation, reviving it for a new life but for a different function and meaning) and from the technical perspective (by replacing poor-condition or lost elements, redesigning according to new needs). Such processes are most often accompanied by an internal or public conflict, and in brighter cases – also by the joy of discovery. A discussion with the panellists who have experienced all this, will explore:

  •         possibilities and their limits: are there any appropriate and unacceptable designations of heritage objects, what awaits crazy ideas and is it painful to come/be brought down to earth?
  •         the trap of bureaucracy and limited resources: how to ease the burden of those who revive the heritage?
  •         the issue of authenticity: what does intangible and socio-cultural authenticity mean and how to protect it? How to avoid over-restoring or superficial repairing?
  •         need for a compromise: are losses and compromises really unavoidable?
  •         and who is the ultimate master – heritage or its users?



Rolandas Janulis, “Restoration – as a detective story”

Dalia Stabrauskaitė, “Importance and lack of understanding of the uniqueness of historical buildings in adaptation projects”

Viktoras Klepikovas, “One object – one story. Really?”


3 October 2020, 17.00-19.00

The Church of St. Catherine, Vilniaus g. 30, Vilnius

17.00 Introduction. Dr. Tomas Vaiseta, Moderator

17.10-17.40 Dr. Stephanie Herold, University of Bamberg, “Empathic Encounters. Emotional Experiences at Historic Places and Heritage Sites”

17.40-18.10 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vaidas Petrulis, Kaunas University of Technology, “The Architectural Heritage of Lithuania of the 20th century as a System of Cultural Indications”

18.10-18.40 Dr. Felix Ackermann. German Historical Institute in Warsaw, “Lukiškės Prison and the Unmaking of Polish Vilnius”

18.40 Discussion and questions.

Presentations will have a simultaneous translation to Lithuanian and English.

To watch a the presentations online with a simultaneous translation to English, please send a request to 

If you are planning to attend the event physically (in The Church of St. Catherine in Vilnius), please fill in the Main visitor registration form.

The architectural heritage of Lithuania of the 20th century as a system of cultural indications. Doc. dr. Vaidas Petrulis

Identified with progress and modernity in the past, the architecture of the 20th century has to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century. Stylistic and technical innovations that spoke of change, tempo and dynamism have lost their original function and are gradually transforming to an artefact of the past and a potential object of heritage. The number of buildings in itself makes the preservation of all evidence of the past, which is significant to one or another community, in its authentic condition a hardly achievable task. The presentation suggests that non-traditional strategies are sought in order to give meaning and relevance to the heritage of the 20th century – protection is interpreted not only as traditional preservation of valuable elements for future generations but also as an active dialogue with the past.

The theory of heritage protection consists entwined approaches varying from the classical notion of heritage as an authentic monument of history to the ambitions of critical heritage protection that promotes an understanding of heritage in the holistic context of sustainable development, social and artistic experiments. In the light of such experiences, the presentation will explore the idea that value and protection may no longer be mechanically linked with physical properties without an effort to analyse the meaning of these qualities in different social contexts. Otherwise stated, not only a physical artefact becomes important in a definition of values and the notion of protection but also an intangible aspect – the cultural indication formed by the object and its vitality in the new social context.

Doc. dr. Vaidas Petrulis

Doc. dr. Vaidas Petrulis – researcher of the architecture of Lithuania of the 20th century. Senior Researcher of Kaunas University of Technology. Author of many research and popular science publications. Monograph “Heritage as a conflict: the shift between modernist and after-modernist concepts of heritage in Lithuania” published in 2019. Initiator of the digital online archive of architectural heritage

Empathic Encounters. Emotional experiences at historic places and heritage sites. Dr. Stephanie Herold

From the very beginning, historical monuments have served not only as testimonies to historical developments, but also as places for an emotional approach to the past they embody. For this process of emotional appropriation of objects art historians at the turn of the last century coined the term Einfühlung. In its English translation ‘empathy’ this term is now experiencing a surprising renaissance in the field of heritage and museum studies.

In this context empathy is understood as the possibility of a personal, emotional access to history that goes beyond the communication of facts. Besides the aspired deeper understanding of the implications of historical facts on certain – often marginalized – groups of people, this approach also bares the risk of emotionalizing history, which can manifest itself, for example, in a concentration on individual fates and a neglect of complex historical contexts.

Against this background, the presentation argues that empathy in the context of heritage primarily should not be understood as a form of emotionally based knowledge transfer, but rather in the original sense of the word as an aesthetic process that draws its power from the personal encounter with the material object and its interpretative openness. This opens up new perspectives for dealing with cultural heritage, which will be presented and discussed in the contribution – also with regard to their limits.

Dr. Stephanie Herold

Dr. Stephanie Herold studied art history, heritage preservation and cultural anthropology in Bamberg and Berlin. From 2008 to 2016 she was a research assistant at the TU Berlin where she earned her doctorate with a thesis on the role of beauty in heritage preservation. Since 2016 she has been working at the University of Bamberg with a research focus on processes of negotiation and valorization of cultural heritage and the role of emotions in these processes.

Lukiškės prison and the unmaking of Polish Vilnius. Dr. Felix Ackermann

Lukiškės prison is a central point of reference for the Lithuanian, Polish, Jewish and Belarusian imagination of Vilnius in the 20th century. Built as modern facility in the Russian Empire it became a space of state violence used during the pacification of the 1905 revolution, two German occupations, the Holocaust, the twofold Soviet annexation of Lithuania and the unmaking of Polish Vilnius. While the German and Soviet atrocities against Lithuanians are today easily inscribed into official narratives of Totalitarianism, in the presentation dr. Felix Ackermann will point particularly to Lukiškės as a space used for the forceful unmixing of the multiethnic prewar town, raising the question, weather this facet of the prison history will become part of the “dark heritage“of Lukiškės.

Dr. Felix Ackermann

Dr. Felix Ackermann is a historian and anthropologist trained in cultural and political studies at European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), where he received his Dr. phil. in 2008, and at London School of Economics and Political Science. From 2011 to 2016 he was visiting DAAD associate professor at European Humanities University in Vilnius, taught courses at Faculty of History in Vilnius University. Since 2016 Felix Ackermann is a research fellow at German Historical Institute in Warsaw.


The goal of HERITAS workshops is to introduce heritage research, restoration and conservation disciplines through practice, education and knowledge. Everyone interested in various practical aspects of restoration and conservation will have a chance to take part in several workshops, learning about different methods and technologies.

Early registration is needed to some workshops.

Ancient photography workshop

Taking pictures by means of an old momentary picture taking technique, i. e. “a five-minute picture”.

Atvirosios fotografijos dirbtuvės invite you to discover the secrets of the old photography technique. In the workshop pictures are made using the old “five-minute picture” technique the principles whereof are similar to those of Polaroid where a single photo is made directly on the photographic paper by an old camera and is immediately developed. in the exhibition, the process of ferrotype photography and typography reconstructed on the basis of the portrait of Vabalninkas residents made in Vabalninkas, Biržai district, c. 1895, is demonstrated.

The workshop is presented by Open Photography Workshop.

Open on both days of the festival (October 3rd-4th).

No registration needed.

Introligatores Vilnenses: Bookbinding Workshop in the Middle Ages

Handmade bookbinding craft is very rare today. In Lithuania it is professionally practiced almost exclusively by document conservators. In order to learn how to preserve our documental heritage, we need to understand how and under what conditions books were created. It represents both, the history of the book and the history of craft itself.

The Bookbinders Guild of Vilnius continues of the traditions of the old guild of bookbinders of Vilnius. This year in “Heritas” festival we invite to explore the variety of old bookbinding processes and tools. Bookbinders will invite you to watch and ask how manuscript and early printed books were bound in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance and why it is important to preserve them.

The workshop is presented by the Bookbinders Guild of Vilnius

Open on both days of the festival (October 3rd-4th).

No registration needed.

Coloured Vilnius postcard

During the workshop, you will create your own coloured postcard from the image of Vilnius Old Town printed on a classical black-and-white silver gelatine paper. We will use an ancient technology for colouring postcards which was used for decorating and colouring black-and-white pictures. The technology is simple: after dissolving gelatine on the surface of pictures, we will colour it with special paint which is soaked up using very thin natural hair brushes. After colouring the picture, the excess paint is washed away with water, and the colour is locked in the gelatine layer. An impression that the picture is not painted and is really coloured is created in this way. On the reverse side of the postcard, you will be able to make an imprint which was restored according to the inter-war sample printed in Kaunas. All you will have to do is to wish something to your friend and send it.

The workshop is presented by Open Photography Workshop.

Open on both days of the festival (October 3rd-4th).

No registration needed.

Furnaces and fireplaces.

Restoration, reconstruction, minor repairs, safe use.

In the workshop, samples of historical furnace and fireplace tiles and tools are presented, participants become familiar with the technologies of building furnaces, fireplaces and chimneys, possibilities for their restoration, partial restoration and reconstruction. They are taught how to distinguish ancient furnaces pertaining to different periods that are worth preserving, lessons on laying and arrangement of furnace tiles take place. In the workshop, one can be consulted how to assess the technical condition of furnaces, fireplaces and chimneys, recognise and repair damages, select appropriate materials and products, combine technologies and systems.

The workshop is presented by Artūras Šuliokas

Open on both days of the festival (October 3rd-4th).

No registration needed.

Educational lecture “Furnaces and fireplaces. Restoration, reconstruction, minor repairs, safe use”

October 3rd, 2020, 13.00-14.00, 15.00-16.00

October 4th, 2020, 12.00-13.00, 15.00-16.00

Group Glee (Lithuanian multipart songs) Exercise

Glee Exercise is a group practice of glee singing. Glees (Lith. sutartinės), which derive from the Lithuanian word accord (sutarti), attune (suderėti), invite the participants to experience tuneful accord in dissonant sound. Plentiful soundwords will urge you to explore their meaning and poetic texts will submerge in secrets of the past. Everybody join in: women, men and children! Lioj skumboj!

The workshop is hosted by Agota Bėkštė

October 4th, 2020, 14.00-15.00

Traditional carpentry workshop

Today, carpenters use modern electrical tools which speed up their work, however, only authentic technology and manual tools can help create unique wood processing textures and retain the craftsman’s style. Most of such tools are used by individual carpenters, restorers and the names of some of them are alien to our ear.

In our workshop, we will present the craft of carpentry, and those who are willing will be able to try a drawing-knife, two-stroke saw, drill, plane. If you do not succeed right away, we will have a nice pile of wooden chips at least.

We will demonstrate a tin roof, old windows and doors undergoing restoration and how they can be revived for the second life.

The workshop is hosted by Jautmalkės lėpis UAB.

Open on both days of the festival (October 3rd-4th).

No registration needed.

Historical fencing lesson

Historical fencing lesson: Secrets of the Walpurgis manuscript. A brief preparation for a civil sword fight in line with the oldest European fencing textbook (beginning of the 14th century);

Historical fencing lesson: Master’s stabs and Johan Liechtenauer’s legend. Practical tips by the most famous medieval fencer on how to train and win the fight using long swords.

Historical fencing lesson: Strokes with the nobleman’s sword. Did 17th-century noblemen engage in martial arts? Most of them would challenge you to a fight for doubting that. In order not to lose your mind, it is worth having a brief lesson.

Historical fencing lesson: Hungarian 19th-century sword technique. Most of European martial arts became extinct. Probably, the only one which survived to these days is the dashing sword art practiced by Hungarian hussars.

The workshop is presented by Historical European martial arts clubs.

October 3rd, 2020

12.00-12.15 Introduction to the 15th-16th century longsword fencing

13.00-13.15 Introduction to the 16th-17th century sabre fencing

14.00-14.15 Introduction to the 15th-16th century longsword fencing

15.00-15.15 Introduction to the 14th century sword-and-buckler fencing

16.00-16.15 Introduction to the 15th-16th century longsword fencing

17.00-17.15 Introduction to the 16th-17th century sabre fencing

18.00-18.15 Introduction to the 15th-16th century longsword fencing

October 4th, 2020

12.00-12.15 Introduction to the 15th-16th century longsword fencing

13.00-13.15 Introduction to the early 20th century sabre fencing

14.00-14.15 Introduction to the 15th-16th century longsword fencing

15.00-15.15 Introduction to the early 20th century sabre fencing

16.00-16.15 Introduction to the 15th-16th century longsword fencing

17.00-17.15 Introduction to the early 20th century sabre fencing

18.00-18.15 Introduction to the 15th-16th century longsword fencing


We often miss it but the works of modern graphic art accompany us everywhere – in advertising, trademarks, postal stamps, postcards, etc. To commemorate the Year of Folk Art, the National Museum of Lithuania invites to explore traditional graphic art. Participants of the workshop will take a closer look at works of Ona Pusvaškytė, artist of Lithuanian traditional graphic art, will learn how graphic art is born and will have an opportunity to get a print of their own work of art. The sessions are for both children and adults.

The workshop is hosted by the National Museum of Lithuania

October 3rd, 2020, 12.00-14.00, 15.00-17.00

October 4th, 2020, 11.00-13.00, 14.00-16.00

No registration needed, though the number of participants is limited.

My first straw garden

Straw gardens are the most beautiful and significant decoration in traditional art. They symbolise the tree of the world, the order of cosmos and emit vibrations of harmony. Straw gardens used to be woven all over Lithuania, and were an important part of the nation’s customs: they would be hung above babies’ cradles and wedding tables, used as a home decoration on Christmas Eve and at Easter. Amazingly perfect, they are among our most mysterious ancient folk articles demanding a lot of thoroughness, patience and calmness from their creator. The straw garden lent meaning to the idea of creation of the perfect world and was associated with the heaven garden, i.e. the Paradise or heavens. The Earth’s squares and the Heavens triangles combine into a perfect match and form a harmonious entirety. When looking at the straw garden, one unconsciously realizes that the union of the temporary body and immortal soul is possible in a human being. While being around it, one finds peacefulness and silent joy as though seeing a perfect image of the Universe. And vibrations of harmony, understanding and unity spread within the human. Therefore, the garden could be called a tool for encouraging and developing consciousness and deeper perception of the world.

During the workshop, the process of weaving a traditional Lithuanian straw garden will be introduced: from preparation of straws and their cutting to a small garden.

The workshop is presented by Marija Liugienė.

October 3rd, 2020, 11.00-13.00, 14.00-16.00

MG Mūras: masonry restoration, brick-laying of vault arcs

Exposition of bricks of different periods, brick-laying of an ancient stellar vault. Principles of restoration and re-building of masonry, ancient masonry in modern interiors. Everybody is invited to join in the brick-laying of the vault – adults and children!

The workshop is hosted by MG Mūras

Open on both days of the festival (October 3rd-4th).

No registration needed.

Application of 3D laser scanning in architectural renderings

Our intention is to demonstrate during the workshop the operation of the 3D laser scanner and the level of detail of data. We will scan part of the Church of St. Catherine and will demonstrate data in the computer, as well as will demonstrate the possibilities of augmented reality.

The workshop is hosted by UAB Šiaurinis taškas

Open on both days of the festival (October 3rd-4th).

No registration needed.

Dos and Don’ts: Space for Consultations and Inspiration

This year the Heritas session for discussions, presentations and consultations “Does and Don’ts: Space for Consultations and Inspiration” will focus on practical issues. Participants of the event will have an opportunity to hear about the compensation mechanisms of expenses for research, designing and preservation of cultural heritage objects. The speakers will offer thorough and clear presentations not only on official but also alternative financial support sources and processes, will provide tips how to avoid the most often mistakes. Guests from the Old Town Renewal Agency of Vilnius and the Cultural Heritage Division of Kaunas City Municipality will tell about ongoing heritage protection projects and the support provided by municipalities. The managers of the manors of Trakų Vokė and Aristavelė will share their best practice. We offer a unique opportunity to hear all that first hand.

During consultations, the team of heritage protection specialists will answer all questions of interest for the participants on the issues of preservation and maintenance of cultural heritage objects.

Renovation of the estate of Trakų Vokė Manor – challenges and discoveries

Ieva Šiušaitė, Head of VšĮ Trakų Vokės dvaro sodyba

The manor house of Trakų Vokė estate is considered one of the finest examples of neo-classical architecture in Lithuania. Since 2013 when the manor house has been taken over by Vilnius City Municipality, seven projects have been implemented or are still ongoing: the restoration of the manor house, park, fences, guard house, chapel and ponds, building of bicycle tracks, demolition of the laboratory building, works to prepare a land plot plan of the territory. The planning process for operationalisation of the object is taking place.

The first studies undertaken show that the process will be full of challenges and interesting discoveries. The Head of VšĮ Trakų Vokės dvaro sodyba will tell about the restoration and management work of the manor and will share the whole range of experiences encountered in the most intensive works.

Engagement of cultural heritage – alternative sources of financing

Arūnas Survila, Director of Všį Inovatorių slėnis

The reconstruction works of a historical building undoubtedly require a lot of resources. Although a smooth process of reconstruction of a cultural heritage object and its adaptation for public needs in many cases depends on available financial resources, the experience of Všį Inovatorių slėnis (Innovators’ Valley) shows that it is, certainly, not the main factor of success. A great desire and passion is enough for the idea to materialise and get a tangible shape.

The Innovators’ Valley is an organisation building co-living in nature and engaging cultural heritage for this purpose. The organisation develops the Monastery of Barefoot Carmelites in Antalieptė and Kamariškės Mansion, the parks and structures of these objects, and protects their bio-diversity.

The experience what to start from and how to engage heritage without anything at hand will be shared by Arūnas Survila, Director of Všį Inovatorių slėnis.

Relocation of Aristavėlė Manor House to the Open-Air Museum of Lithuania

Ruslanas Aranauskas, Head of the Architecture Division of the Open-Air Museum of Lithuania

The wooden manor house in Aristavėlė, Kėdainiai district, was built approximately in 1700. It belonged to famous families of Lithuanian noblemen – Zabielos and Medekšos. The manor was nationalised during the soviet times and converted to apartments, some of the premises were even used as a cowshed. The neglected building was deteriorating fast.

A decision was made to save this valuable object of architecture by relocating it to the Open-Air Museum of Lithuania. A large team of competent specialists was involved for this purpose, historical, art research, polychrome examinations and architectural research was carried out. A design of building renderings and relocation was prepared. In 1987, the disassembled building was moved to the Open-Air Museum in Rumšiškės. These efforts were followed by a project of restoration and construction works financed by Lithuania, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Grants.

This presentation provides an overview how the Aristavėlė manor, with all surviving details preserved to the maximum, has reborn for a new life and become available for visiting, exploring and a large number of visitors.

Compensation of research, designing and preservation works of private real estate of cultural heritage

Robertas Motuzas, Advisor to the Director of the Department of Cultural Heritage

Practical tips for a smooth compensation process.

The managers of cultural heritage objects seeking compensations for the research, designing and conservation works of cultural heritage objects come across many of questions and uncertainties. A thorough knowledge of the compensation mechanism can accelerate and facilitation the course of the entire process. Knowledge of major challenges and how to avoid often mistakes that prevent a compensation will be shared by Robertas Motuzas who works at the Department of Cultural Heritage.

Financial instruments of municipalities in supporting heritage management: example of Kaunas City

Saulius Rimas, Head of Cultural Heritage Division of Kaunas Municipality

The Heritage Management Programme of Kaunas City Municipality is the main financial instrument to promote the renewal of cultural heritage structures in Kaunas. Both the residents and visitors of Kaunas notice consistent changes in the city face – renewal of the facades of historical buildings, restoration of their authentic architectural details. Between 2015 and 2019, 113 projects for around EUR 2.5 million were financed through this programme with the budget funds of Kaunas City Municipality. The co-financing contributions by the managers of such objects exceed EUR 6 million. The instrument initiated by the Cultural Heritage Department of the Administration of Kaunas City Municipality has become a success story and an example to the entire heritage management system of Lithuania.

The presentation will outline the underlying principles of the programme and will answer the most frequently asked questions.

Enhancement of global heritage – common goals, efforts and responsibility

Kęstutis Masaitis, Chief Specialist, and Gediminas Rutkauskas, Director of the Old Town Renewal Agency

The quality and condition of heritage objects or sites, as well as of residential environment in general mostly depends on the awareness and responsibility of residents / users and, undoubtedly, on the funds allocated for its management.

The support of Vilnius City Municipality for residents of the Old Town who upgrade their residential environment has been slightly and consistently growing in the recent years. Ongoing support is provided for taking care of balconies in emergency condition, for the exterior decoration of buildings as well as for individual buildings. Such targeted and combined efforts of residents and the municipality are growing in importance as they increase the heritage protection awareness and responsibility of residents, enhance their capacity to engage in neighbourly communication and participate in public interest promotion processes.

The development of this process, its strengths and weaknesses as well as the results achieved will be presented by the representatives of Všį Vilniaus senamiesčio atnaujinimo agentūra (Public Establishment Old Town Renewal Agency). 


Tours organized during the HERITAS fair are a great possibility to get a closer look at often seen, but not yet known heritage objects. It is a great way to broaden your knowledge about heritage research and conservation. We offer you a chance to learn about the different values of heritage objects, to understand the conservation and restoration process of buildings and architectural elements better, and to uncover various secrets that small architectural details may hold.

Early registration is needed to the tours. More information – below.

Užupis: the other side. Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture

The Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture invites you to explore wooden Užupis. Although the western suburban part, which is historically attributed to the Old Town and is famous by Užupis Constitution, its Mermaid and the Angel that hatched from the egg, is predominated by brickwork, once we walk up along Krivių and Polocko streets, we can find a different texture of Užupis – wooden. The wooden suburban houses underwent many changes – in their volumes, layouts, and facades. An iconic specimen of wooden architecture in Užupis, the house at Polocko street 52, is not an exception – there were many rearrangements in the building over its history as revealed by the layers of the interior plastering decorated in different periods. The house is also undergoing changes today – it is being prepared for a new stage of life. The new owner of the house – the museum designated for wooden urban architecture – welcomes its guests. Take a closer look at the efforts of restorers, learn about the history of the building and embrace the vision of a modern museum!

The guided tour is presented by the Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture

October 3rd, 2020, 13.00–14.30

October 4th, 2020, 11.00–12.30, 15.00–16.30

100 years of History. Energy and Technology Museum

Guided tours to the first public electric power station in Vilnius reveal the building’s origins, history and changes through time. When man finally learned to control electricity, life started to change and in time this change started to affect broader layers of society – from the richest, who could afford private electric power stations, to wider scientific progress applied to the needs of the whole community. Visitors learn how this power station adapted to the ever changing needs of Vilnius and to the changing political situations in the country. A model of Vilnius general plan from 1980, also part of the guided tour, helps visitors understand what kind of future was planned for this electric power station and for the whole city of Vilnius.

The guided tour is presented by the Energy and Technology Museum

October 3rd, 2020, 11.00–12.00, 14.00–15.00, 17.00–18.00

Behind the detention house door. National Museum of Lithuania

The small court, pharmacy, barracks, prison of political prisoners, etc. – is only part of the functions held by the building at Kosciuškos street 1.

Will you dare to walk through the custody house door and see with your own eyes the oldest prison in Vilnius, which become a prison in the 19th century and had preserved this function for more than 180 years? Explore “the ceiling that speaks” the messages left by prisoners – their drawings and writings, find out who were imprisoned in the building or climb the original 19th century cast-iron stairs.

After the tour, you will have a unique opportunity to visit a temporary exhibition of the National Museum of Lithuania – The Awakened: The History of the Rebels Found on Gedimino Hill.

Dare to open the building door – you will uncover the secret!

The guided tour is presented by the National Museum of Lithuania

October 4th, 2020, 13.00–14.00

Tour by train to Naujoji Vilnia. Community of N. Vilnia

Naujoji Vilnia – is probably the least known location for the residents of Vilnius. For more than half a century, it has been a part of Vilnius with its own historical centre and different town quarters as it was a town in its own right some time ago. This settlement received city rights in 1903 although people had lived in these areas for thousands years. That is witnessed by impressive mounds, century-old railway and factory buildings. An architect Maksimas Zacharovas will tell during the tour about the local and railway architecture heritage, the issues of its preservation, about the objects protected and run down, destroyed and given the second life. The factory of scythes, which was the largest worldwide at the end of the 19th century, will surprise with its new cultural space and approach to the use of heritage for culture and the brewery. The tour will start at the Railway Station of Vilnius, the trip by train will last approximately 10 minutes; the tour in N. Vilnia will last around 3 hours and we will visit the revived historical Factory of Smoke and will finish the tour at the Railway Station of N. Vilnia.

The guided tour is presented by the Community of Naujoji Vilnia

October 4th, 2020, 15.00–18.30

Vainos Family Mansion on Domininkonų Street 11

The mansion on Dominikonų street in Vilnius, which belonged to the nobles Vainos–Jaseneckiai in the second half of the 17th century, is better known to those who are interested in heritage by the name of Pociejai. The researchers of history of the capital city of the first half of the 20th century know it as the building where the book store of Marija and Jurgis Šlapeliai operated, while many residents of Vilnius find it easier to recognise it by the name of the former headquarters of the water supply company Vilniaus Vandenys. However, the masonry walls of the building remember not only the stories of many noble families, including Bžostovskiai, Radvilos, Umiastovskiai, but also the history of several centuries that echo in the Gothic basements of the 16th century and in the mansion yard, which has been opened to the residents and guests of the city after a long time. Now it houses Senatorių Pasažas – a food court dedicated for quality food in the heart of the Old Town, which aims at bringing together responsible Lithuanian farmers and artisans.

You are invited to listen to them and learn about the revived historical functions of the building and their adaptation for new ones during a Heritas tour.

October 4th, 2020, 13.00–14.30, 15.00–16.30

Children and Youth Space

During the HERITAS festival a lot of attention is paid on educating children about heritage, encouraging them to learn, discover and explore. Getting acquainted with the history and heritage objects through creativity and senses is the best way to encourage the curiosity of the child, the hunger for knowledge, the desire to know and create. It is also a great way to spend time with the whole family, when seeking to know the history of their homeland and family, objects of cultural and natural heritage better, children and parents are experiencing a lot of new and interconnecting excitement. This not only acquires new knowledge, but also develops the child’s ability to overcome challenges, to solve problems creatively, to learn to understand their feelings, and parents can see and understand better what and how the child thinks, what matters and interests him.

The festival provides an opportunity for every child to become an archaeologist, architect, painter, engineer, builder, and creator. Children, both by themselves and with other family members, are invited to take an active part in creative workshops, educational programs, excursions, games and competitions.

This is a great opportunity for all the families get more knowledge about our common heritage, to participate in creative activities, to learn more about the possibilities of active children’s leisure time, to get new ideas, to encourage children to know, discover and understand.

Early registration is needed to some Children and Youth space activities. Registration begins on monday, September 21st!

October 3rd, Saturday

Open all Saturday:

If I lived in a wooden house (Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture)

Orientation game “Map of Vilnius nations” (Gatvės gyvos vaikams)

12.00–13.00 The beast of Kaunas or bats in the forts? (Kaunas Fortress park)

12.00–13.00 Comic strip workshop with the author of the book “Atgal į Vilnių!” P. V. Jankūnas (Aukso Žuvys)

13.00–15.00 Cultural orientation game “Following the traces of the Radziwill family” (Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency)

14.00–15.00 The beast of Kaunas or bats in the forts? (Kaunas Fortress park)

14.00–15.00 It was like this, it was like this for sure (Toy Museum)

16.00–17.00 The beast of Kaunas or bats in the forts? (Kaunas Fortress park)

16.00–17.00 Comic strip workshop with the author of the book “Atgal į Vilnių!” P. V. Jankūnas (Aukso Žuvys)

October 4th, Sunday

Open all Sunday:

Building Gediminas tower and Trakai castle (Let’s play the Lithuanian way)

If I lived in a wooden house (Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture)

Orientation game map of Vilnius nations (Gatvės gyvos vaikams)

12.00–13.00 The beast of Kaunas or bats in the forts? (Kaunas Fortress park)

12.00–13.00 A glance at the life in the nobles’ palace (Museum of the Radvilas Palace of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art)

*Participants of the creative workshop will receive this book as a present.

14.00–15.00 The beast of Kaunas or bats in the forts? (Kaunas Fortress park)

If I lived in a WOODEN house

The Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture (the youngest in Vilnius!) welcomes you to the workshop for children. We will explore the oldest type of urban architecture, i.e. a wooden cottage. Old windows and their shutters, profusely carved roof cornices, window trimming and patterned doors, cosy porches and balconies are inseparable properties of a wooden cottage. All of these elements will be drawn in the houses made of wooden parts.

And what wooden house would you like to live in?

The workshop is intended for children aged between 7 and 9. It will last from 45 to 60 minutes. The number of participants is limited.

The workshop is presented by the Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture.

Open on both days of the festival (October 3rd-4th).

It was like this, it was like this for sure

In the creative workshop IT WAS LIKE THIS, IT WAS LIKE THIS FOR SURE, its participants will be invited to have a look at heritage as an obvious evidence that creativity was indispensable in any century. The surviving heritage still amazes the 21st-century person and often makes them gasp. We are astonished because we realise looking at it in what a beautiful, interesting, talented and extremely inventive way people were able to produce, think and create earlier. This means we are not the only ones like this!!! The participants will be invited to make several classical toys invented very long ago and they will see that there were a lot of gifted people and entertainment in the olden days for sure. 

The workshop is presented by the Toy Museum.

October 3rd, 2020, 14.00–15.00

Orientation game Map of Vilnius nations

Vilnius is a city where a lot of nations and cultures have lived and met for centuries. How has the city’s ethnic composition changed over the last several hundred years? What traces of different nations survived in the city’s streets? What personalities of other nations lived, created here and contributed to the city’s history? While performing different historical tasks, the players will visit the places reminiscent of the Jewish, German, Russian and Polish nations.

Families with children from the age of 10 are recommended to participate in the game. 

The workshop is presented by Gatvės gyvos vaikams.

Open on both days of the festival (October 3rd-4th).

The Beast of Kaunas or bats in the forts

In the posterns, gunpowder basements and batteries of Kaunas Fortress forts, one can occasionally see eyes glaring in the dark… Perhaps, it is the Beast of Kaunas waking up or bats nurtured in the fortress?

While creating a small paper bat, we will learn about the mysterious inhabitants of the fortress: what is a legend and what is true. 

Happy home is the home where bats occasionally come!

The workshop is presented by Kaunas Fortress Park.

October 3rd, 2020, 12.00–13.00, 14.00–15.00, 16.00–17.00

October 4th, 2020, 12.00–13.00, 14.00–15.00

Cultural orientation game Following the traces of the Radziwill family

One queen, 40 senators, 13 Vilnius Voivodes, 10 Vilnius Castellans, 9 Grand Marshals, 7 Chancellors, 7 Grand Hetmans, 3 Bishops (one of them was even a cardinal) bore the name of the most influential family in the Grand Dutchy of Lithuania: Radziwill. Those willing to learn more about the noble family which was the most powerful in the Grand Dutchy of Lithuania and see what influence the Radziwills had on Vilnius city life and development are invited to take part in the cultural orientation game Following the traces of the Radziwill family. The participants of the orientation game will plunge into the most unexpected and intriguing stories of the Radziwill family, see Vilnius the way it used to be in the heyday of this famous family, i.e. from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and the most obstinate players will be awarded.

Lovers of Lithuanian history and heritage who are determined to follow an approximately 6-kilometre-long route on foot are invited to play the game.

The orientation game is presented by Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency.

October 3rd, 2020, 13.00–15.00

A glance at the life in the nobles’ palace

The Museum of the Radziwill Palace has prepared a present for younger children: an educational publication A glance at the life in the nobles’ palace. An inventive and witty character, host of the Radziwill Palace Janusz Radziwill, will tell interesting stories about the paintings displayed in the museum, their authors and ask questions. Artist of the publication Greta Alice Liekyte will invite the participants of the workshop to see the illustrations and perform creative tasks.

The participants of the creative workshop will receive this book as a present. 

The workshop is presented by the Museum of the Radvilas Palace of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art.

October 4th, 2020, 12.00–13.00

Comic strip workshop with the authors of the book Atgal į Vilnių!

The authors of the comic book Atgal į Vilnių, artist Povilas Vincentas Jankūnas and writer Justinas Žilinskas, invite you to create and draw together the future vision of Vilnius.

Age group: 12+

The workshop is presented by Aukso žuvys.

October 3rd, 2020, 12.00–13.00, 16.00–17.00

Building Gediminas Tower and Trakai Castle

Let’s play the Lithuanian way invite families with children to build Gediminas Tower and Trakai Castle.

Open on Sunday (October 4th).

Archaeology Pavillion


Archaeobotany, zooarchaeology and dendrology.

Three laboratories will invite you to work a little and rack your brain! Zooarchaeological material will be presented: bone material will reveal the history of animals ranging from the first animals in our land to the secrets of the nobility’s cuisine. In the archaeobotanical laboratory, the research of the remains of different plants found during archaeological excavations will be presented – you’ll have some work to do! Dendrology – have you ever seen what different types of wood look like under microscope? Come not only to have a look but also to date wood!

Like every year, exhibition visitors will be welcome at the information stand Archaeology in Lithuania: what, where, when, why. Exhibition visitors are invited to participate in the consultations with professionals on archaeological research, identification of its needs, selection of methodology, legal regulation and other information necessary for every project developer or heritage owner/manager. Professionals working at the information stand will do their best to answer different questions posed by visitors, be they scientific and asked out of curiosity. Don’t miss the opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation with researchers!

The workshop is presented by the Society of the Lithuanian Archaeology.


Findings, findings and findings!

This is a workshop intended for familiarisation with and identification of a great variety of archaeological findings. It is a journey in time from the mysterious Stone Age to our belongings lost perhaps yesterday. Several-thousand-year-old old clay pots, which so far have been known to us perfectly well, and other household articles will be on display as well as long-unused, forgotten items displayed only in the museums: jewellery, guns, household articles, interior elements and so on. Let’s learn how to recognise and get to know them!

The workshop is presented by the Society of the Lithuanian Archaeology.


Archaeology in earth, water and air!

This is a workshop where the archaeologist’s daily life is demonstrated. We will destroy the myth that archaeologists dig only the earth. You will have an opportunity to learn not only about the methodology of field archaeological research but also underwater archaeology and other non-destructive methods employed by these professionals. We will excavate, draw, record and measure. Let’s meet!

The workshop is presented by the Society of the Lithuanian Archaeology.

Installations, exhibitions, leisure space

Slide viewing “Projections”

Vilnius analogue photography and film festival presents a slide viewing evening. The festival organizers will invite the audience to remember an old forgotten media – slide projection. Festival visitors will meet a few authors who work on the field of heritage and remembrance, studying changes in our everyday surroundings. There will be a photo exhibition of city landscape from the festival collection. 

Vilnius Analogue Photography and Film Festival first started in 2018. Its aim is to create an opportunity for direct communication between the authors and the audience, and to show possibilities of using old technologies in the line with the modern art strategy. The festival became a traditional event which each year gathers patrons and authors from all over the globe.

“We are living in a dynamic world which is changing at an unpredictable pace, so do not miss a chance to pause our everyday life, as tomorrow it will be history.”

Exhibition “Vilnius Wooden TOP 2020”

The Museum of Wooden Urban Architecture presents a travelling exhibition “Vilnius Wooden TOP 2020” – photos of ten wooden buildings of the capital, selected by the public as the most beautiful. Wood is the first-choice and undoubtedly the most prevalent building material of historical Vilnius. Unfortunately, the areas of wooden architecture in the city have considerably decreased, the view and feeling of the historical wooden city is fading away – that can be in particular felt in historical suburbs, which had been predominated by wooden architecture until recently.

This exhibition is a final stage of the competition of the most beautiful objects of wooden architecture of the historical centre and suburbs of Vilnius. The competition features 50 wooden buildings of Vilnius, either included in the Register of Cultural Valuables or not, as selected by the specialists of the Museum and the Cultural Heritage Centre. The aim of this project is to turn the attention to wooden city buildings in danger of extinction and destruction and present them as an integral part of the cityscape of Vilnius. 


The exhibition is held in implementing the project “Wooden Architecture TOP 10 of the Historical Centre and Suburbs of Vilnius” financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius City Municipality and the Directorate of Vilnius Memorial Museums. Project Partner – the Cultural Heritage Centre.

Exhibition “Passing and Remaining”

A cycle of photographs “Passing and Remaining” is the result of many years of town watching. The photographs contemplate the relationship between the individual and his or her environment, a thin line between transience and eternity. The person transits, the city stays or maybe quite the opposite – the person has multiple encounters with the passing city in his or her life, sees its changing unrecognisable spaces, new layers of the city texture. The title is triggered by a recurring visual motif – the figures passing or standing in the background of the city, merging into the surroundings, replicating the city, transient and eternal.

Photographer Gediminas Bernotas (born in 1989) lives and creates in Vilnius.

“Document the surroundings important for you – the road to work, the yard of your house. Even when it seems that the yard has not changed over 20 years. Print out several pictures, write the date on the other side. When you come across them unexpectedly (photographs are always discovered unexpectedly), you will be surprised how many details, which the memory did not capture, changed”

More photographs from Gediminas Bernotas – and

The invisible side of the painting

A unique project “The Invisible Side of the Painting” was launched in seven museums of Lithuanian regions this year. That was a cycle of exhibitions to present the paintings selected from museums and their examination images carried out by means of ultraviolet and infrared light as well as x-rays.

The project “The Invisible Side of the Painting” introduces visitors of Lithuanian museums to some of the technological examinations used to investigate artwork in Lithuania for several decades already. The capturing of painting images within the range of infrared, ultraviolet and x-rays as well as their combination with the image that can be normally seen allows even an unskilled person to see a large number of differences and take a look at deeper layers of the painting, which cannot be seen with the naked eye and which tell a unique story of the artwork.

Old paintings normally undergo a large number of changes from the moment of their creation to these days – restorations, renewals, re-paintings, format alterations, etc., however, they are most often known only to specialists. That is, nevertheless, an integral part of our heritage and the images as such, captured in different spectrum areas, are interesting visually in their own way. Visitors are invited to feel like researchers and delve into the depths of the invisible history of our cultural heritage.


MB Meno kūrinių tyrimai is an unparalleled mobile examination laboratory, which provides an opportunity to examine an artwork right inside the mobile lab studio or in-situ.

The laboratory uses the so-called non-destructive examination methods, which do not require any intervention with an artwork. Infrared rays, ultraviolet light and x-rays are used for such examinations and allow us to assess the object’s condition, authenticity, identify the materials used. All this provides addition information that is invisible to the naked eye and is highly valuable for the attribution of artworks, disclosure of fakes, and is widely used in restoration practice.

“Compare the painting reproductions in the exhibition with the images of their examination and try to find differences. Try to identify what looks different in the x-ray rendering, UV picture and IR image than seen by simply looking at the painting in the visible light, what differences can you spot? You will certainly discover interesting things!”

Exhibition "Lithuanian heritage on UNESCO lists and registers"

Cultural and natural heritage is a priceless value of every nation and the whole humanity. It is the key element of cultural identity which must be known, preserved and handed over to future generations. Encouragement to learn more about heritage and realise its value has become increasingly more important in the global context because respect for cultural diversity is the main precondition for peaceful coexistence of nations.

By including heritage of different countries onto its lists, UNESCO embeds the principles of peace, culture, solidarity and equivalence in order to improve the perception of the importance of culture and heritage in the global and national contexts.

Lithuania has even eleven UNESCO-recognised properties which are equal to the most famous world heritage. Unique and distinctive qualities of Lithuanian heritage enrich the treasures of global culture and heritage.  Things that are common to Lithuanian heritage, i.e. people’s special cooperation, concord between culture and nature, have been relevant throughout the ages.

Exhibition Lithuanian heritage on UNESCO lists and registers can be visited at the gallery of the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO, Šv. Jono street 11, Fri-Sat at 11 a. m. – 7 p. m., Sun at 11 a. m. – 5 p. m. during the fair Heritas and at usual working time until the end of 2020.

Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO offers the visitors special guided tours to the exhibition:

October 2nd, 2020, 12 o’clock, 15 o’clock

October 3rd, 2020, 12 o’clock, 15 o’clock

October 4th, 2020, 14 o’clock

Registration starts on September 23rd