HISTORY



Jadwiga and Jozef Tyszkiewicz with children in Užutrakis Park c. 1910



Užutrakis Manor Estate

Užutrakis manor ensemble was created in 1897-1902 by count Józef Tyszkiewicz and his wife duchess Jadwiga Swiętopułk-Czetwertyńska. The Tyszkiewicz family owned Užutrakis manor until the beginning of World War II in 1939. When the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania in 1940, Užutrakis manor was nationalized. After the war the manor became a sanatorium for soviet security officers. Later a Pioneer camp, a rest home and a national tourism company worked there. In 1995 Užutrakis manor was entrusted to Trakai Historical National Park Management.



Užutrakis palace from the Lake Galve with the terrace and pavillions, c. 1910



The author of Užutrakis Park is the French landscape architect and botanist E. F. André (1840-1911). This world-known artist also designed parks of Palanga, Lentvaris and Trakų Vokė manors. Mixed style Užutrakis Park, formed on a peninsula between Galvė and Skaistis lakes, was planned as a water park. Over 20 ponds, connecting with each other and with lakes of Trakai, were arranged in Užutrakis. As the level of lakes dropped during the century, the ponds in the central part of the park ran dry. Some of the ponds were destroyed during the soviet period by filling them up with soil. Only one pond, connected to Lake Galvė by a canal, survived. On the shores of this canal artificial cliffs are formed. The pond used to separate the representational part of the manor from the economical. The road that goes to the palace was called "The Potato Road" and was mostly used for economic purposes. The owners of Užutrakis and their guests used to reach the palace by water, not by land.

                   
   E. F. André (1840-1911) - author of                         J. Huss (1846-1904) - architect of the
  Užutrakis, 
Lentvaris, Trakų Vokė and                             Tyszkiewicz palace in Užutrakis
   Palanga parks of Tyszkiewicz family                       

 



Palace And The Big Parterre


Historicistic style Užutrakis palace was built in 1896-1902 following a project by a famous architect of Warsaw - J. Huss (1846-1904). By the palace E. F. André designed two regular parterres with flowers, paths, marble sculptures, busts and vases.


In front of the eastern facade of the palace an oval-shaped grand parterre with two parallel paths in the middle was arranged. Along them two rows of high vases were set up and linden alleys planted. In the front part of the parterre flower carpets in a shape of armorial lilies were designed. A copy of sculpture „Marie-Adelaide of Savoy, duchess of Burgundy, as Diane" by a famous 18th century French sculptor A. Coysevox was placed among the flowers in the end part of the parterre. Copies of the same author‘s sculptures of roman flower goddess Flora and tree nymph Hamadryade decorated the flanks of the parterre.



The big (Eastern) parterre before 1913


Most of the sculptures, busts and vases have been destroyed or stolen. During 2004-2008 the vases of the eastern parterre and sculptures of Diane and Flora were recreated. Also, various species of old garden roses were planted in the park.


Very little historic knowledge is left about the territory north of the palace because it was severely deformed when after World War II a large masonry building was built there. It is supposed that part of this building is standing on the foundation of the old kitchen.


The Small Parterre And Lake Terrace


The small parterre that is ended by a balustrade with a long bench and vases is the most gorgeous part of the palace surroundings that survived till nowadays. In the middle of the parterre a sculpture of roman god Bacchus, surrounded by lindens, used to stand. The cross-shaped flower carpets were decorated with vases. In the eastern side of the parterre four busts of the Bacchantes and Satyrs (copies of French baroque sculptures) and a vase in a shape of a roman bath were arranged. After a while the structure of the parterre was changed. During World War I the sculpture of Bacchus went missing. Vases and busts were stolen or destroyed during the soviet period. Now busts and vases, recreated in 2005-2006, decorate the parterre.


West of the palace lies the lake terrace with a balustrade. It is set up on a support wall made of stone and red bricks. In the beginning of the 20th century the terrace used to hold two pavilions that repeated the architecture of the palace.


A view of Trakai town and romantic ruins of the Island Castle used to open from the terrace. The pavilions were demolished before World War I. After that the terrace was decorated with vases. As time passed, the ruined or stolen vases were recreated in 2005.


The Park


Representational parterres are surrounded by a landscape style park. There are ponds, a comfortable net of pathways, and groups of artificial cliffs that create an impression of a mountain landscape. Today, alongside with 38 local tree and shrub species, 54 foreign species and forms, introduced by E. F. André, flourish in Užutrakis Park. The park‘s grass flora is also very diverse. In the 80 ha park there are 400 species of vascular plants, 8 of them are inscribed in the Red List of Lithuania. The flora of Užutrakis Park is special because here very well-known plants, rare preserved ones and plants of Western Europe's forests grow side by side, forming unique communities that can only be seen in parks.


Counts Tyszkiewicz reached Užutrakis from Varnikai village by a raft, crossing the isthmus between Galvė and Skaistis lakes. On the cape of the peninsula, in a small house, a rafter used to be on duty. The path that goes from the palace to the rafter's house was called "The Alley of Dukes". The rafter's house and the dock were seen from the round arbor on a nearby hill. On an adjacent hill, among small ponds, the sculpture of Virgin Mary with Child used to stand. The sculpture was stolen during the soviet period and in 2007 its copy was restored on the extant original base. Almost in the midway between the palace and the rafter's house a large massif of artificial hills with a grotto was set up. Its reflection could be seen in a pond across the path.



Children of the Tyszkiewicz family by the sculpture of Virgin Mary with Child in Užutrakis Park, c. 1910

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