Complex of Ignas Oginskis’ Palace Buildings

The Oginskiai Palace, which accounts for the biggest part of a large block in Vilnius Old Town, was shaped into the sight we see today back in the 18th century. These are the two buildings located on the evolvents of Arklių and Rūdninkų Streets. A third building was added to the back yard during the first half of the 19th century, which nowadays forms the rear edge of both courtyards: once it was built, it was incorporated into a very large courtyard. The Palace built on Arklių Street in the beginning of the 18th century was shaped into the current edifice back in 1768: the classicistic façade we see today was designed by Architect Jonas Hautingas. Residencies designed in cities were much more dependent on the existing street network and the nearby buildings. Here the classicistic symmetry of the Palace was a contrast to the façade curved along the position of the street. We can see a rather characteristic architectural layout of a city palace: the windows on the first floor are bigger and highlighted by massive cornices, while the middle part of the façade is expanded. Another characteristic and the most decorative feature are the triangular cornices of the first floor. We can also see an ornamented frieze band under the triangular pediment embedded in the massive architrave.

Thanks to the initiative shown by Ignas Oginskis in 1768-1771, the buildings near Rūdninkų Street were joined and expanded into a single palace building. It is believed that the edifice was designed by Tomas Ruselis, who nowadays is mostly remembered as the author of the Baroque Šumskas Church. Baroque also manifests on the façades of Oginskis’ Palace merging with the classicistic shapes. The façades are divided by vertical planes separated on each floor by curved corners complementing the small planes arranged under the windows, which are decorated in the same manner. All these elements are highlighted by using a different colour. The deepened central part of the building with an equipped entrance to the courtyard is highlighted by rounded corners surrounded by beams, which are joined by a broken-shape entablature at the top. There are some interesting elements of the edifice hidden from the eyes of passers-by, including the arcade on the ground floor of the courtyard façade and the classicistic vaults inside.