Lentvaris Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The neo-Romanesque architecture in Lithuania mostly followed the Germanic tradition. One of the exceptions is Lentvaris Church which follows the forms of the ancient Romanesque sanctums of Italy. It is no coincidence that the church has been designed under the commission of the Counts Tiškevičiai by the architect of this country, Orsiono Bongi, who has been requested to design according to the architecture typical of the old Lombardy churches. Although the original idea of the building is well visible in its forms even today, various misfortunes led to the project being simplified during the lengthy constructions (1906-1926). This was particularly evident inside the sanctum. And yet, Lentvaris is proud today to have a really interesting building in the national context.

A high, proportionate three-section tower is leaning on the back end of the basilica area of the church, and the central nave axis is completed by a pentagonal apse. Rounded windows, round small windows, and arcatures of Romanesque forms dominate in all major areas – main, tower and apse. At the top of the tower as well as in the apse we can see a motif of the window of three segments which was common in the Romanesque era. The façades are cut through vertically by lisenas which, on the sides and at the back, are supported by elementary single-tier buttresses. The portals of the sanctum as well as the part of the main façade surrounding them are made of blocks of ashlar. Although the interior design of the church in terms of decor and equipment was not realised as it was originally conceived, the pure architectural forms suggest us Romanesque. The interesting fact is that the interior of the church was decorated by Jerzy Hoppen in 1942-1943, almost as at the same time in Perloja.


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