Market Hall

Even though Vaclovas Michnevičius is mostly known as the “regular” church architect in the history of the Lithuanian architecture, he designed several interesting secular buildings as well. One of the most significant and unique pieces of his creative work was the new Vilnius Market Hall built in 1906 on the former so-called Grain Market reflecting the drive for modernization of market places, which was notable in Europe at the turn of the 19th century and the 20th century. Despite that the architectural expression of the building is rather laconic, the architect used some minor eclectic decorations in addition to the material décor attributed to the “brick style”.

The edifice was the first building of this type in the part of Lithuania governed by the Tsarist Empire, which is also significant in terms of the innovative structural solutions. The structure of metal trusses designed by Company “Lilpop, Rau i Loewenstein” in Warsaw and manufactured by the local workshop run by engineer Petras Vileišis was the second case when similar elements were used for constructions in the city. The truss pillars divide the interior space of the building into twelve equal-sized parts.

The building is of a basilica type, it consist of a higher middle part and lower side parts. The space between them is used for the solid horizontal window, which is a part of the solution applied for lighting of the central part along with the two skylights. The main focus point of the rear façade is the three-piece massive arched windows divided into small segments. The massive stairs were built at the main façade because the Market was built on an uneven terrain. The side façades include rectangular windows arranged in groups of three windows separated by pilasters.