Villa at Liepų str. 12/The Clock Museum

Klaipėda began to expand rapidly on the right bank of the river Dangė in the 19th century. Residences of wealthy merchants of the land emerged here as well – one of such was built in the third decade by Johan Simpson, a representative of the former quite large English community in the city. The name of the architect disappeared throughout history; however, it is believed that it was the owner’s fellow countryman who designed the luxurious villa. The owners have changed multiple times. The representativeness of the building did not go unnoticed by the Lithuanian officials of the interwar period as well: the local branch of the Land Bank was established in the building bought in 1931. The building was turned into the pioneer palace during the Soviet period, and the building acquired a much less engaging cultural function in the ninth decade: the Clock Museum has been established there.

Typical symmetric neo-Classicist composition of the main façade is completed using quite a number of embossed decoration elements. And yet the most iconic part here is the central avant-corps. Four Doric pilasters and the entablature supported by them form the portal. The composition turns into a little bit more detached part of the second floor, formed by four Corinthian pilasters supporting the triangular pediment. Two remaining sculptures are integrated between those pilasters on their sides. There are very few sculptural compositions of the 19th c. remaining in Klaipėda to this day. The back façade is much more modest, containing a semi-circular avant-corps. Since the building is arranged on a slight slope, the plinth here is much higher: the first floor of the avant-corps is surrounded by the terrace encircled by balustrade and the stairs widening towards the garden.

The majority of the buildings of Klaipėda were greatly damaged by the war as well as in the post-war period; therefore, once inside, the visitor is pleasantly surprised by the abundance of remaining authentic interior elements. The stairs and their fences, door architraves, moulding ceiling décor and even the major part of the parquet flooring are restored elements filled with the spirit of the old Memel.


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