Memorial benches for great figures

Traveling along this route, you will visit and be able to immortalize yourself with deserving people: Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Karolis Dineika, Jacques Lipchitz, Ignacy Fonberg and others. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the history and legacy of these outstanding personalities and to travel around Dzūkija.

Object no. 1 Memorial bench for Karolis Dineika

Karolis Dineika – therapeutic physical education specialist, teacher, scientist, creator of the first basketball rules, nurtured a wellness park in Druskininkai for 28 years of his life, paying particular attention to air, sun, and water treatment. His treatment and healing methods are relevant to this day. A memorial bench was built in K. Dineika’s health park.

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Object no. 2 Memorial bench for Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911) is a composer and artist who left the most prominent mark in Lithuanian culture, a unique creator in the history of European art.

The artist was born in Varėna, in the family of an organist. When he was just two years old, the family moved to Druskininkai. This is where his love for Lithuanian song and the nature of Druskininkai was formed, and his musical talent was also revealed very early. His most inspired music and paintings were born here.

M. K. Čiurlionis can be compared to the Renaissance masters in terms of the versatility of his creative pursuits. During his career of just ten years, he created about four hundred pieces of music, including two large symphonic poems, an overture, a cantata for choir and orchestra, two sonatas and several cycles of variations for piano, a string quartet, works for choir and many piano opuses. At the same time, during his career as a painter, which lasted only six years, Čiurlionis painted more than three hundred paintings, created a number of graphic works, in addition, he left works of literature and poetry, expressed himself in journalism, and experimented in artistic photography.

Among his most famous musical works are the symphonic poems “Miške” and “Jūra”, among his paintings the most famous are “The Tale (The Tale of the Kings)” (1909), “Rex” (1909), “Sonata No. 5 (Sea Sonata)” (1908), cycle of 12 signs of the zodiac (1907).

Druskininkai is the city of Čiurlionis, and the coast of Druskonis was chosen for the memorial bench not by chance – M.K. Čiurlionis admired the nature of Druskininkai, lived and created here.

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Object no. 3 Memorial bench for Donatas Banionis

A bright memorial sculpture of theater and film actor Donatas Banionis next to “Grand SPA Lietuva”, on a bench with a book in hand, next to a standing crane, seems to invite all the vacationers of the resort to sit down and rest.

“I was given such a great honor, that people would come from all over the world to see me. Everyone knows me more or less from movies. And today we are sitting here with my deputy”, said D. Banionis with his characteristic sense of humor when unveiling the sculpture in 2010. Its construction was initiated by the honorary citizen of Druskininkai, Bronislovas Lubys, who was a big fan of Banionis’ talent.

Sense of humor – this characteristic of D. Banionis was also remembered by Mindaugas Junčius, the author of the sculpture. Since there is a monument to Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis near this sculpture, Donatas Banionis joked that the sculpture of Arvydas Sabonis is still missing, and “that’s it, all of Lithuania will be here”.

Actor Donatas Banionis had a special connection with Druskininkai, where Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, one of the most prominent Lithuanian artists, lived and worked. in 1975 together with the director Robertas Verba, he made a documentary film about this famous composer and artist. The actor toured a lot and rested at the resort.

Perhaps the most vivid line of the film “I will imagine the world as a big symphony…” are the unique shots in which the sculpture of Vladas Vildžiūnas, dedicated to Čiurlionis, is being transported to Druskininkai. The film can be seen here.

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Object no. 4 Memorial bench for the Polish community

Druskininkai is the oldest operating resort, founded in 1794 by order of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Stanisław August Poniatowski. The territory of the current city has been inhabited since ancient times, and 3 communities lived and developed within its borders, namely residents of Polish, Jewish and Lithuanian origin. In 1863, rebel groups operated in the vicinity of Druskininkai. During the interwar period, Druskininkai belonged to Poland (1920-1939). During that period, the resort was especially popularized by Józef Piłsudski, who spent a large part of his summer vacations here. Famous people lived in Druskininkai, such as Lithuanian painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, Karolis Dineika, founder of Druskininkai Physical Culture and Climatic Therapy Park, and famous doctor Ignacy Fonberg.

On the occasion of the 230th anniversary, the city of Druskininkai decorated the resort spaces with 4 benches-sculptures, created by the famous Lithuanian sculptor Romualdas Inčirauskas, in honor of these personalities.

Druskininkai Rotary Club “Sūrutis” has created another bench-sculpture dedicated to the Polish community in Druskininkai. These are famous people who lived here, created and contributed to the fame of the resort, such as the Polish writer Eliza Orzeszkowa, the poet Jan Czeczot, the writer Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski and the well-known historical figure Józef Piłsudski, an honorary citizen of Druskininkai during the interwar period. On the bench, the sculpture depicts the year 1863 and the emblem of the uprising, which symbolizes the unity of three nations (Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian) in the fight against the threat of Tsarist Russia, which is still relevant today. Józef Piłsudski beautiful thoughts about the city of Druskininkai are also framed on the bench. He loved Druskininkai and wrote in his memoirs – “Druskininkai were the surprise of the Creator’s thoughts in peace when he smiled.” The bench was built in a very beautiful place, on the bank of the Nemunas river, the former place of Józef Piłsudski summer residence.

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Object no. 5 Memorial bench for Jacques Lipchitz

Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973) is a sculptor of Lithuanian Jewish origin, a prominent representative of cubism, who lived and worked in France, the USA, Israel and Italy.

Jacques Lipchitz was born in Druskininkai in 1891.

He studied at the local Jewish school, later at Białystok Commercial School and Vilnius Gymnasium. 1906-1909 studied engineering. He focused on art studies at the Vilnius Drawing School. In 1909 went to study art in Paris.

In 1911-1912, in Jacques Lipchitz had not yet come close to Cubism, but already in 1913-1914 there were noticeable creative innovations, efforts to understand and absorb the manifestations of Cubist stylistics. In 1915, Lipchitz entered the ranks of the true cubists, along with art luminaries such as Picasso, Braques, Gris, Leger and Laurens.

The years 1915-1930 were the most prominent, corresponding to the principles of cubism expression Jacques Lipchitz creative period, and since 1930, a creative and stylistic break can be seen in his works. The sculptor no longer divides his sculptures into strict, geometrized planes, they become sleeker, rounder, more plastic, the silhouette line begins to meander, as if pulsating.

Jacques Lipchitz died in 1973 in Capri, Italy. After his death, his remains were moved and buried in Jerusalem.

The bench for Jacques Lipchitz was built in Druskininkai, next to the Jewish Museum named after him.

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Object no. 6 Memorial bench for Ignacy Fonberg

Ignacy Fonberg (1801-1891) – Vilnius University professor, chemist, who studied Druskininkai mineral water.

In 1821 Fonberg started working at Vilnius University as an assistant to Andriaus Sniadeckis in the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy. In 1825 he became a master of philosophy, in 1829 became a professor of the Department of Chemistry.

In 1830 he conducted research on Druskininkai mineral waters.

It was I. Fonberg’s research into the chemical composition of the mineral water of the Druskininkai springs that was a major impetus for the development of spa treatment in Druskininkai.

I. Fonberg not only studied mineral water, but also prepared a report about it, which in 1835 read at the Vilnius Academy of Medicine and Surgery and, after expanding it, published it in the same year.

On the initiative of I. Fonberg, Druskininkai health resort project was prepared.

I. Fonberg never lived in Druskininkai, but his works are particularly significant for the Druskininkai even today. The research of Druskininkai mineral waters carried out by the scientist was a great impetus for the development of spa treatment in Druskininkai. That is why the memorial bench was built in Gydykla (health resort) park, near the mineral water bivouette.

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