The Conservation History, Problems and the Rehabilitation of Lithuanian Medieval Castles
By Edita Povilaitytė
Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 225, 2016
Introduction: The history of the conservation and rehabilitation of the medieval castles within the current territory of Lithuania is very diverse and complex.
Already in the 19th century, when Lithuania was occupied by the Russian Empire, some of the defensive sites (castles, forts, walls, etc.) were documented (including their descriptions and measurements) and some heritage preservation works were implemented. Under the law and orders of the Tsarist Russian Empire, the medieval castles, were partially preserved / conserved, abandoned or even destroyed. The research on the medieval castles intensified around 1900 as the result of the changing approach to the heritage objects, but scientific works became more widespread and impactful only after the First World War, when Lithuania regained its independence even though Vilnius and its surrounding were soon occupied by Poland.
After the Second World War and occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, the medieval castles began to be reconstructed / restored and these works were mostly based on the stylistic restoration principles. And today it is important to revise conservation and recovery practices of the medieval castles and assess both the positive and negative aspects of the historic works so that the past mistakes can be avoided.