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Presenting the symbols of the state - about the freedom battles of the Baltic States in 1918-1940

The exhibition features symbols of the statehood and patriotism of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – state awards: orders, medals and order chains. This exhibition seeks to not only present historically and aesthetically valuable awards – it also encompasses a broader historic context, using state symbols as a thread weaving the fabric of the present-day situation. The exposition of important symbols from each Baltic state also presents the eminent historic figures who received them – the founders of the Baltic States and defenders of their freedom, and their biographies. In this way we reveal the development of the history of Lithuania’s, Latvia’s and Estonia’s statehood, the particularities of interwar diplomacy, and changes to the international situation in Europe. Thus, this exhibition presents not only an exclusive opportunity to see impressive and unique state awards of the Baltic States in one location – original Presidential Chains of the Latvian and Estonian heads of state, the Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain, and other famous European politicians’ decorations of merit and honour – but to also learn of the stories behind them.
The valuable phaleristic collection on display in the exhibition, the largest of its kind in the region, has been formed by the collector Vilius Kavaliauskas since 1965; he is an honorary member of the Board of the National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania who has assisted in enriching the Museum’s collections and provided very valuable consultations. The collector has studied the awards presented at this exhibition for many years, compiling specialised publications about them and arranging exhibitions in many European countries, including Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, and elsewhere. Kavaliauskas has actualised the significance of such awards as symbols, accumulating valuable iconographic material in the process – photographs and documents. This exhibition is the largest ever presentation of this collection not just in Lithuania, but in other countries as well, many of the unique exhibits will be on display to the public for the first time.
Exhibition is opened until the 26th of May. 

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During Easter the museum will be closed!


Dear visitors,
If you are planning to visit the Palace of the Grand Dukes, please note that on Easter (March 31st – April 1st) the museum will be closed. More information about working hours and ticket prices you can find here. 

This year on the 10th of April in the National museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania preparations for the state representative event will take place. Therefore, on this day, visitors will not be able to enter some of the rooms on the ground floor of Route I, while the exhibition of the restored historical interiors on Route II will offer the exhibition of Giovanni Bellini's painting "Madonna and Child", the Baroque Ruler's Library, and the Ruler's private apartments and the Treasury. To add, You won't be able to visit the Observation Tower either. Routes III and IV and their exhibitions will be accessible as normal.

The Museum will be closed on the 11th of April for a state representation event.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Have a wonderful spring and see you at the Museum!

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Published:: 2024-02-14 14:30 Modified: 2024-03-07 14:32
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