Joint virtual monthly exhibition. September – “The Manor”




From September 2020 the first public activity of the project “Promotion of historical and culture cross border heritage through museums innovations” begins! Preili Museum of History and Applied Arts (Latvia), Grodno State Museum of the History of Religion (Belarus) and Panevezys Local Lore Museum (Lithuania) will offer a joint virtual exhibition every month dedicated to the different topics connected to the common cultural heritage.

In September, we will introduce you to the manor and its heritage.



Preili Museum of History and Applied Arts


Preili Manor

In the 13th century along with the German crusaders, one of the branches of the Borch family arrived to Livonia. Borchs have always been involved in the country's most important political and military events. Preili belonged to the Borch family from 1382 until 1866. The names of the oldest lords of Preiļi manor are unknown. In 1475, Bernd von der Borch, master of the Livonian Order, allocated Preili to his nephew Simon Borch. In 1563, Sigismund II Augustus reaffirmed Preili as the property of Borchs. In 1866 – a few years after the abolition of serfdom – Michael Borch sold Preili manor. After that, there were several owners of the Preili manor.



1. Preili Palace. The postcard from the beginning of the 20th century. Preili Palace represents the architecture of the historicism era and is one of the brightest examples of neo-Gothic in Latvia. The construction of the palace begun during the time of Count Joseph Heinrich von der Borch (17641835), and by 1836 the oldest part of the palace was built. It was rebuilt and expanded by J. H. Borch’s son, the writer and collector Michael Borch (18061881) – the last member of the Borch family who lived in Preili. During the 20th century, various institutions were placed in the palace, including the Preili Agricultural School and the Secondary School. In 1978, the palace was damaged by fire.





2. Fragments of the uniform of Commander of the Order of Malta, belonged to the owner of the Preiļi manor Joseph Heinrich von der Borh (1764–1835). In 1817 Preili owner Joseph Heinrich von der Borch built a chapel with a crypt in the basement for his relatives. In 2007 and 2008 archaeological excavation was undertaken in the crypt and fragments of the uniform of the commander of the Order of Malta were found. The uniform is made of brown velvet fabric and decorated with an anchor motif, embroidered with brocade threads on both sides and decorated with metal buttons and hook fasteners. The cross of the Order of Malta is engraved on the buttons. The uniform is displayed in the exhibition of the Preili Museum of History and Applied Arts.





3. Preili Palace in 2020. Preili Palace is an architectural monument of national significance. Since 2017, renovation works are taking place in Preiļi Palace. After the restoration, it is planned to place the exposition of the Preiļi History and Applied Art Museum in Preiļi Pastle. Photo: Iveta Babre.





Grodno State Museum of the History of Religion

Grodno is considered to be a city of palaces and residences. Since 1673, every third Parlament of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was held in the city, which influenced its development. The magnates erected a large number of palaces here during this period. There were about 60 of them in the 18th century. Among them, there was the palace of the territorial clerk Karol Khreptovich, who was a representative of Grodno ancient magnate family of the Khreptovichy-Litavors of the Odrovonzh coat of arms. However, its creation was facilitated not by political, but by matrimonial history.


1. The Khreptovichy palace. The Khreptovichy palace was first mentioned in the middle of the 18th century. In those days, it was a two-storey stone building with a U-shaped layout, designed in the Baroque style. The original image of the palace has not survived, but there is an architectural plan of the first floor.





2. Book by François Nepveu Christian Reflexions or Thoughts for the Whole Year. It is believed that the palace was built by order and at the expense of Karol before his marriage with a distant relative Anna from another line of the Khreptovichy family. We present the book by François Nepveu “Christian Reflexions or Thoughts for the Whole Year” with a possible autograph of Anna.





3. Khreptovichy Palace. At present, Hrodna State Museum of the History of Religion is located in the Khreptovichy Palace. It is the only museum of this profile in Belarus. There are 2 permanent and various temporary expositions here. The first permanent exhibition is called “Epoch, Time, Building”. It is dedicated to the history of the palace and the life of its owners. The second exposition tells about the peculiarities of religious life on the Belarusian lands from Ancient times to the present day.






Panevėžys Local Lore Museum

Manors began to form in Lithuania in the XIV-th century and were significantly meaningful until land reform in 1922. For centuries manors have been the centers of the country's economic, political and cultural life. Their extinction began after the abolition of the slavery in 1861. Particularly much damage has been done in the 1940s, the first year of Soviet occupation: nationalization, looted or destroyed art treasures, libraries, archives, deportation of landowners to Siberia. During the Soviet era, schools, libraries, boarding houses, centers of collective farms and Soviet farms or their subdivisions were established in the empty manors, as well as the accommodation of the newcomers. At the end of the XX-th and the beginning of the XXI-st century indifferent fates and new trails awaited for mansions. Nowadays, in the Panevėžys region, Burbiškis, Bistrampolis and Puziniškis restored manors are attracting and delighting more and more people by their uniqueness and upcoming events. The manors of Naudvaris, Raguvėlė and Palėvenė are being managed and maintained. However, not all manors were so lucky, a particularly sad view emerges when visiting the former homesteads of Nevėžininkai, Staniūnai, Alantės, Mitriūnai, Memenčiai, Aukštadvaris, Ūdrai, Daniliškis and other manors.


1. Naudvaris manor. 1929s photo from Panevėžys G. Petkevičaitė-Bitė funds. At the end of the XVIII-th century the manor belonged to the famous family of Kerbedžiai. In this mansion Stanislovas Kerbedis was born, prominent engineer and designer of bridges and hydraulic equipment. Since 1933 Valerijonas Straševičius (1885–1968), a naturalist and pedagogue, lived in this manor and collected a large collection of insects from around the world. During 1940 the manor was nationalized by the Soviet authorities, and V. Straševičius family was deported to Siberia. And so, the unique collection of the insects has made its way to the Panevėžys Local Lore Museum, where now it is exhibited.





2. Writing desk and chair from Kerbedžiai manor in Naudvaris. 2016s photographed by T. Stasevičius. The end of the XIX-th century and the beginning of the XX-th century the furniture was decorated with wood inlays of the coat of arms of the nobility Kerbedžiai. Photo was taken in the exhibition of Panevėžys Local Lore Museum “Opening the manor gates”.





3. Naudvaris manor. Panevėžys district, Naujamiestis eldership. 2010s photo taken by T. Stasevičius. During the Soviet era, the collective farm office was established in the manor. Since 1982 primary school was founded in the manor and other buildings belonged to the residents. The buildings of the manor are currently belonging to the municipality of Panevėžys district.





This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Preili County council, Panevėžys Local Lore Museum and Grodno State Museum of the History of Religion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.


About the project ENI-LLB-1-244 “Promotion of historical and culture cross border through museums innovations”:

The project aims to build a cross border cooperation platform creating preconditions for ensuring the increasing interest of tourists and visitors about the cultural and historical heritage in the border area of Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus.

This project is funded by the European Union

Project budget: 367 864.64 EUR, EU funding 331 078.17 EUR

Project implementation period: 1st of June 2020 – 31st of May 2022

European Neighbourhood Instrument Cross-border Cooperation Programme Latvia-LithuaniaBelarus 20142020




Information prepared by:

Preili Museum of History and Applied Arts:

Grodno State Museum of the History of Religion:

Panevėžys Local Lore Museum: