On Friday, September 26th Trakai Island castle has held a festiv event in its Great Hall dedicated to the most famous Lithuanian ruler Vytautas the Great. During the event a chapel was opened in the highest tower of the castle. It is beleived that the chapel was established here by Vytautas. A space was restaured and painted by professional Lithuanian artists.
The Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas died in the age of 80, while waiting to be crowned a king and for an official crown to arrive. The date of his death was the early morning of 1430, October the 27th. Therefore the commemoration of his death is held on the 26 of of October.
During the Middle Ages it was common for a European ruler to establish a chapel in the highest tower of a castle. The tradition of the chapels establishment has started wth the reign of carolingian dinasty in France.
Presumptive space of a historic chapel of a Grand Duke
Cosy and relatively small space in the highest tower of the casle is considered to be Grand Dukes chapel because of the remains of fresco paintings and star vaults on the ceiling. The walls, windows, floors and ceiling star vaults were restaured according to the most typical samples of Middle Ages chapels in Europe.
In the place of a presumtive alter poliptic “Pieta, painted by renowed Lithuanian painter Giedrius Kazimierėnas will be exposed. The composition of paintings of different sizes was painted on wooden panels and framed in sumptuous frame.
For the Altar composition a dramatic topic was chosen. It is because Grand Duke Vytautas was also a dramatic figure in Lithuania history. He was regarded even as an emperor in European monarchies of that time, but he died without being crowned a king, while his crown being transported o the way to him.
According to the words of director of Trakai Historical museum, the small chapel space could be visited in the limited number of people with registered visit, with a guide and on the agreed time. There is also a narrow spiral stars leading upwards to the chapel which do not permit high quantity of tourists in one time.
There are also plans to restore the rooftop of the highest tower of Trakai Island castle and allow for people to climb onto it and to see the beautiful views of the lake Galve and Trakai city from the higest poit in the city.
Vytautas the Grand was born in a village of Old Trakai around 1350. In the Island of Trakai he ordered a construction of a castle of a Middle ages standart. He resided here, sent letters, met foreign representatives, created plans of a state importance. During his reign the city of Trakai flourished.
Information on the visit to the Trakai Island castle and the newly opened Grand Duke chapel could be found on official site of Trakai Historical Museum: trakaimuziejus.lt/en