Bistrampolis manor – it is a part of our countryside historical memory and national culture. The current generation feels a sense of responsibility for continuity of our forefathers’ culture, but the current Lithuanian economical and social relations, allocation of rights and responsibilities does not guarantee the preservation of heritage. Many of the manors aggrieved during the wars waned or were devastated in later times and continues to wane.
The object of Cultural Heritage of Lithuanian Republic, Bistrampolis manor with archaeological, historical and landscape value is located in a very favourable geographical location - 14 km from Panevezys, near Uliunai village, 700 meters from the road Via Baltica.
This manor has already existed since the end of fifteenth century. The manor was owned by Bistramai family since the end of seventeenth century till 1940. The family is related to famous people – their relative Henrikas Senkevicius who collected the material and created a famous polish trilogy: 1. „With Fire and sword“ (1883–1884), 2. „Deluge“ (1884–1886), 3. „Mister Volodyjevsky“ (1887–1888). Therefore the manor is relevant to polish culture and is often visited by polish tourists. Three landlords also being generals took part in the battle of Borodino in the Russian side. So the manor is also related to Russian culture. The pioneer of Lithuanian branch of Bistramai family was Jonas Kazimieras Bistramas – the landlord of King Vladislav IV. His son Jonas Evaldas has acquired a manor in 1695, which was then called Barklainiai and it was started to call Bistrampolis in the second half of eighteenth century.
Bistramai family has owned the manor till 1940. Later the manor was nationalised and neglected. When Lithuania regained its independence the descendants of Bistramai family were offered to take back the manor and rebuild it, but they have rejected the offer.
Built in 1850, the manor house has remained till nowadays. The house is of classical style, rectangular plan and two-storied. The main facade is decorated with a portico of four columns moved to the first floor above the three arches of the porch. The guest rooms were on the ground floor of the manor house and the large hall was on the entire right side of the building. First floor was dedicated for the representation. It had larger or smaller salons, dining room, working room and the library. The landlords had accumulated around 2000 books, a rich family archive and the art collection.
10 other buildings of the manor ensemble have also remained the oldest of which are dated back to 1820. Everything is surrounded by a large park replanted at the beginning of nineteenth century, 3 pools and cemetery.
Panevezys district municipality has transferred the manor to the Cathedral of Christ the King in Panevezys in 1997. New owners did not take care of the manor, the park and the buildings were waning. The manor is fostered, supervised and rebuilt by the Public institution "Youth integration possibilities centre” since 2003. With efforts and resources of the Centre the historical, architectural, polychrome and park studies were made; central manor house reconstruction project was prepared. The road to the manor was asphalted, a parking lot was equipped, pools were cleaned and park was landscaped since 1997. Already traditional Bistrampolis Festival is being held every year in June-August.
The support on amount of 1 809 373 Litas was received from ES structural funds for the manor restoration and its adaptation for the tourism needs in 2006. The restoration of the manor was started in June, 2007. In the very first renovation phase, the central manor palace facades were renovated and the icehouse was restored where the tourism information centre and museum were established; at the former manor power station was also established museum of smugglers of forbidden Lithuanian books whose main attraction is the cross after which the patriarch of smugglers of forbidden Lithuanian books Jurgis Bielinis has died on the 17th of January, 1918. Also the park pavilion and part of the park territory was arranged – planted plants, formed the parterre area of up to 400 square meters, equipped with engineering facilities – outdoor water supply, outdoor drain and clearers, outdoor electrical networks and illumination, outdoor lights installed, the manor gates rebuilt and the parking lots equipped.
In the second phase of the manor renovation in 2008, it was planned to restore the remaining buildings, to equip the central manor palace and set up a sculpture park, remembering the meaningful history of the manor events:
- Rebellion of 1863,
- The fact that the Nobel Prize winner writer Henrikas Sienkievicius (Henryk Sienkiewicz) who has been collecting the material for historical trilogy “Deluge” lived and worked in the manor;
- The period of smugglers of forbidden Lithuanian books.
When this phase has been implemented, the central manor palace, where the restaurant, hotel, conferences’ and events’ halls were established, has opened its door at the end of 2008. The wooden sculptures ensemble documenting the historical events has decorated the park and approaches of the manor in the summer of 2009. This ensemble reminds the tourists passing through of a history and culture of our country.
Another renovation phase of Bistrampolis manor was started at the end of 2008 – it was the project funded by Norwegian financial mechanism - „The restoration of the former stud farm of Bistrampolis manor and its adaption for conferences’ and tourism information needs“. In the middle of 2010, the former stud farm turned into a modern concert-conference hall for up to 400 people and has opened its door for the visitors of Bistrampolis manor. The new hall is versatile, easily adaptable for conferences, seminars and public events. Modern illumination, sound and video equipment are installed here. It is the largest and most modern hall in Panevezys district, unique space that has kept the relicts of the old interior.
The last project funded by EU structural funds was started in July, 2010 – The restoration of wains’ building belonging to Bistrampolis manor complex and its adaption for hotel needs. After the implementation of reconstruction works phase, the economical class hotel and a SPA centre with sauna and Jacuzzi was established in the wains building in the middle of 2011.
Bistrampolis manor is the biggest heritage object in Panevezys district which was conceived to resurrect. Hopefully it will become one of the most attended cultural and tourism objects in the country.