If you’re exploring the region of Anyksciai and the Anyksciai Regional Park in Lithuania, you can’t miss a visit to Burbiskis Manor. It makes a lovely stop on your way to the Treetop Walkway or to visit one of the lakes in the region. This elegant, 19th-century building preserves the character of a former time—and you can even grab lunch there or, if you like, sleep over in one of its hotel rooms.
History of Burbiskis Manor
The manor estate rose to prominence in the 18th century, when it was taken over by the Venclovavičius noble family and included the village of Burbiskis as well as other small villages in the region. It was during the middle of the 19th century, however, that the manor house got its current Neoclassical appearance, with its clean lines and symmetry. In the 1930s, the house and the surrounding land were sold to a farmer, and then to a Jesuit priest who established a school and a church there, until it was nationalized by the Soviet regime.
With nationalization came a different era for Burbiskis Manor. Like similar grand buildings from Lithuanian and Baltic history, the Soviet government found many different uses for such real estate. Burbiskis Manor, in the following years, housed a school, a workshop, and storage for crops. As is often the case with such buildings that are put to use for which they were not intended (Rundale Palace in Latvia is another good example!), the years took their toll and the buildings no longer reflected their former glory.
It was only after independence that Burbiskis Manor was able to be renovated with the help of EU funds that protect and preserve historic and cultural heritage. Using the mid-19th century look of the manor as a model, experts in historical restoration saved what they could and replicated or replaced with equivalents what they could not. The result is a lovely building of two floors and an attic with creaky stairs, windows overlooking gardens, romantic balconies, heavily carved bedsteads, walls hung with portraits of forgotten ladies, hunting trophies—and the random cat, exuding zen, sleeping on a velvet cushion.
Tour of Burbiskis Manor
We went on a sunny day in early autumn and the fragrant pink roses in the front garden were still in bloom. From the outside, you wouldn’t be able to tell that you could visit the manor proper. It’s clear a restaurant operates inside from the menu card by the door, and informational placards tell about the historic significance of the manor, but we weren’t sure we could visit until we entered the lobby, presumably the former entry hall. We paid 3 euros to explore without a guide.
The first floor of Burbiskis Manor is taken up by two dining halls, a study, a sitting room, smoking room, schoolroom, and the main restaurant area. The blue dining hall has an Asian theme with screens and porcelain figurines and vases, while the second dining hall is larger and more suitable for receptions. The study contains a model ship and bookcases, and the sitting room has a romantic, almost Rococo feel with its fanciful wallpaper and scrollwork furniture. The smoking room is stereotypically masculine: hunting trophies leer from the walls as do artworks of questionable taste, but a humidor and other cigar-related accessories also grace the room, which has two smaller rooms off of it offering the luxury of escape.
The schoolroom is the only room in Burbiskis Manor that reflects the manor’s use during the Soviet era. Images of Lenin, desks in tidy rows, and a map with Cyrillic labeling are characteristic of this room. With such history so recent, the children who attended classes here may still be alive as adults in the Anyksciai Region or elsewhere, and this room keeps that era alive almost more realistically than the rest of the house that tries to recapture the 19th century.
Upstairs are bedrooms, the largest suites with balconies and the smaller bedrooms formerly children’s rooms in appearance and furnishings. Wooden beams, heavy furniture, tasseled lamps, doilies, and woven rugs reproduce an older time. Bathrooms are modern, but some have clawfoot tubs to mimic the style of the past.
If you’re staying the manor house, you have the choice of 12 rooms in the main building and a further four rooms in the former servants’ quarters in a separate building.
Tips for Visiting Burbiskis Manor in the Anyksciai Region
If you input the address of Burbiskis Manor into your map app or GPS, make sure to choose the one on Parko g. in Anyksciai Region/Burbiskis village. Lithuania has two other manor houses that may be referred to similarly—one in the Raseinai district and one in the Raviliskis district.
While not essential, it’s nice to go when the weather is pleasant because the grounds allow for strolling and enjoying.
The manor house keeps cats, so if you’re allergic, either come prepared or stay away.
Make your trip to Burbiskis Manor one stop on your itinerary to see the observation towers, explore Labyrinth Park, or hike in the beautiful Anyksciai Regional Park.