The Church of St. Ignatius and the Jesuit Noviciate

Aleksandras Pleskačiauskas. Vilnius Church of St Ignatius of Loyola. 1970s-1980s. M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum

When you walk along Šv. Ignoto Street, your eyes first turn to the giant anchors near the Church of St. Ignatius. They were placed here for a reason; an anchor is a symbol of hope. Today the Church of St. Ignatius is the main church of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the buildings of the noviciate, constructed in the early 17th century, belonged to the library of the General Jonas Žemaitis of the Military Academy of Lithuania.

Becoming a monk was no easy task – they had to study for two years to become ordinands, and this was only the first step. In fact, the road of development for a Jesuit monk lasted as many as 17 years. Next to the monastery, there would be a library with a collection of almost 3,000 books. The monks were not only contemplating heavenly graces, but also actively worked. The monastery premises contained a brewery and a pharmacy, and there was a big farm nearby and craft workshops renowned for high quality articles. Unfortunately, in the 18th century, numerous disasters befell the noviciate and the buildings were ultimately sold to the army and used as barracks until the early 20th century. Nevertheless, the building has preserved its special architecture to this day.

In the courtyard of the library, you will immediately notice the impressive arches. The only one Renaissance defensive wall with loopholes, and the façade of a one-storey gothic house from the street side. If you look inside, you will see a refectory and preserved decorations, and the present-day reading room has breath-taking fragments of paintings.

Šv. Ignoto 6
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