St. John the Baptist church

The buildings of the St. John's the Baptist Church are the main attraction of the Old Town of Plungė, creating a great added value to the city and the district. The church is neoromanic, the plan is of the Latin cross style, and it has two towers. The predecessor of the current church was a wooden church of St. John the Baptist that was built in 1797. Since 1899 there were efforts made to start the construction of the new, current church.
The construction of the church took time because it was tiring and difficult. Notwithstanding the help of the funds and construction materials donated by the estate and parishioners, the works stopped, since due to early illness the founder Duke M. Oginskis died in 1902. His widow Marija refused to continue supporting the construction of the church, and in 1914, The First World War began. The inhabitants of Plungė were impoverished by the war. The parish did not manage to finance a construction of such a huge church, thus the project was changed: the previously prepared bases got narrower. It was necessary to abandon the idea of impressive and ornate towers, thus the appearance of the present church was undermined.

The construction works were completed only after 28 years. The current stone church was built from 1902 to 1933 according to the project of engineer Steponas Stulginskis (after re-drafting Karl Strandman's original project). By 1915, the walls were bricked up to the windows, and then the construction continued only from 1928. The church was baptized only in 1933 by Telšiai Bishop J. Staugaitis. In 1863, the priest Apolinaras Kulakauskas read the reprisal of the rebels in Plungė's church, therefor he was punished 100 rubles for that and was moved to Saločiai.
Now the church together with the bell tower belongs to St. John the Baptist Church building complex. The bell tower is attached to the churchyard fence and is an integral part of it. Good proportions and strict forms of the bell tower diversifies the architectural expression of the complex and is one of the most valuable buildings of this classical style in Plungė's County. This bell tower was built in 1850 by the Count P. Zubov. The bell tower had 3 bells, one of which remains to this day. It broke down in 1812 due to fire, so does not chime. The other two were taken by German soldiers during the First World War.

 

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