Address: Vytauto Str. 17, LT-00101, Palanga,
Tel.: (+370 460) 53501, (+370 460) 51319, E-mail gintaro.muziejus[at]takas.lt
RENEWED PERMANENT EXHIBITION OF AMBER AND HITORIC
PALANGA AMBER MUSEUM
interior, Photograph by Andrius Valužis
exhibition. Photograph by Andrius Valužis
Palanga Amber Museum is a
subdivision of the Lithuanian Art Museum. It was
established on August 3, 1963 in the former mansion of
count Feliksas Tiškevičius (1870-1932). The mansion was
designed by the German architect Franz Schwechten
(18401924) and was built in 1897. It is surrounded by a
park of 101,3 ha, which was designed in 1897 by the
well-known French landscape architect Eduard Francois
Andre (1840 1911).
In recent years the museum has been attempting to expand
its functions. Not only amber attracts visitors here,
but also a variety of cultural events. The outstanding
Lithuanian artists perform concerts in the Fireplace
Chamber. For more than thirty years a series of concerts
called Midnight Serenades have taken place on the
terrace of the mansion.
The Amber Museum has been visited by more than 8 million
people from all over the world.
On the 13th of May, 2011 a new exposition of amber was
opened. The exposition was designed by the director of
the Lithuanian Art Museum Romualdas Budrys. His
conuslatnt were Dr Vladas Katinas and Dr Sigitas
On the ground floor of the manor an exposition of the
historical interiors is opened. There one can admire
furniture and works of applied art from 18th to 20th
Amber is being presented in renovated halls in new glass
showcases designed particularly to this new amber
exposition. One can see approximately 5 000 exhibits
presenting the amber from different angles both of
natural sciences and cultural history.
exhibition. Photograph by Andrius Valužis
Known in many parts of the world, amber is nowhere else
so deeply rooted into everyday life, folklore and art as
in Lithuania. One of the finest legends, a poetic love
story about the sea-goddess Jūratė and a fisherman
Kastytis, originates in the land of the Baltic tribes.
This is an attempt by our ancestors to explain the
origin of amber. Big pieces of amber are the splinters
of Jūratės castle smashed by Perkūnas (Thunder god),
while small pieces of amber are her tears.
It is due to amber that Lithuanian ancestors were first
mentioned in written historical sources. The Roman
writer Cornelius Tacitus in the 1st century A.D. called
them aesti in his work Germania.
THE FORMATION OF AMBER
The process of amber formation is vividly displayed in
the first hall of the museum: the geographical location
and characteristics of the amber pine forest (climate,
relief and hydrograph) present a scientific description
of the conditions that predetermined the amber formation
AMBER IN OTHER FOSSIL RESINS
About 150 varieties of fossil resins are known all over
the world. Most of them are found in the northern
hemisphere, i.e. in Europe and America. The exposition
presents characteristics of the fossil resins found in
the Sakhalin, Kamchatka and in the upper carbonic chalk
sands of the Arctic and the Taimyr Peninsula
Europe is the best explored geologically. More than 50
varieties of fossil resins are found here. The museum
displays a collection of fossil resins and their
imitations collected in Indonesia, Tibet, Australia and
UNIQUE PEICES OF AMBER
The unique pieces of amber are a valuable scientific
material for morphological studies of the amber
formation process. The exposition displays more than 70
thousand samples of unprocessed amber, the weight of
which varies from just a few grams to 2,5-3,5 kilos.
Here you can see the biggest piece of amber in the
collection of the Lithuanian Art Museum, called the Sun
Stone (3524 g). You can also see morphological varieties
of amber: accumulations on trunks, icicles, lenses and
ANIMALS IN AMBER
Amber inclusions are the most popular and favorable
objects for palaeontological research. Scientists have
been interested in amber inclusions since ancient times.
There are more than 15 thousand inclusions in the
Palanga Amber Museum collections, the study of which
enriches the history of amber and the knowledge of flora
and fauna that existed on Earth millions of years ago.
ARCHAEOLOGY OF AMBER AND THE HISTORY OF ITS USE
The Department of Archeology of the Amber Museum is one
of the most interesting and scientifically valuable. The
exposition displays copies of the famous Juodkrante
treasures made according to Professor R.Klebs
scientific study. The remaining part of another
well-known collection from the so-called Palanga
treasures is on display here as well. These artifacts
were collected by Count F.Tiškevičius in 1905 1907
while excavating peat in the seaside swamps. In 1966
1972 in Šventoji swamps a huge settlement of the
Neolithic Period was explored. Research made by Dr. R.
Rimantienė revealed a lot of priceless data about the
daily life of seaside dwellers. Raw amber, handicrafts
and various everyday articles found during that research
are displayed in the showcases.
AMBER TRADE ROUTES
Prehistory scientists use a special term, Amber Route.
This was the route of active amber trade with the Roman
Empire and its colonies in the 1st-2nd centuries A.D.
The main amber trade route went from the Baltic coast
towards the lower Vistula, along the Varta and the upper
Oder, across Bohemia, Moravia up to the Danube. From
here the route went to Greece, Peloponnesus and Crete,
while the second route went to northern Italy over the
Alpine passes. Another amber route went by land from the
Baltic coast to the Dnepr, then through the Don estuary
to the Caucasus, eastern provinces of the Black Sea and
the south western provinces of the Caspian Sea.
AMBER PROCESSING TRADITIONS
The unique features of amber were critical for its
processing mode. In the 9th-13th centuries, with the
spread of handicrafts and consequent delineation between
the specific processing features of various substances,
the first amber craftsmen appeared. Artistically
processed amber was used to decorate churches and
mansions of noble people. Amber became of the most
popular gift to give during diplomatic visits. The
biggest and the most impressive masterpiece was the
famous Amber Chamber (1709).
Palanga has been one of the main amber processing
centres for ages. The exposition displays the amber
processing-tool used by the well-known artist V. Žilius.
One can also see works made in the old Palanga amber
workshops and manufacturing plant Dailė, which reveal
attitudes toward amber jewelry and the fashion trends of
the time. All the efforts of contemporary artists are
directed toward the revelation of the natural beauty of
amber and its aesthetic features. Works by J.
Martinkienė, V. Kurklietienė, A. Jonušas, I.
Pakutinskienė and F. Pakutinskas will also draw ones
attention. Among the works made by professional artists
the most outstanding are those by F. Daukantas, K.
Simanonis, B. and E. Mikulevičius, B. Stulgaitė, S.
Virpilaitis, Ž. Bautrėnas.
At the end of the exposition there is a shop of amber
jewelry and souvenirs Gintaro pasaulis. In it one will
also be able to by a certified inclusion of the Baltic