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Liubavas Manor Museum was founded in the unique stonework mill of the manor. This manor is one of the oldest in the entire Lithuania. The museum was opened in 2011 under the initiative of the artist, cultural and public activist Gintaras Karosas. Liubavas, which is situated not far away from Vilnius, is one of the oldest and most romantic manors in Lithuania, built in a picturesque area near Gerėja River, now known as Žalesa.
The origin of the name of the manor is rather mysterious. It is believed to have been derived from the Old Prussian words Lubowo, Lubow, Liubow or Lubów, which mean ‘love’ and ‘marriage’ in Lithuanian. It is said that at that time, when the Prussian community was escaping from the conquerors, it moved into the depths of Lithuania and settled in the valley of Gerėja River.
Up until the middle of the 16th century, Liubavas Manor belonged to the grand dukes of Lithuania. The ponds of Liubavas repaired at that time were thoroughly described in the treasury book of the Lithuanian ruler Žygimantas Augustas (Sigismund Augustus) back in 1546. Over the period of more than five hundred years, Liubavas Manor has been governed by representatives of the Lithuanian political, cultural and clergy elite, as well as grand dukes Mikalojus Radvila Rudasis (Mikalojus Radvila the Red), Golejevskis (Golejewski) family, Krišpinas Kiršenšteinas (Kryszpin Kierszeynsteyn), Teresė Tyzenhauzaitė, Tiškevičius (Tyszkiewicz) and Slizienis (Slizien) families.
Visitors of Liubavas Manor Watermill-Museum have a unique opportunity to learn about the most important object of traditional industrial heritage of Lithuania, because the watermill which produces flour for making bread was the foundation of human existence throughout the centuries. Liubavas Manor has the only mill in Lithuania with fully restored technological equipment. A dozen different technological processes were studied and displayed at the museum: from grain, wood and metal processing to wool making and electricity generation. There is even a working century-old water turbine.
Visitors of the Manor feel as if they go back in time to the period when the watermill was being built. The building itself is also extraordinary – it is an example of a masterfully made stone construction where stones are bricked together so that the binding material between the large blocks of stone is not even visible.
The Restoration of Liubavas Manor mill, its Adaptation to Cultural and Public Needs project implemented by the Public Institution Europos Parkas was funded by Lithuania, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Financial Mechanism.
In 2012, Liubavas Manor Watermill-Museum was recognized as one of the best examples of conservation of European cultural heritage. It received the European Union Cultural Heritage Prize and the Europa Nostra award for its high-quality restoration.