senas fakultetas 

Philology studies were part of the University curriculum from the very beginning in the year 1570. Since the establishment of Vilnius University students were being taught Latin grammar, stylistics, rhetoric, writing verse and epigrams in Latin, as well as Ancient Greek and even Hebrew. Even though the Faculty of Philology is mentioned first time only in 1944, philological and language studies were attracting students since the Jesuits College days and so forth until it was reorganized into University.

Lithuanian language, which was thought to be only colloquial in XVII century, neglected by Latin, Polish, and Ruthenian in official documents, gained a specific attention in Vilnius University. An alumnus, Lithuanian linguist and writer Konstantinas Sirvydas (1579–1631) prepared and published first Lithuanian language dictionary “Dictionary of Three Languages”, grounding basis for studies of Lithuanian lexicology and linguistics.

In 1803, literature studies received its deserved academic status with the new Statute of Imperatorial University of Vilnius, in which there were to be 4 faculties: Physics-Mathematics, Medicine, Moral and Political Sciences, and Literature and Liberal Arts. The University played a very important role in the development of Lithuanian national culture by bringing up the great personalities of the 19th century: Simonas Daukantas, Simonas Stanevičius, Adam Mickiewicz and others. It was here, where in 1817 Philomathes created their secret educational society with interruptions active until nowadays.

Nevertheless, Lithuanian studies and philology courses began to be taught only a century later, after Declaration of Independence of Lithuania. In 1919, in a new Humanitarian faculty prof J. Otrębski started the first courses of Lithuanian grammar, interpreting “Postilė” of Mikalojus Daukša, Lithuanian dialectology, and Baltic studies.

Only a few years later the faculty was forced to move to Kaunas where lectures were read by Jonas Jablonskis, Mykolas Biržiška, Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas, Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius, Balys Sruoga, and other prominent Lithuanians. It took nearly twenty years, but in 1939 the Faculty was re-opened in Vilnius and Lithuanian symbolism writer Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas was appointed as the dean of Humanitarian faculty, which soon took the name of Faculty of History and Philology.

As a result of the reorganization of the Faculty of History and Philology in 1968, the Faculty of Philology was created. Even though the post-war conditions were not the most favourable, the teaching and research staff gained international recognition for the work carried out in the field of Baltic studies, phonology, semiotics, and linguistics.

Time and various wars changed the University’s ensemble throughout the ages. Many buildings of nowadays ensemble have been bought by or donated to the University during almost seven centuries of academic activities, some built on top of previous sites of taverns or stables. This extensive process allowed to form the current University’ ensemble and courtyards of different architectural styles. Visitors can visit 13 charming University courtyards most of which are located in the Faculty of Philology.

Motiejus Kazimieras Sarbievijus Courtyard

It’s the second biggest courtyard of the University, which in 1919 was named after famous Lithuanian-Polish rhetorician and poet Motiejus Kazimieras Sarbievijus. The northern part of this courtyard, where nowadays is the Faculty’s Dean Office, housed brewery, wood workshops, bakery, granary, and even stables. The eastern part of the court housed blacksmiths, shoemakers, tailors, and bookbinders. All these establishments were rebuilt or reconstructed in XIX century to accommodate University professors.

In the western wing of this courtyard visitors can notice a three-levels building of University’s Library, which in Jesuit College days served as kitchen and dining halls, as well as teaching rooms.

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Simonas Daukantas Courtyard

This University’s courtyard is more recent than the Sarbievijus yard. It began to gain the recent exterior in the end of XVIII century when noble families of Vilnius donated to the University nearby houses and establishments. The building connecting Daukantas and Sarbievijus courts is thought to be built in some time around XVI–XVII century and was used for economic matters (stables, workshops, etc.).

The northern and western parts of this yard are more modern. The northern enclosing wall is decorated with a bas-relief of Simonas Daukantas, created by Romanas Kazlauskas, while the eastern wall is decorated with a Latin inscription reading “Domus Philologiae” (lot. The house of philology). The western buildings of this yard housed University’s printing house.

On the second floor of “Domus Philoligae” visitors can find frescoes of the Nine Muses created by Lithuanian graphic designer Rimtautas Gibavičius in 1969 and frescoes dedicated to famous Lithuanian historians, poets, artists, and architects, which students and professors call “The Hall of the Writers”. On the lower floor close to the Department of Classical Philology visitors can also find mosaics portraying Lithuanian pagan gods created by Vitolis Trušis.

The legend goes that Simonas Daukantas, the author of first Lithuanian History written in Lithuanian, so greatly desired to study in Vilnius University that he walked the whole distance from his hometown in Samogitia (North-western Lithuania). This fact is commemorated with an oak tree growing in the center of Daukantas courtyard.

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Adom Mickiewicz Courtyard

The current exterior of this courtyard was complete after reconstruction works carried out in the second half of XIX century. Then all the conjoining buildings were remodelled to be at a single roof level, also newly built western wing allowed to form a fully encircled courtyard.

The eastern part of the court yard is the oldest remaining from XVI century. This can be seen from the Pilies street side, where during restauration works in 1968 the gothic façade had been uncovered. At this place there were three separate houses which were conjoined in XVII century and then donated to the University by Vilnius bishop Jokūbas Masalskis in 1775. The southern wing of this courtyard was bequeathed to the University by Aleksandras Oginskis in XVIII century.

After the closure of the University, the eastern wing of Mickevičius courtyard housed the Second Gymnasium of Vilnius. Then after the World War 2, it was a location of the museum of Lithuanian etnographical history. In fact, gymnasium was not the only educational establishment in this court: since 1795 to 1806 it also accommodated the Artillery Cadet School of Vilnius and only then it was fully incorporated into the University ensemble. This courtyard was turned into University’s residences, where even the Rector Stanislavas Malevskis lived until 1832. During those days it was called The House of Rectors.

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Simonas Stanevičius Courtyard

This courtyard as many others served as residential building of University’s professors until it was turned into Faculty of Philology auditoriums and offices. Archival documents reveal that between XVI and XVII centuries that in this location there was a brick house which was sold several times until 1672 it was bought by the bursary of Ambraziejus Beinartas. Of course, noisy neighbourhood of students was not greeted well by other citizens, thus in XVIII when the building was passed into property of Vilnius Cathedral students were not allowed to live in it anymore.

The courtyard is named in honor of University’s alumnus, Lithuanian writer and collector of Lithuanian folk tales Simonas Stanevičius.

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Arkadų Courtyard

In XVII century, two houses in Skapo street were conjoined to form a small courtyard. In XVIII century it is known that the buildings were a property of the noble Korwin-Kosakowsky family and in 1815 they were passed to the University. In 1832, this yard housed apartments for teachers of the Second Gymnasium of Vilnius which was located in the nearby courtyard.

The entrance to the courtyard from Skapo street is ceiled with cylindrical domes with lunettes and load-bearing arches. The main attraction of this court is the metal gates with ethnographical elements to the Skapo street created by sculptor Juozas Kėdainis.

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Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevičius Courtyard

For a few centuries buildings of this court were a property of various noble families, until when in 1775 the Educational Commission of the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth took over the control of all Jesuits’ property and bought some additional adjacent buildings. The architecture in this court is mainly neo-classical and of the eclecticism era with many surviving gothic elements.

The courtyard together with the Mickevičius courtyard housed the Artillery Cadet School where mathematics, topography and fortification-building lectures were taught by the most famous Lithuanian neo-classical architect Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevičius.

In 1795, when Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth was occupied by the Imperial Russia, the courtyard housed Russian Cadet School which in 1806 was moved to Hrodna. In 1812–1815, it functioned as a hospital, after reconstruction in 1873, the Teaching institute of Vilnius was located here for more than four decades until 1919.

After the World War 2, it housed a museum for two decades and then after excavating and reconstructing old cellars this court was dedicated to University students’ cafeteria “Žaltvykslė” and University’s Chamber Theatre.

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