Kalneliškiai (Didieji Grūžiai) Manor

  • Kalneliškių (Didžiųjų Grūžių) dvaras
This manor was about 1 km to the south of the place later called Kalneliškės. In the nineteenth century, this mansion was the most famous of all mansions of Grūžiai. It is estimated that the mansion was built about 1782. Didieji Grūžiai belonged to Miss Marija Stašauskaitė who died in 1864 without leaving any heirs, so the estate went to her baptism son Mr. Povilas Puzinas. He was a promoter of innovative farming and a disseminator of cultural ideas – the mansion was restructured, the brick outbuildings were built, a breeding of new herds o cows, pigs, sheep was started, he also planted fruit-trees. In the surrounding villages and towns the grocery shops appeared the credit companies were founded, Mr. Povilas Puzinas took care of the hired workers. In 1880, a fine ceramics factory was built and a highly qualified specialist from Germany Mr. Muller was invited to lead the factory. It produced a variety of very good quality ceramic art articles: vases, decorative tiles, very beautifully ornamented dishes and so on. Its earthenware earned awards in the exhibitions of Riga and Petersburg. All of the factory's articles were labelled – there was a special mark: "Gružanskij gončarnyj Zavod P. Puzina" or some sign with Mr. Puzinas initials. The factory was also a school, the specialists were trained and the production was expanded. The talented young people from the surrounding villages were invited for learning (from 1882 to 1884 about 30 students worked and studied in the factory). About 100 pupils gained some qualifications during the period of 8 years. In 1888, the ceramics factory of Didieji Grūžiai went bankrupt and the manor with other real estate was sold at auction. In 1890, Mr. Povilas Puzinas was deprived of nobleman rights and exiled for 10 years in Irkutsk (Russia), he was never allowed to return to Lithuania. He died and was buried in Vinica (Ukraine). After a confiscation of the estate and a distribution of the lands, the name of Didieji Grūžiai was forgotten and the village is called Kalneliškiai. The mansion’s future is uncertain, it is dying with its boarded up windows. The last outbuilding was demolished in 2002. In September of 2010, one of the finest manor’s accents – the porch with its unique wooden columns collapsed (or was overthrown), while tearing off part of the roof steel sheets. The last owners of the manor, the descendants of the Požėla family took back that mansion, but later sold it. Today the mansion is in a very poor condition. There is not any data about the current estate owners.
  • GPS coordinates: 56.11793, 24.23046