Exhibition “The Awakened: The History of the Rebels Found on Gedimino Hill”
The exhibition “The Awakened: The History of the Rebels Found on Gedimino Hill” is open at the National Museum of Lithuania.
The exhibition is set up in a building opened to the public for the first time – the former detention house for political prisoners no. 14 (T. Kosciuškos St. 1), in which approximately 1,000 participants of the uprising were imprisoned in 1863–1864.
In the territory of the former Commonwealth of Two Nations, a large-scale insurrection against the oppression of the Russian Empire took place in 1863–1864. Multi-national and multi-cultural society of various social classes and ranks joined the struggle for freedom, equality and independence. The imperial administration responded with harsh repressions, imprisoning the participants of the uprising and sentencing them to death or deportation to Siberia.
Twenty-one rebels were publicly executed by hanging or shooting in Lukiškių Square in Vilnius in 1863–1864. These were the prominent leaders of the uprising in Lithuania, Zygmunt Sierakowski and Konstanty Kalinowski, priests, nobles and peasants, younger and older men who today have become figures symbolizing the entire uprising. After the executions, the bodies of the rebels were not given to their families, but secretly buried in the closed territory of the military fortress on Gedimino Hill. For a long time the burial place was unknown, only presumed. During archaeological excavations on Gedimino Hill in 2017–2018, twenty remains were found. On 22 November 2019, they will be solemnly buried in the historical Rasų cemetery in Vilnius.
The exhibition is open until 3 January 2021.