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Kelme Residence, 1597-2003

Kelmes's exposition fragment

Museum's collection
The permanent exhibition features the local history and the mode of life of Kelme area, and the landlord Gruzewskisfamily.

In the Family Exposition of the Owners of the Estate
Gruzewskis furniture, plates and dishes, photographs, graphic works, information material about the former owners of the estate are displayed.Museum's exposition fragment

In the Family Life and Folk Art Exposition things and furniture used in household in the 18th and 19th century. 

Museum's exposition fragmentCultural, educational activity
The museum together with Education Division of the Municipality of Kelme region implements educational program “Let’s be acquainted with our native land”. More than 160 primary school pupils take part in it. 
Scientific conferences, seminars. 

The museum is located in the property of the Gruzewskis family. The estate reflects the main features of the development of Lithuanian estate architecture, construction, and park planning.

Kelme, town in the west central Lithuania (1420 to 1939 Poland), 43 km southwest from Siauliai, on the left bank of the Krazante river. 175 km north of Poland, 200 south west of Latvia and about 110 km east of Kaliningrad Region (fmr Poland, currently occupied by Russia). The population in 1959, 6,830 (2,890 in 1923, 3,705 in 1940, of which 2,000 were Jews). A great part of the town was destroyed during World War II. After the war, 700 private and public buildings were erected. 
The town has a hospital, several secondary schools, music and commerce schools, ethnographic museum, and stadium. On the outskirts of town is a small park and the old estate's hall originally built on the 16th-18th centuries with a gate of baroque style, which was later renovated in the classical style and achieved distinctive architectural merit. 
The 1294 chronicles of the Teutonic Order cite a castle named Kymel. In the 15th century this location was a large royal domain.
The first wooden church was built in 1416. It was taken over by Calvinists in 1596. At that time, the Gruzewski family acquired Kelme estate; the estate numbered over 25 villages. In 1610 the Gruzewski issued a decree for inhabitants. When the Roman Catholics regained their church after prolonged court proceedings, in 1615 the Gruzewski family built a new Calvinist church. Kelme grew more rapidly after a highway from Latvia (Riga) to Prussia was built across town during 1836-58. The town was renowned for its great markets and especially its horse fairs. Kelme had several industrial plants and cultural institutions, including Jewish high school.