This history was translated from Lithuanian by Miss Ruta Puisyte from a pamphlet titled
FROM THE HISTORY OF BUTRIMONYS TOWN
Butrimonys town is located 24 kilometers direction to North-east of Alytus.
It is guessed that Butrimonys town was established during the rule of Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas the Great (on the break of Fourteen-Fifteen century). Vytautas the Great settled Tatars in the town. From the old times an important trade road from Vilnius to Punia through Trakai and Aukstadvaris went through Butrimonys. In 1699 the name of Butrimonys town was mentioned in the books for the first time.
An establishment of the site as a town was fully finished in mid-Eighteen century. Butrimonys estate belonged to nobleman Tiskevitz until 1850. The buildings and garden of estate were located near the road to Punia on the west side of the town. Development of the town was interrupted by the fire that occurred in 1787, 1835, twice in 1869 and then in 1904. Number of inhabitants change during the years:
1827 inhabitants in 1861
2394 inhabitants in 1897
1631 inhabitants in 1923
847 inhabitants in 1959
985 inhabitants in 1984
1214 inhabitants in 1998
During the years Butrimonys was famous for its markets and market places, numerous small shops and manufactories. Until tragic events of 1941 the majority of Butrimonys inhabitants were Jews. During the two decades of independent Lithuania in 1918-1940 Butrimonys was a center of a rural area, Alytus region. There were fifty-five shops, six pubs, one tavern, ten bakeries, one lemonade manufactory, one butchery, one brick-field, and a mill in Butrimonys. During the Bolshevist occupation Butrimonys was a center of rural area and collective farm, now it is a central settlement of the district. Algirdas Jusas is an Elder of Butrimonys today.
Now the town has a Church, a school, a post office, a dispensary, a drug shop, a kindergarten, a library , a House of Culture, a bakery and seven shops. A poultry farm of Grishkoniai and a hippodrome are located 1 km. Away from Burtimonys.
A CHURCH OF BUTRIMONYS PARISH
The first church built in 1744 was wooden. It functioned as a branch of Punia parish. It was built on the territory of the estate, by the road to Punia. The old church had no towers, was of a folk architecture with some classicistic elements. A wooden bell tower was built next to the church.
Construction of a new church started in 1906. The project author was A. Filipovitch-Dubrovski. Works were finished only in 1926. Church was constructed was constructed from stones and bricks. It has eclectic style and is decorated with some fragments characteristic to romantic style. The front tower is on right side, the left one was not built. The main altar inside church has elements of baroque. There are two smaller altars on both sides of the main alter.
Church is named Exaltation of Saint Cross. That is why the main festivals take place on 14th September. At the end of Ninety century and beginning of Twenty Church struggled against a local Poles to keep Lithuanian language alive. During the Soviet occupation Church fought for Catholicism and belief in God.
The priests were Juozapas Deksnys, Steponas Verbauskas, Vincas Pavalkis, Petras Lasauskas, Juozapas Andrikonis, Jonas Pilka, Juozapas Matulaitis (now-bishop of Kaisiadorys), and Edvardas Krajalis. Stasys Chiupaila is a current priest of Butrimonys.
HOUSE OF CULTURE IN BUTRIMONYS
Cultural life in Butrimonys was mainly maintained by enthusiastic people of the town, majority of whom always were teachers. But the lack of finances always prevailed. It was difficult work. Ideas and all endeavors of poultry farm Director, Viktor Obolevitch and its workers came true when a capacious House of Culture opened its doors on May 21, 1991. Architect of the house was A. Mikenas. As the market square of Butrimonys has a special design and is an monumental heritage the new building had to fit to entire architectural ensemble. That is why the building was designed especially for Butrimonys town. The House of culture has a high ceiling stage, rooms for actors, hall for rehearsals, capacious foyer- all conditions for an active cultural work. This center of culture was opened in the period of Russian economic blockade, that is why it went a hard way to an active life. Thanks to the House of Culture Butrimonys people had opportunities to see many drama pieces starting with a drama play of Kaunas theater and ending with a visit of Vilnius choir “Vytis”.
SECONDARY SCHOOL OF BUTRIMONYS
Secondary school of Butrimonys was founded in 1863. The language of study there was Russian. Parallel to the state school there was a secret school at people’s homes where children were taught to read and write in Lithuanian.
In 1919 a primary Lithuanian school was established in the building of town’s administration. A primary Jewish school was established in 1920 and closed in 1941.
In 1944 Butrimonys secondary school developed to pro-gymnasium. The first group of school-leavers graduated from at that time already secondary school of Butrimonys in 1951. In 1963 a new annex was attached to the old school building.
In 1983 school moved to a new building designed to locate 440 pupils.
The first principle of the school was Jonas Palionis (now –a Professor at Vilnius University). Marija Balinskiene is a principle of school since 1980. For longest period as a vice principal worked Antanas Bruzga-a talented and creative educator. Stase Gramauskiene works as a vice principal since 1993. As vice director for creative activity works Genovaite Zhiurinskiene.
There were ten teachers at school in 1944-1945 and thirty-four teachers in 1998-1999. In all times teachers did their work with full commitment trying to prepare school children for university level studies and to convey a high spiritual values to them. School children of all ages say only the high words of respect towards teachers Marija Lapinskiene, Antanas Zhvirblis, Jadvga Bruzgiene, Brone Liubiniene, Pranute Lukoshiuniene, Janina Karloniene, Marija Struskauskiene and many others.
In a school year of 1950-1951 there were 468 school children at school, in1974-1975 the number was highest-613. In 1998-1999 there studied 430 school children and there were twenty-one class.
Forty-nine crop left the school,
in total-1389 people. A Lithuania famous people studied here: sculptor and
painter Antanas Kmieliauskas, opera singer Irena Milkevicciute, singer Vytautas
Babravicius, TV news reader Stase Germanavichiute-Stankevichiene, Professor
Algirdas Sliesaravichius, Art critic of Western Europe and U.S.A. Bernardas
Berensonas spent his childhood in Butrimonys.