Aleksandrija Manor Homestead
Three kilometers from Šiauliai on the road to Radviliškis and Kairiai there still stands the Aleksandrija Manor homestead. The old tomb from the 11th - 12th centuries reveals that people used to live in this territory already starting with the 8th - 10th centuries.
It is presupposed that the Manor Estate was established here around 1760. In 19th century Count Nikolajus Zubovas acquired it. Soon a new palace and other buildings were built. Nikolajus Zubovas called the Manor Estate Aaleksandrija in honor of his wife Aleksandra.
On the second half of the 19th century Aleksandrija Manor Estate reached a significant industrial function. A tile factory, a glaze factory and a brickyard were established. Also a mechanical workshop, a foundry and a sawmill were founded.
Different kind of tiles, pottery, finishing parts for the furnaces and chimneys were manufactured in the tile factory of Aleksandrija. The furnaces made in Aleksandrija were sold not only in the local market, but also in such important centres of the day as Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Vilnius and so on. A glaze factory also operated near the tile factory and it produced different kind of glaze both for the needs of the factory and for sale. Work in the both factories of tiles and glaze took place all year round. In 1888 Aleksandrija tile factory received a gold medal for its production in Vilnius Agriculture Exhibition.
The activity of the steam brickyard founded in Aleksandrija was also rather a success. It employed about 35 workers and the annual production reached 1.5 – 2 million of bricks.
The first reviving Lithuanian nation gatherings (so called Šiauliai evening outings) took place in the vicinity of Aleksandrija. The first such outing took place in 1894. During the first outings people started to speak about the independent Lithuania, the speeches were made in Lithuanian, people sang a lot and “alive pictures” of the historical themes were demonstrated.
Later such gatherings were organised in the other Zubovai’s manors: Dabikinė, Kairiai, Bubiai, Gubernija.
In 1934 while celebrating the 40th anniversary of the fist evening outing the celebration was organized in Aleksandrija. The festival participants built a memorial stone with an inscription “Labora“, which translated from Latin means “Work“.
In the beginning of the 20th century Zubovai disposed the Aleksandrija Manor Estate to their manors’ administrator Vincentas Janavičius (1858 – 1922). He married Marija Arciš, who used to work as a teacher in Bubiai Manor. V. Janavičius and his wife had four children. Janavičiai’s son Vytautas married a well-known forester Prof. Povilas Matulionas’ daughter Marija. In 1922 after the death of Vincentas Janavičius they inherited Aleksandrija Manor Estate. Professor P. Matulionis spent his last years here at his daughter and his son-in-law.
In 1940 Vytautas Janavičius with his wife Marija and three sons left to Australia.
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