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Grutas Park, Grutas

4.4
#4 of 13 in Parks in Alytus County
#Nature / Park, #Must See
Grūtas Park is a sculpture garden of Soviet-era statues and an exposition of other Soviet ideological relics from the times of the Lithuanian SSR. Founded in 2001 by mushroom magnate Viliumas Malinauskas, the park is located near Druskininkai, about southwest of Vilnius, Lithuania. The park requires an entrance fee.HistoryAfter Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, various Soviet statues were taken down and dumped in different places. Malinauskas requested the Lithuanian authorities to grant him the possession of the sculptures, so that he could build a privately financed museum. This Soviet-theme park was created in the wetlands of the Dzūkija National Park. Many of its features are re-creations of Soviet Gulag prison camps: wooden paths, guard towers, and barbed-wire fences.Its establishment faced some fierce opposition, and its existence is still controversial. Some ideas originally meant to be a part of the park were never allowed. Examples include transporting the visitors in a Gulag-style train. Grūtas Park and its founder Malinauskas won the 2001 Ig Nobel Peace Prize (see List of Ig Nobel Prize winners#2001). Since January 2007 the park has been in dispute with the Lithuanian copyright protection agency. The agency requires royalties to be paid to seven Lithuanian artists who created some of the statues.
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Grutas Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
27 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • The sculpture park is laid out very well along a path that meanders through a forest in a loop. The sculptures are separated well and most have a description about the person. We also had an audio gui...  more »
  • The businesses man ( a " mushroom millionaire " ) who put together this collection ( principally of soviet era sculptures ) has performed a great service for Lithuania. He has preserved key memorabili...  more »
  • Having seen a few clips of the Grutas statues on TV, I was expecting them to be concentrated in a small area, but in fact, you have to walk quite a distance to see them all, which I would recommend. Y...  more »
Google
  • Gruto parkas is an experience you should have. They have a done a very nice job with the exhibits and helping teach about what it was like to have soviets take over. I especially liked the indoor exhibits with the newspapers from the time of soviet takeover. Very informative.
  • Fantastic park with old communist era monuments. Often very silly and funny, but the one statue of Stalin still does manage to freak you out.
  • Very interesting park in beautiful settings. Lovely walk looking at old USSR art that was removed from the whole country after independence. The cafeteria is also worth a stop. Here you will find old dishes from Soviet times, served with "theme" bowls. The combination of smoked Sprats (fish), raw onions and a glass of vodka is certainly unusual. For kids they have a small private zoo and a very good play area.
  • Great place to look at Lithuania's past Never again
  • Great piece of nostalgia - even though I didn't experience it before. The cafeteria is especially interesting. Plus, the novelty of zoo animals

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