A bit of history

Rusliai, the village the Old Rusliai Homestead is located in, was first mentioned in historical documents in 1525 (up to 1525, the village of Rusliai belonged to the manor house of a duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania).

The village was always full of life and the hustle and bustle of the villagers. Craftsmanship flourished, locals farmed the land, enjoyed everyday life and shared their joys and sorrows with their close ones.

The owners of the Old Rusliai Homestead settled here in the difficult year of 1938, when the country was already preparing itself for World War II, when every day was met like a godsend and every bite of bread felt like eternal joy. The family began to expand their home: first they built a simple granary (klėtis), which was followed by an even grander granary (svirnas) and other buildings that were essential to daily life.

Having got through the war, the period during which many farmsteads perished, and the Soviet experiments during which all of the Rusliai villagers were relocated to other expanding villages and communities, the Old Rusliai Homestead survived because of its loving owners, who believed it to be priceless and who could neither sell it, nor move out of it to live in a new community together with everyone else. On their own but happy, today they can rest easy knowing that they can still walk the paths that they know so well.

The area is also home to the owner’s collection of unique ancient Baltic altar-bowl stones (thousands of years old), which were found during the homestead destruction period.

(Bowl stones: “It is generally agreed that the altars of Aukštaitija should be considered domestic (family) ritual stones, linked to the cult of the domestic deity (referred to in historical sources as Pagirnis or Deivis). There is also a link between the bowl stones and the once domestically-kept grass-snake…” – V. Vaitkevičius, PhD, Chairman of the Lithuanian Archaeological Society)

Today, before you stands the newly born homestead where the distant Baltic past is in harmony with the present, a balanced combination of the authentic environment of times gone by and contemporary detail. Diligently collected by the owner, the old stones that rest here could tell many stories, if only they could speak…