Samogitian Museum ALKAAddress
Exposition visiting time
Exhibitions' visiting time
Additional services
Museum’s collection
Cultural, educational activity
Museum’s Departments
Public Museum
Other news about the Museum
Virtual Exhibition "Samogitian Museum "ALKA". History"


Muziejaus St. 31, LT-87357 Telšiai
phone no./fax no. +370 444 70282, 70160

Exhibitions' visiting time"The Youth" by P. Romanelis

I -
II -
III 9 - 17
IV 9 - 17
V 9 - 17
VI 9 - 17
VII 10 - 17


Additional services

Ordering excursions to Rainiai.
Ordering excursion trips “Telsiai-Rainiai-Satrija-Gaulenai”.
Presentation of educational counsel in all the Museum’s Departments.
Permission to use funds of accumulated exponents, as well as accumulated written materials.

Museum collection

The museum contains collections of archaeological finds, numismatics, exhibits related to history and nature of the Zemaiciai area and fine art.
Museum - regional studies manner. Funds are made up of ethnographic, archaeological collections, applicable folk and figurative art works, historical collections (photos, documents, cartographic publications, books), cultural inheritance (legacy) of manors (pictures, furniture, books, sculptures, archives), examples of applied art, negatives and filmed materials; copious Educational Archive (collected recollections, diaries, educational works).




In the Museum’s newly added wing of two halls art, ethnographic and applied art exhibitions are constantly organized.
A unit of exhibits is organized from exponents in the museum’s funds, collected works of painters from Telsiai form another unit.
At the museum exhibitions of creative art works of Vilnius Art Academy, Klaipeda creative group “Guboja”, and of Telsiai Children Art School also take place.

Cultural, educational activityIn the exhibitions halls of the Samogitian Museum ALKA

Closing of  long duration exhibitions in the museum’s old building created a possibility to assign greater attention to educational activity. Separate museum divisions engage in educational activity. This educational activity programme is allocated to the school of Telsiai.
Afternoon organization.
Concert organization.
Opening of exhibitions.
Presentation of lectures on diverse occassions of State Holidays and anniversaries.
Meeting organization.
Organization of Samogitian Cultural Association events.
Preparation for publishing educational information articles.

Museum Departments

Active departments in the Museum are those of Archaeology, History, Ethnography, Fine arts, Folk art and Nature.
There is also an active Educational library and photo-file index.

Public Museum

Gaulenai Village Museum
Address: Gaulenai village, Luoke, 
LT-5610 Telsiai region.
phone no. 8 682 49806

Other news about the Museum

The museum opened in 1932 on the initiative of “Alka”, a society devoted to the history of the Zemaiciai (Samogitians). Designed by architect Steponas Stulginskis (1908-1995), the museum’s building dates back to 1937.
Museum founder - Telsiai Region Municipality.
Museum Director - Elvyra Spudytė.

HistoryIn the exhibition halls of the Samogitian Museum ALKA

The Samogitian Museum Alka is the main historical museum of Samogitia. The museum offers the most comprehensive exhibit of Samogitian cultural development in Lithuania. It also introduces the visitor to the natural sites of Samogitia, Samogitian daily life, and the rich heritage of Samogitian artists. The main collection was accumulated in Soviet times when Samogitian palaces and museums were nationalized and valuable paintings, sculptures, and other works of art made their way into the museum.
In December of 1923 the intelligentsia of Telsiai who was very anxious to preserve Samogitian culture, wrote to the Lithuanian Ministry of Education: "We feel that there is a need to establish a museum in Telsiai as soon as possible, since teachers and other people have many good things that could be shown in a museum. If this is not done, these things will perish and our country will suffer..."
The foundations for this museum were laid in 1924-25 with exhibitions in the Telsiai teachers' college. Searches for a more permanent home continued. The city of Telsiai seemed a logical setting for the museum, since it was the cultural center of Samogitia and home to the Samogitian diocese.
Attempts to create a museum in 1928 failed, but in 1931 a Samogitian cultural society was created  including representatives from the regions of Kretinga, Raseiniai, Taurage, and Telsiai. In 1932 the Alka museum in Telsiai was officially opened in a rented apartment on Birute street. The first director Pranas Genys writes in his memoirs, "the exhibits were shown in three rooms and included only a few statues of gods, some coins, pictures, and a few archeological finds. In spite of this, the museum already made a good impression, established the name of the museum and encouraged the museum workers to continue." The museum also supported exhibits in the teachers' college. From 1932 to 1937 the museum rented rooms in the Girdvainis houses..
However, it needed more than one man to turn the museum into a representation of life in Samogitia, especially since the director Pranas Genys was bound to a wheelchair. The Alka society was instrumental in supporting the museum. The members' stated goals were to "learn about the past and present of the Samogitian lands, their nature and culture, to preserve ancient traditions, historic places, folk culture, and other cultural values of Samogitia". The society decided to open branches of the museum in other Samogitian towns and to build a central museum in Telsiai. Because of lack of funds, the society organized a fund drive in 1933. The museum's ground stone was laid in 1936 on the shore of Lake Mastis due to help from individuals in Samogitia, other Lithuanian provinces, and from abroad. The first exhibits were shown in new building in 1937, but construction was not completed until 1941. The Samogitian museum was the only new museum built at that time.
While the new museum was being built, Pranas Genys and other ethnographers continued to gather material for new exhibits. Most of their exhibits were displayed at a 1935 art exhibition in Paris. The limited facilities of 1937 required  to find extra exhibition space. The Samogitian museum displayed some items in the former Rabbinical Seminary "Yeshiva" in Telsiai.
The museum remained a Samogitian cultural centre even during the war. Artist exhibitions were arranged here in 1938 and again in 1943. Exhibits on Samogitian agriculture, the art and culture of Lithuania Minor, postage stamps, and graphic arts were shown during the war years. Samogitian poets also used the museum as a meeting place. From 1938 on the museum was supported by state funds.
A number of valuable exhibits entered the museum's holdings in 1940 when private property was nationalized. Among these items documents, paintings, sculptures, furniture and books are included.
When German forces occupied Samogitia, the Alka museum continued to operate, though the directors hid the most valuable items at their acquaintances and in the museum's hideaway. Only a  few items had disappeared during this period.
In 1945 the Soviet government relieved Pranas Genys of the directorship and installed another Samogitian, Butku Juze, who worked there until 1947.
From 1948-1988 the museum was renamed the Telsiai Ethnographic museum, but regained its old name in 1988. Even today, the museum's holdings are among the richest in Lithuania. From 1967 on the Telsiai museum has been the administrative centre for a number of smaller Samogitian museums. In 1988 other museums became independent of the Telsiai museum.


In the Open-Air Museum of Rural Life of SamogitiaBRANCH MUSEUMS

Open-Air Museum of Rural Life of (Zemaitija) Samogitia

Malūno Str. 5, LT-87357 Telšiai
phone no. +370 444 70283,

mob. phone no. 8 601 92417

1st May – 31st October the exposition is visited:


I -
II -
III 10.00 – 18.00
IV 10.00 – 18.00
V 10.00 – 18.00
VI 11.00 – 19.00
VII 11.00 – 18.00

Photo from the Archives of the Museum

© Samogitian Cultural Association Editorial Board, 2000
© Samogitian Museum ALKA, 2000

Last update 2013.09.30