Chaimo Frenkelio vila ir buvusio odų fabriko teritorija
Nuotr. Norbert Tukaj

11. Chaim Frenkel's villa and formerly leather factory site



Architect: unknown, 1908


At the end of the 19th century, an area adjacent to the Talkša lake began to take shape, and one of the most sophisticated leather-processing factories in the north-western part of the country was established there. The internationally renowned factory, with its network of streets, a square and towers, its own doctor, pharmacy, fire station, even a synagogue and a library, functioned as a city within a city. It was the size and sophistication of the leather factory that made Šiauliai a well-known industrial centre in the early 20th century. The leather factory expanded over time to cover an area of 10 hectares, with its urban structure comprised of up to 60 buildings at its peak. From the very beginning of the factory’s establishment, the complex included not only the buildings necessary for production and the needs of its workers but also a residential villa, where, in the tradition of the factory workers of the time, the Frenkel family itself took up residence.

Built in 1908, Chaim Frenkel’s splendid and graceful villa reflects a combination of international architectural trends, Judaic traditionalism and industrial rationality. The villa is characterised by its mirrored plan, as it was intended for the father and the son to live together, with a turret marking the side of the latter. The spire of the Neo-Renaissance tower and the villa’s ornate interior also betray the Art Nouveau aesthetics of the period and the desire to express every object in artistic form. The villa’s splendour is crowned by a garden with a fountain.

After more than a hundred years of existence, the villa is still surprisingly authentic, even though it has served several owners: in the interwar period, the villa housed several apartments, and part of it was used as a Jewish gymnasium; in the post-war period, it was used as a military hospital, and nowadays, the villa is a part of the “Aušros” Museum.



Vilniaus st. 74

How to get there

Nearest bus stop - Prūdelio

Visiting time

2022 September 24 10:00–19:00
2022 September 25 10:00–17:00

Šešt. 11:00 val., 17:00 val. ir sekm. 11:00 val. ekskursijos vyks ukrainiečių kalba.

Tours begin every 30 minutes and last 60 minutes. Last tour on Saturday starts at 7:00 PM, on Sunday – at 5:00 PM.

No in-advance registration is required. Access to the buildings will be managed by forming queues.
Expected occupation: high.
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