Pasandravis homestead and Bernotai homestead and their surroundings are sculptured by unique crosses and pillar-type chapels designed by Lithuanian folkmen and presented to Maironis birthplace.
At the end of 1990 the idea of erecting crosses and pillar-type chapels with images of patron saints in Pasandravis cultural and historical reserve emerged. Birutė Kulpinskaitė, the director of Raseiniai Region History Museum, and Alė Počiulpaitė, a senior fellowship in folk art of Lithuanian National Culture Centre, decided to implement the idea. In December 1990, having gathered in Bernotai, the most outstanding Lithuanian godmakers discussed the place and the exhibit of the woodcarving they would create.
On June 8 1991, during the celebration at Maironis native place, 10 oak wood crosses and pillar-type chapels were sanctified.
Even three crosses protect Maironis native place. The cross that greets visitors to Maironis native place was carved by a woodworker Jonas Malinauskas as far back as 1989. The second cross created by Juozas Binkis was erected near the path to Pasandravis. The rest of those entombed in the small graveyard is preserved by the cross made by a woodworker Algirdas Baranauskas. These crosses arrived at Maironis native place together with other pillar-type chapels in 1991.
Traditionally, a cross is carved with the figure of crucified Jesus Christ, stripped of all his clothing and suffering, with his head covered with a crown of thorns. The structure of the cross décor is characterised by profiled ends, featuring a nimbus in the centre, and distinctive elements of rays in every quarter. The Calvary is covered by a small wooden roof.
Lithuanian godmaker Aloyzas Urbšys‘roofed pillar ‘The Twelve Apostles’shows the way to the small graveyard. Twelve apostles, the disciples and closest followers of Jesus, are listed in the New Testament. The names of Jesus’ 12 main disciples were Peter, his brother Andrew, James son of Zebedee, John (James’ brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Jude (the apostle is also known as Jude of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. When Judas Iscariot committed suicide, his place among the Twelve Apostles was later filled by Matthias. Later, Paul of Tarsus and Joseph Barsabbas were two candidates qualified to be chosen for the office of apostle.
Raimundas Puškoris‘ double-sided pillar-type chapel ‘Jesus of Nazareth and Mary Mother of Jesus, Our Lady of Sorrows’ is built in the small graveyard. In the statuettes of Jesus of Nazareth, Christ is depicted in long robes, with a crown of thorns placed upon his head, and with his arms crossed on the chest, secured with ropes. On the other side of the pillar-type chapel, there is a sculpture of Mother of Jesus, Lady of Sorrows. Standing at the foot of her son’s cross, she is mourning at the Crucifixion of her singleton, and profoundly empathising with the suffering of Jesus Sacrifice. Mary, the doleful Mother is depicted in black with seven swords piercing her heart. These seven swords symbolize the chief seven sorrows of Our Lady’s life. The first sorrow is related to the prophecy of Simeon: ‘This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.’(Luke 2:34). The second sword of sorrow is The Flight into Egypt. The third sorrow is related to the loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem. The fourth sword of sorrow relates to Mary meeting Jesus on His Way to the Cross. The fifth sorrow refers to Mary standing at the foot of the cross. The sixth sword of sorrow relates to the taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross. The seventh sorrow is related to Jesus Laid in the Tomb.
At the end of the birch tree alley, a unique four-sided roofed-pillar with images of Saint John of Nepomuk, Saint Casimir, Saint Cecilia, and Saint George is placed. It was crafted by Lithuanian godmakers S. Karanauskas and A. Jurkaitis. Saint Casimir is depicted dressed in royal clothing wearing the mitre of Grand Duke of Lithuania with a white lily and a cross symbolising both piety and chastity. Since the Middle Ages Saint Cecilia is considered to be a patron saint of music and is frequently depicted playing the small organ or Lithuanian plucked string musical instrument called Kanklės.
In Lithuania, Saint George is the second most important patron saint, after Saint Casimir, and he is also the patron saint of farmers, soldiers, and scouts. Saint George is depicted riding a horse, often spearing a dragon, a symbol of good winning over evil. Saint John of Nepomuk is considered a patron saint of bridges, and a holy protector of fields and sowing, keeping them safe from floods. Saint John of Nepomuk is usually depicted dressed in a black cassock, symbolizing his priesthood. He is wearing a black four-winged hat called a biretta. In his right hand, he has a cross, and in his left hand, he is clutching a martyr’s palm branch. One more John’s attribute is a halo of five stars.
When one goes down to the valley of the Luknė rivulet, a visitor sees one more ‘Saint John of Nepomuk’ protecting a small bridge, and Maironis’ spring. The author of this elaborate pillar-type chapel is Jonas Tvardauskas. Saint John of Nepomuk is considered a patron saint of bridges, and a holy protector of fields and sowing, keeping them safe from floods. Saint John of Nepomuk is usually depicted dressed in a black cassock, symbolizing his priesthood. He is wearing a black four-winged hat called a biretta. In his right hand, he has a cross, and in his left hand, he is clutching a martyr’s palm branch. One more John’s attribute is a halo of five stars. Further, behind the main figure of Saint John of Nepomuk, as if in a separate small chapel, there is a small-sized statue of Mary, Our Lady of Grace.
In the middle of the oak tree alley, a traditional wooden roofed pillar-type chapel of St. Florian by the author Jonas Dzvėga was erected. St. Florian is claimed to be the patron saint of firefighters, bakers, blacksmiths, metallurgists, and chimney-sweepers. It is believed that he managed to dispel a large fire once with just one pitcher of water, and the monuments of St. Florian were built in the centre of small towns of Lithuania, especially in the towns of Samogitia.
A pillar-type chapel for St. George (author A. Česnulis) shows visitors the way from the Sandrava valley to Pasandravys manor. In Lithuania, Saint George is the second most important patron saint, after Saint Casimir, and he is also the patron saint of farmers, soldiers, and scouts. Saint George is depicted riding a horse, often spearing a dragon, a symbol of good winning over evil.
At the end of the oak tree alley, near the Sandrava rivulet, there is a pillar-type chapel for St. John the Baptist by Lithuanian godmaker Jonas Grabauskas. In Christian tradition, John the Baptist stood on the threshold between the Old and the New Testament and was the last prophet in the sense of the Old Testament. After a period of desert solitude, John the Baptist emerged as a prophet in the region of the lower Jordan River valley. The plot of the bas-relief tells the Gospel story of St. John baptizing Jesus, and as soon as Jesus was baptized, he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
In the former Lipčiai homestead near the residential house a pillar-type chapel ‘Mary, Our Lady of Grace’ by Ginutis Dudaitis was placed in 1991. Saint Mary, Our Lady of Grace in iconography is depicted standing, wearing a long belted robe, and has a cloak over her shoulders. The round halo is surrounding her head, she appears with outstretched down hands, and with the dazzling rays of light streaming from her fingers. She is shown with her foot upon the devil in the form of a grass-snake. It is believed that 1832 was the year of this latter image of Mary in iconography when in 1830 the Miraculous Medal design was executed based on Saint Catherine Labouré visions. The medal became the prototype for later creations, and the statues of Saint Mary, Our Lady of Grace. Such pieces of sacred art became popular in Lithuania, and more of them spread all across the Lithuanian landscape in the 19th century, when godmakers started to sculpture images.
In 2017, on the initiative of the leader of Lithuanian Maironiečiai Association Eugenijus Urbonas, a pillar-type chapel was erected. For him, the place of the pillar-type chapel was important, and the monument was built in a place with a panoramic view near the path towards Maironis place in Pasandravis.