"Ratnyčėlė" Sculpture

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Near the shapely pedestrian bridge over the Ratnyčia River, your attention will be attracted by a sculpture of a girl, sitting on the high pedestal. Ratnyčėlė her name. In 1959, the sculpture was created by the sculptor Bronius Vyšniauskas, a winner of the State Prize, a professor, the monuments of whom adorn Grūto Park and other places, well known in Lithuania.

Since the times of Greek mythology to times of thriving European parks, artists have been inspired to create various deities of water – Oceanus, Nerites, Thetis, dancing Nymphs of springs. Yet this fashion bypassed Lithuania. It is likely that Ratnyčėlė is the only one Lithuanian river embodied.

Although more than a half of the century elapsed from the moment of the sculpture appearing, it has remained attractive and romantic, although to each generation differently. The high pedestal and stairs show how highly one can consider the graciousness of a woman and how perfectly it matches the murmur of the creek.

Old residents from Druskininkai know a legend about the origin of Ratnyčia name. Once upon a time, in the middle of the woods, a wealthy farmer lived, the sons of whom did not want (incredible!) to cultivate the soil of their forefathers. They were forced to get married and be engaged in crafts. The eldest son became a miller, while the younger one married a beautiful girl, who was the only one child to her family, and came to live to her father’s home on the bank of the creek, near the Church. The craft of wheel maker was appreciable to him. Who knows, maybe his young wife was the source of inspiration… Anyhow, one day, they became rich and built a large house for themselves. In order to facilitate finding the workshop of the gifted craftsman, a wheel with the inscription “Ratnyčia” (Workshop of Wheels) was installed above the gate, while the home of his wife, which she had inherited as the dowry, was named Ratnyčėlė. Nothing is known about the marital life of that wheel maker and his beautiful wife. Yet, located in the neighbourhood of the Art School another sculpture by B. Vyšniauskas, named "Motherhood", appeared.

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