"Learn the truth about the Soviet Union" Grutas by matcrazy1

Grutas Travel Guide: 107 reviews and 170 photos

Controversial park and exhibition

This page is dedicated to Grutas Park located in a village of Grutas, very close to Druskininkai, the best European balneology resort! (chosen by Eurepean edition of "Newsweek" magazine). The Soviet era monuments, torn down in 1989 and brought from Lithuanian cities, were expansively laid out in Grutas Park.

I found this unique place at least a little bit controversial. After communism fall down in 1989, there was the idea of putting up similar park in my country, Poland. But it was against Polish new constitution which forbided publicizing and supporting any totalitarian system like communism or fascism in any way. Well, are there any museums of fascism or Adolf Hitler anywhere? Hmm... I was always confused (and still I am) that communist parties were legal in many countries of Western Europe... Well, small minorities and extremities but...

My hesitation

I hesitated a long time before making the decision to visit Grutas Park. Being born in Poland, on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, I remember well times of Soviet rule and similar monuments in Poland (luckily not as many as in the Soviet republics) which we (kids or teens that time) disliked very much. And I didn't like to support this not so old past in any way. Well, at the same time, we liked people of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania etc. a lot. Is it called Slavic unity or soul?

My wise decision

Finally, I decided to visit the Park and now, I can say that it was right decision.
I appreciated educational value of the park, especially for younger generations and for those who were lucky to live far away of Soviet rules. Personally, I concentrated on historical parts of exhibitions in a few pavillons and I got to know more about communism, Lithuanians and its struggle for independence against Soviet rule. There was a kind of small zoo located in the park as well.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great educational value, nature (lakes and forests)
  • Cons:Shouldn't it be forbided? (I mean publicising totalitarian systems like communism, fascism)
  • In a nutshell:Go to learn the truth about the Soviet Union!
  • Last visit to Grutas: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (99)

Comments (14)

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2006 at 3:47 AM

    As always, incredible tips. What a tour of the park and history. Hope your birthday finds you on another inspirational journey.

  • irishgalmtl's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2006 at 12:26 PM

    Hello there Matt, Kavine sounds like a nice little spot being its the only one..lol Picnic area sounds very ideal...Donna :)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2006 at 7:57 AM

    Matt, in my opinion this is one of your best pages...very well written historic background mixed with your personal experiences...unfortunately, I hadn't enough time to visit Grutas on my Lithuania trip.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2005 at 2:06 AM

    Great page of history! I understand your confusion as an inside actor/subject of that period but what belongs to history has to be displayed, as long as it is not a danger. You have done a lot of informative work !

  • Toyin's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2005 at 9:08 AM

    This is special, I could feel the passion. Great work! Thanks for sharing.

  • cadzand's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2005 at 2:56 AM

    Well Matt, congratulations with this great moving and historical page. Especially your childhood remembrances versus propaganda and life conditions are very intresting. Keep up the good work.

  • shrimp56's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2005 at 7:47 AM

    I'm glad you decided to go and then shafre with us -- very powerful. I'll be back for more!

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2005 at 10:45 PM

    Yet another telling and moving document on man's inhumanity to man.

  • Azhut's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2004 at 8:36 AM

    Great historical page, I should learn more about it by many differents point of view!!

  • coceng's Profile Photo
    Aug 30, 2004 at 8:00 PM

    Matt, I enjoy your tips & pix very much !It's like being in the place myself ! :) It's great travelling with a car...but I can't even drive ! :) Regards.


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