Located near the beautiful resort town of Druskininkai in southern Lithuania, Grutas Park is a private park that displays the old Soviet statues that were once located throughout Lithuania. Grutas Park opened in 2001 to exhibit Lithuania's history as a member of the former Soviet Union and to celebrate Lithuania's newly resorted independence.
Scattered throughout the park are larger than life statues of notorious Soviet leaders such as Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin. These statues were once located in town squares and prominent locations across Lithuania including in Vilnius. After Lithuania regained its independence, these statues were removed and those that weren't destroyed were collected by the original owner of the park and preserved. One statue turned into many, and now Grutas Park displays 86 giant Soviet statues that were created by 46 different sculptors.
As you walk along the boardwalk and paths, eerie propaganda music drifts through the air, coming out of speakers mounted on the observation towers. This adds to the unusual atmosphere at Grutas Park. Also along the paths, you'll run into a very unexpected mini zoo, with animals that are clearly not treated well, a playground, and a few musty indoor exhibits.
I found Grutas Park to be an interesting place to visit, despite the poorly kept animals and the high admission prices. The statues were interesting to see and I found the pictures of the statues in their former locations to be surprisingly cool. I liked trying to match my knowledge of the square with what it looked like during Soviet times.
Grutas Park is rather expensive as far as parks go in Lithuania; a ticket costs between 6 and 7.50 EUR depending on the time of year you visit. You can learn more on their website.
Have you visited Grutas Park? Would you?