Vilnius – Energy and Technology Museum

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this museum, as the write-up in the city guide they gave me in the tourist information office just said that it told the story of industrial Vilnius. What I certainly didn’t expect was to walk in and it’s a power station that was in use until twenty years ago.

This is what visitors see when they walk in. An entirely intact power plant, it’s very impressive. The building was at risk of demolition when the power plant closed, but funding from the European Union enabled it to be refurbished to become a museum.

The ladders to the higher levels are blocked off, but visitors can still access the upper areas later on during the visit.

The museum has a clever set-up where they’ve placed their audio tour on their web-site, so visitors can just play the appropriate audio as they walk around. Although I use my data, the staff member explained that there was free wi-fi to allow visitors to access their web-site. On the subject of the staff member, she was full of enthusiasm and it’s great to get an introduction to a museum so help get a understanding of what there is to see.

I did listen carefully to the audio tour, but since it involves engineering, I forgot nearly all of it immediately. The above chamber was something to do with heating something, and it was apparently a nightmare to clean as the staff member had to crawl in and then be subject to a hot floor and toxic chemicals. Nice….

This is in a room which was originally walled up and it did something hot and exciting. They’ve knocked a hole in the wall now so that visitors can go inside.

The control panel of the power station.

I think this is a condenser.

Something power related.

On the upper level, which is reached by going up some rather steep steps. As I’ve discovered from other museums this week, Lithuania seems to have opted-out from the EU rules on not having steep steps in museums.

Another photo looking down on the power plant equipment. It was originally built in 1903 and at the time it was the first power plant in the city, with the museum opening in 2003 to mark the 100th anniversary. The reason for it coming into use was that the city didn’t want to use gas from Berlin to light the streets, they wanted their own provision. This, as events later showed, was probably a rather sensible idea.

A piece of art on the ground floor by Danas Aleksa which is called ‘Dialogue’. I’m guessing that it is a representation of how the younger generation use technology, but I have no idea.

On the first floor there is a display of industrial equipment, which includes a printing press. And lots of printing blocks and letters of all different sizes.

A display of various electrical equipment which would have been powered by the power plant during the twentieth century.

There is a room for kids which has inter-active exhibits. This one scared me as I wasn’t expecting it, it’s called ‘music circles’ and if you stand underneath one of the lights it breaks the beam and it makes a noise. You’re meant to work out how to play a tune, but I moved away from the area….

An early post box.

A late nineteenth century water pump.

The above two photos are of an old computer.

It’s a nicely laid out museum and the central element of the power plant equipment certainly ensures that it fits its aim of being an energy and technology museum. I can imagine it’d be popular with kids who can explore the multiple levels of power plant.

Entrance to the museum usually costs €3, although I used my Vilnius City Card.