Lords of Raudones Castle

Raudones castle and it's hosts history - is history of three family lines: Kiršenšteinai, Zubovai ir de Faria e Castro.

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Castle builders Kiršenšteinai family ruled Radones castle from sixteenth century for two centuries. At the beginning of nineteenth century it moved to Zubovai ownership. Before that Krišpinis Kiršenšteinas grandson, Jeronimas Krišpinas Kiršenšteinas, has done great work on rebuilding the castle and decorating its interior in the second half of seventeenth century. He was elevated to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania society's elite - was appointed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the secretary to become the treasury manager, also he was administrator of Plunge and Palanga, besides Radones castle he ruled Svisločę and Švėkšna (until 1644). He opened a principal residence in his hometown (Raudone), while he did not live here all the time.

But in the beginning of eighteen century Jeronimas Krišpinas Kiršenšteinas sons died and castle was vacated by later descendants. Catherine's II favourite, Platon Zubov, has bought a dilapidated castle, and has rebuilt it, and then gave it as a dowry to her daughter Sophia, who married the Baron von Pirch (after his death - for Kaisarovo), and the latter left the castle by will to his grandson named Sofia, who married Jose Carlos de Faria e Castro - from distant Portugal. Their only son Juozas, who owned Raudones castle the longest, people soon called Kasteris. Hence in Raudones castle there lived three generations of Kasteriai: the first came directly from the island of Madeira, the second - their only son Juozas, and the third generation - are three sons - Nicholas, Vladimir and Alexander.

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Olga de Faria e Castro

At the beginning of XX century when Raudones town was only emerging, majestic castle already stood on a hill for several centuries. Ruled by many owners, devastated by the fire many times and rebuild in 1903 year, it became Juozas and Olga de Faria e Castro family home.

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Juozas de Faria e Castro – the only noble Portuguese, Jose Carlos de Faria e Castro and Sofia Lvovnos Vaksel offspring. In 1821 Raudones Castle was given as Prince Platon Zubov marital daughters dowry by grandmother Sofia Platonovna. After graduating from the Imperial Alexander Lyceum in St. Petersburg J. de Faria e Castro served as the State Chancellery in St. Petersburg, and in 1903 he was appointed Kaunas district honoured judge of peace court. At Kaunas Noble feast he met Russian aristocrats Kordaševskij daughter Olga and got married to her. Olga de Faria e Castro loved Raudone - from early spring until late autumn of she and her sons settled in the castle, and the after the World War I, she and her family settled permanently in Raudone.

The young lady Olga, perfectly educated in parents home, loved and understood the beauty. While living in Raudone she decorated the castle, cherished the park, gardens and flower gardens. Castle was surrounded by the summer flowers, garden and alleys thrived, trees provided shade, ponds with swans floating - freshness and beauty. The castle was always full of guests and dependents. Mrs. Olga interacted with the princes Vasilcikovais, Meisner, Tyszkiewicz, Semeta, relatives Vakseliais and Khrushchev. She to travelled to their places and invited them to castle. Olga's twin sister would come by car - she was married to a noble doctor from Kedainiai. Both sisters were very beautiful, with white ribbon dresses and hats used to walk on the park alleys. Castle rooms were furnished to the tsarist era aristocracy. In the bedroom, used to hang a large oval mirror, on the toilet table used to lay Olga's French ladies powder, comb, and lavender water. In warm summer evenings, Mrs. Olga used to play the piano to her guests.

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Love Legend

On the high side of the river slope proudly into the Nemunas river waters looking red Raudones castle tower and distant country Portugal - mysterious and even more romantic story.

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The last Raudones castle host, Lithuanian called Juozas Kasteris, ancestors were Portuguese. His father Jose Carlos de Faria e Castro to Lithuania led the love. In Raudone one and a half century ago was started Lithuanian branch of the family de Faria e Castro, which descendants now in all over the world with nostalgia looks to their long ago lost magic world. That love story began in distant Madeira – the most beautiful place in the world on a remote island in the Atlantic ocean.

In year 1861 Sofija Karlovna Vaksel went into amazingly beautiful island of Madeira, at that time she was Raudones castle owning Sofija Platonovna Kaisarova, with three children, daughter. Lived there for several years, hoping that the subtropical climate will heal weak younger daughter's health. Sofia Karlovna's children - teenagers Olga, Sofia and Platonas found friendship with novice Portugese writer Jose Carlos de Faria e Castro. In 1870 Platonas invited their friend to St. Petersburg. But it is not only a friend's invitation that attracted young Jose into the far and strange foreign land. After graduating Funšal lyceum, he studied political science in Paris, actively cooperated with the press, a member of the royal society of geography, he was awarded by the king of Portugal with Hidalgo title and was given the most honoured mark - Order of Christ, Jose Carlos de Faria e Castro decided to leave prosperous and rinsed by Atlantic waters country Madeira. To the unknown land he was attracted by fragile, soft and beautiful flower of Madeira - bird of paradise Strelitzia - sister of Plato Sofija Lvovna Vaksel. When he moved to Russia Jose Carlos began to visit Raudone, where in grandmothers castle lived Sofia. Only hundred year old lime-trees remember whispers of lovers, the top of the trees cherishes their happy looks, that met at rising sun in the horizon, the Nemunas river waters floats this nice love story... In 1872 spring Jose Carlos and Sofija Lvovna got married in Raudones castle. They stayed to live in the castle, because Sofija Platonovna has chosen her granddaughter Sofia as successor of Raudones castle. After four years in Raudone was born and grew their only son Jose Carlos de Faria e Castro.

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