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A photograph of the Basanavicius bust in the Lithuanian Cultural Garden with a rollover image to a historical photograph of the bust.Jonas Basanavicius: (1851-1927) Patriarch of the Lithuanian Nation

Jonas Basanvicius was born in Ozkabaliai on November 23, 1851.  Eleven years later, he studied at the Marijampole gymnasium, and in 1873 he entered Moscow University as Faculty of History and Philology.  Just one year later, he was transferred to the Faculty of Medicine. (Biography Basanavicius.en)

“In 1879 he was awarded the diploma of a medical doctor and worked for some time in Ozkabaliai, Vilkaviskis, and Aleksotas.  In 1878 he accepted an appointment as a doctor and the head of a hospital in Bulgaria, Lom Palanka city.  He took care of Lithuanian affairs, and searched for opportunities to publish a Lithuanian newspaper abroad. In 1883 a newspaper Ausra ("The Dawn") appeared which was edited and published by him.  In 1882 Dr. Basanavicius left Bulgaria for Prague and Vienna where he worked and studied medicine.” (Biography Basanavicius.en)

“Jonas Basanavicius was the most significant figure of the national Renaissance of Lithuania at the end of 19th century and had acquired the name of the patriarch of the nation.  Although he never created any work of fiction, his patriotic activities and his collections of folklore as well as research had left a deep impact on the poetry and other writings of that time.  He made research studies on Lithuanian history and culture, and collected data on folklore. He wrote about 40 works on history, archaeology, cultural history, ethnography, folklore studies, linguistics and medicine.” (Biography Basanavicius.en)

He was elected member of the Lithuanian Council at the Lithuanian Conference in 1917, and just one year later signed the Declaration of Independence. “Jonas Basanavicius died on November 16, 1927, and was buried at Rasos cemetery.” (Biography Basanavicius.en)


Basanavicius Bust in Lithuanian Cultural Garden

Basanavicius Bust

Basanavicius Bust

Photographs of the Garden

Further Reading:

Information on Lithuanians in Cleveland, The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Lithuanian Links

Cleveland’s Lithuanian Community

St. George Parish, Cleveland Lithuanian Cultural Garden

Classical Literature Anthology

Biography Basanavicius.en

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Cleveland State University Special Collections Library.