Red Cross sanatorium in Birštonas (Survived) (0)
Address: Birutės g. 31, Birštonas
Architecture type: Professional
Architects: Romanas Steikūnas
Styles: Kurortinė architektūra
Year: 1930 - 1933
Region: Kaunas
Epochs: Interwar
Architecture categories: Architecture, Separate building, Culture/Sport/Leisure, Sanatorium, Health resort
Materials: Masonry (brick)
Images: 12
Publications: 0
Consist of 0 object(s)
Tags: Architect Romanas Steikūnas, Balneotherapy sanatorium, Birštonas, Kauno raudonojo kryžiaus ligoninė, Lidija Melleraitė-Arnoldi, Red Cross, Resorts, Sanatoriums, Vasarvietės, Vytautas Landsbergis Žemkalnis
: Birštonas, Red Cross hospital in Birštonas

As of 1924 the resort was owned by Lithuanian Red Cross (in 1933 it delegated its Director Lt. Col. Dr. Matulionis) who not only took care of the renewal of health service infrastructure but also (especially until 1935) actively demolished old and built new (mostly wooden) buildings, with the works being led by architect V. Landsbergis.

The idea to open a Red Cross health resort in Birštonas was systematic – the opening of the same facilities was also planned in Kaunas, Klaipėda, Vilnius, and Panevėžys. The draft for the “crucial mineral bath building”, prepared in 1930 by engineer Romanas Steikūnas, had an exceptional design when compared with the other Red Cross buildings. The health resort was symmetric, masonry, two-storey with a dome (only one floor was actually built) covering the spacious lobby inside which has several reception offices and waiting rooms. Apart from the new sanatorium, there was also a separate building for dirt baths and another for laundry.

The most common visitors to try out the new dirt and mineral baths and relax were from Kaunas. “For Kaunas locals Birštonas is the prime suburb for weekends. <...> nothing, not even rain can stop them from coming here to have mineral carbonic and mud healing baths.” The press at that time talked about how the “positive effect on health” is created not only by resort's environment or the quality of new procedures but also the staff. Of course, some also noted that the expensive construction of the health resort resulted in unaffordable prices for the treatment services: “there are things which need to be changed, especially during the crisis – officials, farmers cannot afford the baths”.

Viltė Migonytė