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Vinksnupiai village

Historical facts

Vilkaviskis district municipality, Bartininkai authority, village of Vinksnupiai

Different sources provide different information about the origin of the village. Some say that after the death of Vytautas of the GDL (Grand Duchy of Lithuania) in 1432, a large group of Tatars (about 3,000 people) was already resettled in Lithuania. There were four cavalry regiments. Their commander, Temir Tuhan-bey, was given the Vinksnupiai manor and its surroundings in Uznemunes as a token of appreciation for his help to the Lithuanians in the battles. He married a Lithuanian woman named Baranauskaitė and took the name Tuhan-Baranauskas (Baranowski). In the 1626 “Kvarta Simpla” book of taxes on royal estates, the village of Vinksnupiai is also mentioned. Back in 1595, the landlord Jonas Višnevskis, a courtier of King Sigismund Vasa, was granted a number of properties in the Sūdava land, including Vinksnupiai, as a royal privilege. Some other estates he bought.

Other sources mention that Tatars settled in Vinksnupiai in the 16th century, and that famous Tatar families, such as the Achmatowicz, the Buchinsky, the Krychynsk, the Ulanov and the Sulkiewiczs settled here. A descendant of the latter is Aleksander Sulkiewicz, a Polish politician and associate of Pilsudski. In 1663, the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, John Casimir, granted lands to Tatar soldiers for their services in the war with Moscow in the Karalkrėlis municipality of the Alytus economy, in the villages of Vinksnupiai, Vilkabaliai, Piliakalniai, Patilčiai and other villages.

The privilege of 22 March 1667 equated the rights of Tatars with nobles. It is known from the Tatar request to King Stanislaw August in 1775 that the Lithuanian nobles also donated lands to Tatar soldiers. However, the soldiers were in no hurry to settle on the land they received. The inventories of 1738 speak of colonists arriving in villages that had been devastated by the plague of 1709-1711, and of the beginning of the absorption of the arable fields. It is likely that during this period the first Tatars arrived on the land donated by the king and the nobles, and the village of Vinksnupiai began to develop.

However, there is a certain mythologisation of events and repetition of facts in these stories, without any insight into whether this is what actually happened. After settling in the GDL, Tatars were given land holdings and in return they had to take part in military campaigns with their troops for free. This arrangement lasted until the beginning of the 17th century, but from then on, Tatars served in the army and received salaries. Presumably, their power in that part of Sūduva had weakened by then, and no evidence of specific manors under their control has been found.

During the wars of the mid-17th century and the plague and famine that followed, the population was almost gone. It seems that the Grand Duke of the GDL and the King of Poland, John Casimir, wanted to stimulate the settlement and economic development of the region with his privilege of 1663. Unfortunately, there were no results, because from the inventory of 1693 we learn that there were only 3 inhabitants in Vinksnupiai. at that time, one of the previously mentioned, Baranauskas was a land tenant. There were not much more of them in the neighbouring villages. The existence of a manor house is out of the question.

The population of the village was able to increase only after the plague epidemic of 1709 – 1711. In return for their service to the Grand Duke, the rich Tatars received manors (those who refused to serve lost their manor as well) and rented their own land and inventory to other dependent peasants. Vinksnupiai and its unfree inhabitants are also mentioned in the 1738 census of the royal inventory of Karalkrėlis Manor.

Thus, on these royal estates, in the village of Vinksnupiai, the classical manor and serfdom relations did not develop until the end of the 19th century. In the course of about a decade, i.e., from 1795 to 1807, the former tenants of the royal manor became independent landlords and only managed to enslave a dozen peasants (this also happened in Vinksnupiaia). Thus, in … there were 169 Tatars living in the vicinity of Vinksnupiai, and in 1866 172 Tatars.

In the second half of the 18th century, General Mustafa Baranowski built a mosque in Vinksnupiai. At the beginning of the 19th century (1821-1827), General Zajanckas built a new mosque.

The “Dictionary of the Geography of the Kingdom of Poland”, published at the end of the 19th century, says about Vinksnupiai: “Vinksnupiai(…) is a village and a farmstead in Vilkaviskis district, Bartininkai parish. 18 versts (Russian unit of distance where one verst is equal to 1,067 km) from Vilkaviskis. In the farmstead there are 4 houses, 80 inhabitants, in the village there were 26 houses, 150 inhabitants. In 1827 there were 23 houses and 175 inhabitants. The last Imam before the First World War was Chaleckis, who was also the owner of the manor.

During the time between the wars in Lithuania, these lands belonged to the Gavrilkevicius family, who built a red brick manor house with an arched portico and balcony.

The mosque was burnt down during World War II. The Tatars were scattered across Lithuania by the storms of war and post-war.

Part of the Prussian war map of 1797 with a view of Vinksnupiai

Vinksnupiai in photos

Vinksnupiai in the publications