House of Cornelius Winhold

Cornelius Winhold and Catherine Giblówna, then in their mid-teens, both lived on Castle Street in Vilnius, their homes just a hundred metres apart. Both of them were born in wealthy families. Winhold’s father moved to Lithuania from the Netherlands, Catherine’s – from Germany.

None can tell when exactly Cornelius and Catherine did fall for each other, but their romance did not last long before facing serious trials. The Winhold family, to provide Cornelius with the best possible education, sent their son on a “pilgrimage through schools”. In 1615, being barely 14 years of age, Cornelius enrolled at the University of Marburg. One year on, he studied in Basel before continuing his education in the universities of Amsterdam (in the summer of 1620) and Paris (in the spring of 1621).

Cornelius did not forget Catherine. He sent her many letters, but only two messages to his cousin have survived to our day. In the spring of 1621, Cornelius received news that Catherine was going to be married to the other man. Cornelius returned to Vilnius and next year, in 1622, married his beloved Catherine.

Cornelius and Catherine lived in the Winhold house on Castle Street 20. Judging by its surviving inventory, they had everything the beginning of the 17th century could offer: a separate kitchen, rooms for servants, storage areas, cellars for food and wine, windows of Venetian glass, and even running water.

Learn more about this love story by clicking on this link.

Address: Pilies str. 20