House of Palecki

The decisions Lithuanian rulers made several centuries ago would raise a few eyebrows today. One of such decisions was handing over the right to practice a trade to a single artisan, effectively making him a monopolist. This is exactly what happened in 16th century Vilnius when the right to manufacture glass was limited to one person.

The lucky man’s name was Marcin Palecki. In 1547 King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Augustus granted the privilege making him the only legal producer, importer, and trader of glass in Vilnius.
In working with glass, Marcin was following in the footsteps of his father Jan, who took over the glass trade from his namesake bishop of Vilnius in 1525. New discoveries show that Bishop Jan was a businessman in a cassock and established the glasshouse in 1519, dating the start of glassmaking in Vilnius no less than three decades earlier than previously believed.

Marcin’s glass shop, where locally made and imported products were on offer, apparently was on Stiklių [Glassmakers’] Street no. 5 at the heart of the old city. Today the house bears a plaque to honour Marcin Palecki.

Learn more about glassmaking traditions in Vilnius by clicking this link.
Address: Stiklių Str. 5