Place of the Royal Kennel

In the 16th-century Vilnius, the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania echoed with a multitude of sounds that included the barking, whining and growling of dogs. The Grand Dukes of Lithuania and their family members owned canines of various breeds, ranging from small puppies to exceptional hunting dogs.

The largest packs of dogs, of up to two hundred Hounds and Greyhounds, were kept well outside the Palace of the Grand Dukes, in the royal kennels. The first ones were located well outside the city, in what is today Valakampiai, beside the then summer residence of the ruler. By 1553 they were moved closer and occupied the area between the present-day Green and Mindaugas Bridges. At the time the royal kennels shared the space on the right side of River Neris with fishermen’s houses, a brickyard and a glass workshop. The kennels employed dozens of servants of different ranks, all taking care of the dogs. Some dog keepers were meant to train them, others took them hunting, or fed them. 

Learn more about the royal dogs in Vilnius by clicking on this link.

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