The chapel pole in Napreliai village in Zarasai district is a monument of minor folk architecture typical to the northeastern part of Aukštaitija. An open chapel is fixed on a rather tall pole. The first chapel pole was erected in this place in 1899, and when it later decayed, in 1980, Kazimieras Nemanis created the present one, a copy of the previous one. He replaced the former and decayed sculpture of John of Nepomuk by a sculpture group of the Baptism of Jesus Christ. Both biblical storylines were highly common in the folk art of the 18th and 19th centuries, especially in Aukštaitija, where the cult of the most Blessed Virgin Mary was less popular compared to the region of Samogitia. 1899, the original date of creation of this work of folk art is carved at top of the chapel pole, on the pole location close to the where the chapel begins.

An open chapel topped with a four-sided pyramidal roof, supported by four curved supports is fixed to the base of the chapel that is made of a pole with an octagonal foundation. The chapel under-roof space is edged by planks carved with openwork arc-shaped ornaments. A ornamented sun-cross of forged metal is mounted above the tin-covered roof, as high in artistic value as the wooden monument. The cross is made of a composition of a sun and a half-moon cross-beam below it and decorated with a geometrical pattern that embodies the harmony that is typical to traditional folk art. The sculptures of St. John the Baptist and Jesus Christ inside the chapel are highly detailed, with realistic vivid features of their faces and garment pleats. The figurines are oriented frontally, modeled on all sides, their poses are static, the plastic is decorative. The scene of the baptism of Jesus Christ is depicted in a standard way, using the composition and storyline typical to traditional Lithuanian folk art, which reached Lithuania through professional sacred art from early Christianity.




  • State/county: Zarasai district
  • Country: Lithuania