The chapel pole in Pikčiūnai village in Utena district is a copy of the monument created by folk master Antanas Norkūnas in 1935, and restored by Antanas Bikelis in 1972, after the original minor architecture work decayed. The chapel pole consists of a pole with a rectangular base and an open chapel with a cross roof supported by four small posts. The top of the decorative tin-plated and multi-sided roof finishes with a small wooden cross on a curved pedestal carved in plant patterns. The monument is very ornate, all the facades of the open chapel are decorated with small triangular pediments. Both the base of the chapel and its pediments are richly decorated with concave and raised reliefs, ornaments of symmetrical composition of plant motifs, and the corners of the pole holding the chapel have engraved teeth ornaments.

The chapel on the unpainted natural wooden pole is distinguished by its polychromy: the plinth is painted pink, the facades are blue, with other carved facade reliefs standing out in other colors, and the pedestal and the cross are also painted in pink and blue. The chapel has wooden sculptures of St. John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. This sculpture group was installed later, and the original sculptures of the decayed chapel pole are now stored in Utena Local Lore Museum. These sculptures are also covered in paint, highlighting the details and characteristic attributes of their clothing.

The sculpture composition in the chapel depicts the scene of the baptism of Jesus Christ on the Jordan River, the beginning of Jesus’ public service to God. This biblical storyline and its depiction have remained virtually unchanged since early Christianity. Jesus was baptized by St. John the Baptist, who had spent some of his youth alone in the desert, then began prophet’s activities in the lower reaches of the Jordan River, proclaiming the impending kingdom of God, and baptizing repentants in the river. John also baptized Jesus, calling him Messiah, and during baptism, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven as a dove. The composition established in professional art since the Renaissance has spread to folk art, as well: St. John pours water on his head, with a dove above them, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In this case, the Holy Spirit is embodied by a white dove sculpture attached to the ceiling of the chapel.




  • State/county: Utena district
  • Country: Lithuania