History

There are numerous historical facts and legends about the Norviliškės castle. It is known, that the castle was built by a wealthy Prussian merchant Vaitiekus Šorcas in the place of an old manor in the beginning of the 16th century. He fell in love with the local beauty, Countess Darata Zienovičiūtė. It was because of her brave warrior from Mariemburg decided to stay in the Great Duchy of Lithuania.

Šorcas are historical personalities, mentioned in annals. You still can look at the portrait of Darata Zienovičiūtės -Vaitiekienė Šorcienė.

The newlyweds bought the old manor by their own means. They built their dream castle, somehow alluding Italy. But their happy life was not long. Vaitiekus perished in the battlefield, and Darata became a widow.

After her husband’s death Darata brought Franciscan monks from Vilnius and gave them Norviliškės estate.

Turbulent events made their way into the history, and in 1832 the monastery was closed and monks moved to the Franciscan monastery in Naugardukas. The church was also closed. Tsarist government took the Norviliškės monastery, church and other buildings. After some time the wooden church was dismantled, logs brought to Alšėnai and used to build an Orthodox church.

From the bricks that the Franciscans had bought to build a new church, the Russians built army barracks in 1834. The soldiers settled in the old monastery building, as well, and stayed there until the beginning of the 20th century.

In 1904 the monastery and barracks were made the School of Agriculture for girls. The school was closed when the World War I started.

In 1919 residents of Surviliškės parish took the monastery and barracks to rebuild Norviliškės church. It was finished in 1928.

By the way, the inventory of 1933 says that the monks hid a large sum in silver and gold when the monastery was closed. It says that the treasure was hidden somewhere near the church and monastery.

Nobody has found the treasure as well as the legendary tunnel from Norviliškės to Alšėnai. Only the tunnel from the castle to the belfry was found.

Norviliškių pilis