Description of activities
The Thomas Mann Memorial Museum is one of the main tourist destinations in the west of Lithuania.
According to the writer Thomas Mann, he
and his wife Katia were ‘seized by the indescribable peculiarity and beauty of nature, and the fantastic world of shifting dunes’ on their first visit to Nida in the summer of 1929, and they quickly made up their minds to ‘acquire a permanent residence’. A summer cottage, based on a design by the Klaipėda architect Herbert Reissmann, was built on Mother-in-Law Hill in Nida in 1929-1930, in which Mann spent three summers with his family (1930 to 1932). The cottage was nationalised in 1939, and converted into a hunting lodge called Elk Wood. It suffered heavy damage after the war.
The house was repaired in the 1950s at the initiative of Antanas Venclova, the chairman of the Lithuanian Writer’s Union. In 1965, it was taken over by the municipal library of Klaipėda.
The house was refurbished once again in 1995-1996, based on extant drawings, plans and the reminiscences of Thomas Mann’s daughter Elisabeth, in order to restore the authentic atmosphere.
Since 2014, the museum has housed a new exhibition. Thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, the exhibit not only presents the life and work of the Nobel Prize winner, but also provides a poetic recreation of the atmosphere of the days that the author spent in the house.
Today the Thomas Mann House accommodates two institutions:
• Neringa Museums
• Thomas Mann Cultural Centre.
The main room of the museum serves as a venue for performances of chamber music, literary gatherings, international forums organised by the Thomas Mann Cultural Centre, and the events of the Thomas Mann Festival.