Rauboniai Watermill and the Wool Carding-Spinning Workshop

The building of the Raubonys water mill, wool carding mill and spinning mill was built at the end of the 19th century, near the Pasvalys-Biržai highway, in the valley of the Tatula River, right by the shore. The documents found in Raubonys in 1775 indicate that grain was milled by 2 wooden wheels turning 2 mills, which were turned by the flow of the Tatula River. At that time, the Raubonys water mill was the only one in the parish of Krinčino. In 1860 the landowner Lui von Ropp (1824-1897) bought the village of Raubonii, bought the old Raubonii mill and built the red mill, which is still standing today. In 1907, the red brick mill and the woollen carding and spinning mill, with technological equipment bought in England and Sweden, started operating. In 1921, Jonas Ribbė, a Latvian citizen, was named the owner of the mill. Around 1936-1938, the Raubonys water mill was sold to a Jew, Chackel Ziv. In 1940, the Raubonys mill was nationalised. In 1941-1944, Henrik Brandenburgis, a Lithuanian German, became the sole owner of the mill. The mill continued to operate during the Soviet years. The woollen mills stopped turning in 1987 and the carding mill closed in 1997. In 1995 it was re-registered as UAB 'Raubonių verpykla', which belonged to the Pasvalys municipality. During the mill's operation, a complex was formed consisting of a pond, a water channel and a building housing the mill, a carding plant and a spinning mill. The mill's turbines were driven by water coming from a canal in the pond. Between the building and the pond there was a courtyard, where a balcony with a canopy for lifting the bags to the second floor is still there. The mill was built on two floors, in red brickwork, unplastered. There are single-storey brick extensions at either end. The brickwork is of a very high quality, the masonry is solid and beautiful. The foundations are of stone and brick. Today, this important architectural and rare engineering object from the past, with its well-preserved technological equipment, is of unique value. Therefore, it has become a state-protected historical, technical and architectural monument, and in 2008 it was entered into the Register of Cultural Property of the Republic of Lithuania. The old carding and spinning equipment has been preserved to this day.

In 2014, the Rauboniai community, realising its importance, signed a lease agreement and started actively seeking help to preserve it.

On 12 September 2015, after a break of 18 years, the machines of the Raubonys water mill - wool carding plant started to hum again. Not for commercial purposes, but for educational purposes. The revival of this unique object of cultural heritage, which is protected by the State, is thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of the Raubonys community and the project consultant Vaidotas Gikis.

The main objective of the project "Establishment of a Traditional Crafts Centre" is to establish a Traditional Crafts Centre in the Raubonys watermill in a spinning mill, to revitalise and foster traditional wool crafts.
In a record time of three months, the premises were renovated, the electrical wiring was repaired, a security alarm system with video surveillance was installed, lightning rods were installed, the technological equipment of the woolen carding and spinning mill was partially repaired, indoor furniture and outdoor bio-toilets were purchased, and woolen processing practical trainings were organised. The total cost of the project was around EUR 60 000.
The ground floor of the red-brick building houses cosy craft workshops. There is a table where you can learn to spin wool. "The first attempts were successful. Twenty people gathered, all women by the way. They learnt how to make slippers and handkerchiefs," said Gražina Paškevičienė, the chairwoman of the Rauboniai community. The educational programme "The Way of Wool" is based on the stories of the people who worked in the woolen carding mill and spinning mill. Particularly valuable information was provided by Irena Kvedaraitė-Poškuvienė, one of the last workers at the mill.

V. Gikys admitted that the beginning of the revival of the woollen carding-swindle factory was difficult. The building is listed in the Register of Immovable Cultural Property, so even the smallest works had to be coordinated with heritage specialists. "Nothing could be done without a technical construction project, which cost as much as the "Leader" funding we had for the craft centre. So when you visit the woolen carding mill, you won't see sparkling colours or impressive shutters, because only simple repairs have been carried out," explained Gikys.

At the end of 2018, restoration and reconstruction of the old Raubonys water mill and its adaptation to tourism began. The project will ensure the diversity of tourism products in Lithuania and the emergence and development of new products. The opening of a museum in the mill building, expositions, and introducing visitors to the processes of wool carding and spinning, bread making and beer brewing will develop Lithuania's cultural heritage and contribute to its preservation and transmission to future generations.

In August 2023, the Raubonys Water Mill and Hot Springs was completed. As already mentioned, this technical heritage building, which is unrivalled in Lithuania, was brought back to life in 2015 on the initiative of the Raubonys community and its enthusiast Vaidotas Gikis. The community manages the building, which belongs to the Pasvalys District Municipality, on a lease basis. 

Restauravimo darbai užtruko beveik ketverius metus, jie buvo suskirstyti į du etapus.  Malūno atkūrimui lėšos gautos iš Europos Sąjungos fondų, valstybinės paveldotvarkos programos bei skirtos iš Pasvalio savivaldybės biudžeto. Atlikti darbai: pamatų remontas, vidaus ir lauko sienų, perdangų, pralaidos ir jos atraminių sienučių, tiltų, stogo konstrukcijų ir dangos, kaminų, lietaus vandens nuvedimo sistemos, vidaus ir lauko laiptų, langų, durų, nuogrindos, fasadinio mūro, fasadinio polichrominio dekoro, istorinės malūno technologinės įrangos ir kiti tvarkybos darbų projekte numatyti tvarkybos darbai. Taip pat įrengta vandentiekio ir nuotekų sistema, sutvarkyta malūno aplinka, lauko akmenimis išgrįsta automobilių stovėjimo aikštelė, išvalytas kanalas.

The major works are over, but the mill site will continue to move. A future culvert under Taikos Street will ensure that water will keep moving under the building and prevent the canal from silting up again. A large car and bus parking area and a pedestrian walkway to the mill will be built some distance away. This will take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Pasvalys District Local Action Group.


Address Taikos 5, Rauboniai village, Pasvalys district
Opening hours I-VII, by prior arrangement by phone


Draugystės g. 2, Raubonių k., LT-39447 Pasvalio r.

Draugystės g. 2, Raubonių k., Pasvalio r.

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