On Saturday, November 21st, a business and charity evening will be held at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. The “Diner de Gala avec Martell” is organized by the French-Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce Franco – Lituanienne).

The aim of the project, now in its second year, is to promote the culture of Lithuania’s estates, to preserve cultural heritage and to strengthen ties between France and Lithuania. Like last year, the charity dinner at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania will be followed by a gala ball – which this year will take place in historical buildings dating from 15th-16th century which served at various times in the past as the mansions and palaces of several dynasties of Lithuanian nobility. These premises have now been combined to make the luxurious Hotel Narutis.

Hotel Narutis was not chosen accidentally – it is the oldest hotel in Vilnius and one of the oldest in Eastern Europe. It was mentioned for the first time as a lodging place for travelers in the “Word Cities Album” published at Cologne (Köln) in 1518. The magnificent Column Hall was at one time the refectory of the university professors and its walls and ceiling are decorated with frescoes painted in the middle of the 17th century. Guests will dance under these well-preserved frescoes at the ball following “Diner de Gala avec Martell”.

Another noteworthy fact about the hotel is that its garden was the site of Vilnius University’s first botanical garden and orangery, which were founded in 1782 by a professor of French origin, Jean-Emmanuel Gilibert.

The prestigious business and charity dinner includes three courses that were favorites of the Lithuanian nobility in the country’s estates and will be accompanied by “G. H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut” and “G. H. Mumm Le Rose” champagne followed by “Martell VSOP” cognac. The ticket price will be EUR 150, including a charity donation of EUR 45. Money donated during the evening will be dedicated to a special purpose in the Palace of the Grand Dukes.

The hosts of the evening will be the actress Jurgita Jurkutė-Širvaitė and doctor of social sciences, celebrated writer and francophone Eugenijus Skerstonas. Those wishing to purchase tickets for this glamorous business evening should contact the Director of the French-Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce, Otilija Snieškaitė.