March 04, 2014

Kazimieras Peciukevicius, Auberge aux bois sculptés/The inn with sculpted wood


sculpture of Saint Jacques, installed in 2011

From old a halt on the way of Saint Jacques to Santiago de Compostella, Joncels is a medieval village of some 250 inhabitants in the Herault department in southern France. Just outside the ramparts, in former centuries there was an inn where travellers could stay when the gates were closed at night.

An inn with a large collection of wooden sculptures

This house, dating from the 16th century, since 2002 once more became a hotel, named Villa Issiates, an auberge that warmly welcomes those travellers who are walking their way to Santiago de Compostella.


Run by Giedre and Alain Ivinskas this hotel has a very special ambiance because of the many wooden sculptures displayed at the premises and decorating its walls.

Life and works

These creations have been made by Kazimieras Peciukevicius (b. 1928), who is the father of Giedre.

Born in Lithunia. he is a descendant of a Jewish polish-lithunian family that in the 19th century migrated to the United States, but having inherited a large farm in Lithunia, returned to that country before World War II. 


In the 19th century Lithunia was part of the Russian Empire, untill in 1918 it regained its independence. In 1940, during the second world war,  the country was occupied first by the Soviet Union, subsequently by the Germans and then in 1944 once more by the Soviet Union.

As a counterforce against the soviet-russian occupation a strong partisan movement emerged, uniformed, operating in smaller and larger units, with the large forests as a shelter. 

Vigorously pursued, most partisans would make use of the amnesty following Stalin's death in 1953, although some groups continued their activities up in the nineteeneighties.

March 1990 Lithunia finallly became an independent nation.


Peciukevicius, who was in his twentieth after world war II, joined the partisans and so he spent a large part of his young life in the forests.


This may have influenced his later creative work, such as he also has undergone influences from polish, russian and lithunian culture.


After he had participated in the partisan movement Peciukevicius had a large variety of jobs, and at some moment he became the owner of the house in Joncels, that nowadays is the hotel Villa Issiates, run by his daughter and son-in-law.


Peciukevicius has become a gifted self-taught creator of wooden sculptures which embellish the property in large numbers, calling an atmosphere of another world, a world perhaps of gnomes and woodland spirits one supposes present in dense forests....

Currently at age eighty, Peciukevicius likes to stay with his daughter and son-in-law during the months in autumn and winter when the hotel is closed. A nice periode to make new creations.

Documentation, more pictures
* Weblog Herault Insolite
* Article (may 2011) in regional journal Midi Libre
* Facebook page of the hotel
* Video by Sergio Flaquer Carreras (Serflac) (Youtube, 5'26", uploaded may 2014)


Kazimieras Peciukevicius
Auberge aux bois sculptés
Rue du Plô
34650 Joncels, Herault, FR
open to the public

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