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Red Cross Tuberculosis Sanatorium

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In the interwar period and other European countries (the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Austria, etc.), tuberculosis was one of the most acute problems due to the boom in industrial sectors (factories, diamond mines, etc.). The construction and design of sanatoriums for treating such specific diseases reflected the period's aesthetics: "The need for cleanliness, health, hygiene, sunlight, clean air and open spaces characterised modern architecture between the wars". Sanatoriums were built in mountainous or forest areas, like the Aukštieji Panemunė spa, to ensure that patients spent their rehabilitation time in as sterile an environment as possible. Like other sanatoriums (Bugeci in Romania, Nordrach on Dee and Nordrach on Mendip in Baden, Queen Alexandra in Davos, etc.), the facades of the Red Cross building (south, east and west) were lined with balconies (and open terraces elsewhere) where patients could enjoy the sun - the most effective antiseptic.

In 1933, "Lietuvos Aide" wrote that "the temporary capital, compared with other western European cities, has a significant priority in recreational matters. Right next to the city, it has an excellent health resort in the A. Panemunė forest with 130 hectares of villas and treatment and rehabilitation sanatoriums. Perhaps the largest of these is the four-storey brick sanatorium of the Lithuanian Red Cross, which was established in 1932 in the southern part of the Vičiūnai settlement. The sanatorium belonged to the Lithuanian Red Cross Society, which was founded in 1919. One of its tasks was to establish tuberculosis (TB) hospitals.

The internal layout of the Upper Panemunė sanatorium is corridor-based. This layout was typical in sanatoriums and hospitals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Beds in the long corridors were separated by curtains, thus forming a private space for the patient - a ward. It was not until the early 20th century that this type of ward was replaced in British sanatoriums by separate pavilions with wards on either side of the corridor, with spacious balconies running around the entire perimeter of the façade.

It is interesting to note that when the tuberculosis sanatoriums were built, the relatives of the patients often lived next door to the sanatoriums, thus creating new settlements and infrastructure and business sectors to meet the needs of the settlers.

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