Labanoras church was built in 1820 and burned down in 2009
Labanoras is a small town within the Labanoras Regional Park in Lithuania. It is situated on Lake Labanoras and is surrounded by the Labanoras Forest, the largest forest in Lithuania. As a center of the regional park, the town attracts tourists. A hotel and restaurant were opened in a former school building in 2003.1 According to the 2001 census, the town had 75 residents.2
Its alternate names include Labanary, Labanoro, Łabonary (Polish), and Labanore (Yiddish).34
The settlement is known from 1373.5 In 1386, Grand Duke Jogaila gifted Labanoras and other settlements to the newly established Diocese of Vilnius.6 In 1965 a hoard of about 470 coins was found near the town cemetery. It contained Prague groschens minted by Charles IV (1316–1378) and Wenceslaus (1361–1419) as well as early coins from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by Vytautas (1350–1430) and Casimir IV Jagiellon (1427–1492). It is believed that the treasure was buried during the 1470s.7 The first church was mentioned in 1522, folwark in 1539, manor in 1568, parish school in 1781.5 The town had 196 residents in 1866, 443 in 1923, 264 in 1959, and 186 in 1979.5
A miraculous painting of Mother of God was first mentioned during a canonical visitation in 1655.6 A wooden church was built in 1820, but it burned down in December 2009. As of January 2011, no official report had been released. Unofficially, the possibility of an accidental fire due to faulty electrical installation was ruled out leaving arson as the main suspect.8 It is believed that the church was robbed of its over 30 valuable paintings (15 of them were state-protected monuments of art) and then burned to cover up the crime.8 During the cleanup, 1,017 coins (German pfennigs, Russian kopeks, Lithuanian centas) were found under the burned altar.9 A reconstruction is underway, financed by the government and private donations.8
^"Labanoras". Hotel and Restaurant Labanoras. Retrieved 2011-01-02.