2024 m. It is a city with a fascinating history spanning hundreds of years, shaped by different eras that left lasting marks on its urban landscape. The old town holds the Hanseatic spirit, while downtown is filled with examples of modernist architecture.
One of many theories explaining the origin of the name of Kaunas is based on the verb kautis (‘to fight’). It relates to frequent battles held in the vicinity of Kaunas (especially from the 13th century to the beginning of the 15th) and is the subject of many legends. The vibrant interwar period of Kaunas, nestled between the two World Wars, adds one fascinating chapter to the city’s history. During this time, Kaunas became the temporary capital of Lithuania and embraced a remarkable transformation. Known as the “Temporary Capital,” Kaunas thrived as a cultural and intellectual hub, teeming with creativity and progressive ideas.The streets of Kaunas bustled with energy as artists, writers, and thinkers flocked to the city, shaping a flourishing cultural scene. The iconic movement of “Kaunas Modernism ” took center stage, blending elements of avant-garde, functionalism, and Art Deco into the city’s architecture.
From striking geometric designs to innovative use of materials, the buildings of Kaunas proudly flaunted their artistic flair, earning the city a well-deserved reputation as a center of creative expression. The interwar period also witnessed the establishment of prestigious institutions and universities that further enriched Kaunas’s intellectual landscape. The esteemed Vytautas Magnus University and the M.K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art found their roots during this time, becoming pillars of education and culture. Kaunas embraced its role as the “Temporary Capital” with an infectious spirit, hosting grand events, fairs, and exhibitions that attracted visitors from far and wide back then and is a home of a variety of festivals & events nowadays. It is a colorful city, famous for its street art and unique modernist architecture. Culture is inescapable in Kaunas as well. While the titular year of Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022 is over, Kaunas remains full of culture, opportunities, and adventures.
Kaunas, known as the legendary “Basketball Capital,” is also recognized as the center of figure skating in Lithuania. The locals exhibit unparalleled passion for both sports, contributing to Lithuania’s esteemed reputation as a basketball powerhouse and making Kaunas an ideal host for the European Figure Skating Championships. In fact, this event holds even greater significance as it commemorates the 100th anniversary of figure skating in Lithuania, with the inaugural figure skating event taking place in Kaunas exactly 100 years ago in 1924. So whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a sports fan, Kaunas offers a tapestry of captivating stories and delightful experiences. Join us on this exciting adventure as we uncover the rich history and unique charm of Kaunas, a city that speaks the language of laughter and welcomes visitors from around the globe with open arms!