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Kaunas Artists’ House

(former Vatican Diplomatic Mission (Nunciature))

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V. Putvinskio g. 56, Kaunas
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Embassies from most foreign countries moved to Kaunas and worked there temporarily, i.e. until Vilnius became the capital again. It’s understandable, as not many states, regardless of their economic abilities, saw the point in investing in a new building, and therefore embassies would usually rent premises or buildings.

The only exception in Kaunas during the interwar period was the Vatican, whose embassy on V. Putvinskis Street, officially called the Apostolic Nunciature, was designed by Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis in 1931. Maybe this was because the architect finished his studies in Rome? After all, the building is more reminiscent of a classic Italian villa than its neighbouring buildings, even though they emerged in a modern alley that probably knew the secrets of many states, almost at the same time. It was reminiscent of a villa not only in its forms, as an exception was made to the rules and it was permitted to build the villa away from the street and make it stand slightly higher on the slope of Žaliakalnis. This created conditions for a beautiful and unusual garden in the centre of Kaunas, which remains popular amongst local people and visitors to this day.

Whilst designing the Nunciature, Landsbergis-Žemkalnis thought about both work and relaxation modes. The dining room and the orangery on the first floor were separated by a sliding partition, which, after it was opened, revealed a space for celebrations. There is also a chancery in the building, and on the second floor are a work room, bedrooms and a chapel. The premises, expressed in the façade by different volumes, are connected by a spacious central hall.

For a number of political reasons, representatives from the Vatican never settled here. From 1932 a children’s hospital was located inside the building, and then a tuberculosis dispensary and a kindergarten. Soon, the Kaunas Artists’ House, that now uses the building, will celebrate its 50th anniversary and will invite everyone to a wide range of cultural and artistic events that will take place almost every day.

By the way, there are more traces of interwar diplomacy in V. Putvinskis Street. The embassies of the USA, Hungary, Sweden, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, and France were all established here. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also located nearby, so you can only wonder what kind of secrets are known only to the walls of this quarter.

In 2015, the European Commission awarded 44 objects of Modernist interwar architecture in Kaunas the European Heritage Label, among them this creation of Landsbergis-Žemkalnis.

Kaunas Artists’ House

(former Vatican Diplomatic Mission (Nunciature))

V. Putvinskio g. 56, Kaunas

Embassies from most foreign countries moved to Kaunas and worked there temporarily, i.e. until Vilnius became the capital again. It’s understandable, as not many states, regardless of their economic abilities, saw the point in investing in a new building, and therefore embassies would usually rent premises or buildings.

The only exception in Kaunas during the interwar period was the Vatican, whose embassy on V. Putvinskis Street, officially called the Apostolic Nunciature, was designed by Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis in 1931. Maybe this was because the architect finished his studies in Rome? After all, the building is more reminiscent of a classic Italian villa than its neighbouring buildings, even though they emerged in a modern alley that probably knew the secrets of many states, almost at the same time. It was reminiscent of a villa not only in its forms, as an exception was made to the rules and it was permitted to build the villa away from the street and make it stand slightly higher on the slope of Žaliakalnis. This created conditions for a beautiful and unusual garden in the centre of Kaunas, which remains popular amongst local people and visitors to this day.

Whilst designing the Nunciature, Landsbergis-Žemkalnis thought about both work and relaxation modes. The dining room and the orangery on the first floor were separated by a sliding partition, which, after it was opened, revealed a space for celebrations. There is also a chancery in the building, and on the second floor are a work room, bedrooms and a chapel. The premises, expressed in the façade by different volumes, are connected by a spacious central hall.

For a number of political reasons, representatives from the Vatican never settled here. From 1932 a children’s hospital was located inside the building, and then a tuberculosis dispensary and a kindergarten. Soon, the Kaunas Artists’ House, that now uses the building, will celebrate its 50th anniversary and will invite everyone to a wide range of cultural and artistic events that will take place almost every day.

By the way, there are more traces of interwar diplomacy in V. Putvinskis Street. The embassies of the USA, Hungary, Sweden, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, and France were all established here. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also located nearby, so you can only wonder what kind of secrets are known only to the walls of this quarter.

In 2015, the European Commission awarded 44 objects of Modernist interwar architecture in Kaunas the European Heritage Label, among them this creation of Landsbergis-Žemkalnis.

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