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Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts

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K. Donelaičio g. 8, Kaunas
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Not many people could imagine K. Donelaitis Street, one of the most vivid arteries in the city centre, without this palace with its gates that send travellers to the station or Žaliakalnis. Did you know that this building was originally intended to be constructed near the War Museum? After deciding that there should be a single location for the symbols of statehood, and acquiring sites at the other end of the street, the design that was already prepared by Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis had to be slightly transformed. By the way, 28 architects took part in the contest for the building’s design, and the idea of Landsbergis-Žemkalnis took second place.

Although the architect’s design was rather modern and brave for the late 1930s (see Research Laboratory), the Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts building is also slightly classical. The rational structure becomes slightly more classical because of its semi-columns and arches. It’s possible that this decision was made so the palace would match the arcade of the War Museum and the Bank of Lithuania better.

Ethnic motifs were used for the inside of the building, designed by the architect himself and not all remaining today. He collaborated with several prominent artists of the time, with bas-reliefs created by Bronius Pundzius, stained glass by Stasys Ušinskas, and frescoes by the painter Petras Kalpokas.

On June 16, 1938, the newspaper Lietuvos Aidas (Echo of Lithuania) reported that it was already clear that the new building was going to be one of the most beautiful in Kaunas. It was also announced that the stock exchange, the Museum of Goods and the publishing houses of the economic press were also located inside the building.

In 1940, the building was nationalised and became the property of the Museum of Culture. During the war, the general commissariat operated here. During this time, Kalpokas’ frescoes were covered, although today one of them—the one in the lobby—is visible again. The fact that, after the war, a library was built here, whose staff were very environmentally conscious, helped to preserve the value and magnitude of the building. The Old and Rare Books Department of the Kaunas County Public Library functions here today. Its employees, professionals or simply anyone interested in what they call kaunistics (anything Kaunas-related) hold regular thematic exhibitions on the history of Kaunas inside the building.

In 2015, the European Commission awarded 44 objects of Modernist interwar architecture in Kaunas the European Heritage Label, among them the Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts.

Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts

K. Donelaičio g. 8, Kaunas

Not many people could imagine K. Donelaitis Street, one of the most vivid arteries in the city centre, without this palace with its gates that send travellers to the station or Žaliakalnis. Did you know that this building was originally intended to be constructed near the War Museum? After deciding that there should be a single location for the symbols of statehood, and acquiring sites at the other end of the street, the design that was already prepared by Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis had to be slightly transformed. By the way, 28 architects took part in the contest for the building’s design, and the idea of Landsbergis-Žemkalnis took second place.

Although the architect’s design was rather modern and brave for the late 1930s (see Research Laboratory), the Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts building is also slightly classical. The rational structure becomes slightly more classical because of its semi-columns and arches. It’s possible that this decision was made so the palace would match the arcade of the War Museum and the Bank of Lithuania better.

Ethnic motifs were used for the inside of the building, designed by the architect himself and not all remaining today. He collaborated with several prominent artists of the time, with bas-reliefs created by Bronius Pundzius, stained glass by Stasys Ušinskas, and frescoes by the painter Petras Kalpokas.

On June 16, 1938, the newspaper Lietuvos Aidas (Echo of Lithuania) reported that it was already clear that the new building was going to be one of the most beautiful in Kaunas. It was also announced that the stock exchange, the Museum of Goods and the publishing houses of the economic press were also located inside the building.

In 1940, the building was nationalised and became the property of the Museum of Culture. During the war, the general commissariat operated here. During this time, Kalpokas’ frescoes were covered, although today one of them—the one in the lobby—is visible again. The fact that, after the war, a library was built here, whose staff were very environmentally conscious, helped to preserve the value and magnitude of the building. The Old and Rare Books Department of the Kaunas County Public Library functions here today. Its employees, professionals or simply anyone interested in what they call kaunistics (anything Kaunas-related) hold regular thematic exhibitions on the history of Kaunas inside the building.

In 2015, the European Commission awarded 44 objects of Modernist interwar architecture in Kaunas the European Heritage Label, among them the Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts.

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