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Kaunas State Philharmonic

(former Palace of Justice and Parliament)

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E. Ožeškienės g. 12, Kaunas
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Even though thousands of new buildings for all purposes appeared in Kaunas during the period of the First Independent Republic of Lithuania, only a few of them were designed specifically as state institutions. One of the reasons was that Kaunas was always the temporary capital of Lithuania, meaning that the hope of regaining Vilnius was not lost and therefore there was no point in investing in buildings for state institutions. However, there was a significant demand, and thus construction on the Palace for the Ministry of Justice began in 1925. The specific location was supposedly chosen for historical reasons, as during the time of the rule of the Tsar, this was the administrative centre of the city.

The plan was to build the palace in two years, but it depended on state appropriations and the work was completed only in 1929. During this time, the budget more than doubled, from 1 million litas to 2.2 million litas. With this design, the Kaunas architect Edmundas Alfonsas Frykas (Edmund Fryk), who also designed a number of railway stations in Lithuania, combined monumental Neoclassicism, suitable for a state institution, with Art Deco and flourishes of the so-called ethnic style.

The clerks of the Ministry of Justice became neighbours with people working for various judicial services. The Lithuanian Tribunal also operated here. Written on top of the façade of the monumental building with its impressive columns were words reminding those interested and casual passers-by that justice is the basis of the State.

In 1936, Seimas (Parliament) started operating from here, too. Before the largely anticipated first meeting of Seimas from its new location, which was supposed to be broadcasted on the radio on September 1, the newspaper Lietuvos aidas (Echo of Lithuania) mentioned that the repair was completed only the day before. Until 1940, meetings would take place in the same space where today people can hear music, of all genres and eras, which is often performed by the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra.

As was the case with the vast majority of other buildings in Lithuania, the palace was immediately nationalised by the Soviet authorities. During the first 20 years of occupation, various activities took place inside the building. A branch of the Ministry of the Waterways of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was established here, as well as the Design Institute, and even the puppet theatre. The Philharmonic was set up here in 1961, and in 2004 the palace was reconstructed according to the needs of both its musicians and its listeners by the heritage architect Rymantė Gudienė.

Kaunas State Philharmonic

(former Palace of Justice and Parliament)

E. Ožeškienės g. 12, Kaunas

Even though thousands of new buildings for all purposes appeared in Kaunas during the period of the First Independent Republic of Lithuania, only a few of them were designed specifically as state institutions. One of the reasons was that Kaunas was always the temporary capital of Lithuania, meaning that the hope of regaining Vilnius was not lost and therefore there was no point in investing in buildings for state institutions. However, there was a significant demand, and thus construction on the Palace for the Ministry of Justice began in 1925. The specific location was supposedly chosen for historical reasons, as during the time of the rule of the Tsar, this was the administrative centre of the city.

The plan was to build the palace in two years, but it depended on state appropriations and the work was completed only in 1929. During this time, the budget more than doubled, from 1 million litas to 2.2 million litas. With this design, the Kaunas architect Edmundas Alfonsas Frykas (Edmund Fryk), who also designed a number of railway stations in Lithuania, combined monumental Neoclassicism, suitable for a state institution, with Art Deco and flourishes of the so-called ethnic style.

The clerks of the Ministry of Justice became neighbours with people working for various judicial services. The Lithuanian Tribunal also operated here. Written on top of the façade of the monumental building with its impressive columns were words reminding those interested and casual passers-by that justice is the basis of the State.

In 1936, Seimas (Parliament) started operating from here, too. Before the largely anticipated first meeting of Seimas from its new location, which was supposed to be broadcasted on the radio on September 1, the newspaper Lietuvos aidas (Echo of Lithuania) mentioned that the repair was completed only the day before. Until 1940, meetings would take place in the same space where today people can hear music, of all genres and eras, which is often performed by the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra.

As was the case with the vast majority of other buildings in Lithuania, the palace was immediately nationalised by the Soviet authorities. During the first 20 years of occupation, various activities took place inside the building. A branch of the Ministry of the Waterways of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was established here, as well as the Design Institute, and even the puppet theatre. The Philharmonic was set up here in 1961, and in 2004 the palace was reconstructed according to the needs of both its musicians and its listeners by the heritage architect Rymantė Gudienė.

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