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Lithuania of early 20th century is best preserved in the Modernist facades of Kaunas. Its buildings, held to the highest artistic standards, blend distinctive regional features with the most modern architectural trends of the time. The result is a unique synthesis that continues to inspire new generations of architects and has been inscribed on the UNESCO Heritage List.

Let’s be honest, it is nothing short of a small miracle that the Lithuanian language and a sense of self-identity have persevered to this day. During the 19th century, the Russian Empire actively and systematically attempted to strip the Lithuanian nation of its language and culture. Nevertheless, Lithuanians not only endured decades of attempts to obliterate their identity but also managed to strengthen it. The culmination of this national revival was the Act of Independence on 16 February 1918.

With it, the creation of a new, modern, European state commenced. The stage of Lithuania's development that is best represented by the modernist architecture of Kaunas. Its buildings, held to the highest artistic standards, blend distinctive regional features with the most modern architectural trends of the time. The result is a unique synthesis that continues to inspire new generations of architects and has been inscribed on the UNESCO Heritage List.

Out of necessity, Kaunas became the capital of the country during the interwar period. Today’s capital, Vilnius, was occupied by Poland, leaving no other option. Instead of despairing over these unfortunate circumstances, the architects of the new state saw this as an opportunity to transform Kaunas by modernizing it and placing it in a broader European context. The buildings, districts, and complexes erected over the next two decades transformed Kaunas into a true center of science, culture, and education with a vibrant urban life.

The modernist buildings of Kaunas have retained their distinctive character to this day. In just two decades, interwar architects created a phenomenon unique in Europe. The buildings of the Central Post Office, the Officers' Quarters, the Vytautas Magnus War Museum, the Romuva Cinema, and the Milk Centre are just a few examples of modernist architecture without analogues throughout Europe. The entire city of Kaunas is full of such gems, and hunting for them will be a journey of discovery for everyone.

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