- A Week In Lithuania - Aug. 2009

Introduction     Background    Machtas     Kaunas    Vilnius     Lietuva



The Language

Lithuania - History

Vilnius - History

Kaunas - History

The Jews - Lithuania

The Jews - Kaunas

Kaunas-History-Nemunas-Neris-Vitautas-town hall-castle-Grand Duchy-
Russian-gubernija-theatre-Museum-Provisional Capital of Lithuania   
Seimas-Vitautas Magnus University-USSR-Soviet-streets renamed-
second Republic-Lithuanian street names-festivals-basketball team Galgiris-Kaunas City Day  
קובנה-הסטוריה-נמונס-נריס-בית העירייה-הבירה הזמנית של ליטא-אוניברסיטה-עצמאות-כדורסל-זלזיריס Kaunas - History

Thousands of years ago
people started to settle
on the confluence of
the Nemunas and the Neris rivers.
Kaunas is first mentioned in 1361.
It was in 1408 though that Kaunas
started its history as a city
when Grand Duke Vitautas ruled.
In 1542 the town hall was built.
Kaunas castle was built thereafter.
It became an important local institution.
A wall around the city was also built.
In 1701 the city was burnt and destroyed.
A fire broke out in 1732.
Later that century Kaunas became
one of the largest cities
in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Also Jews settled now in Kaunas

for more on that click here

In 1795 the city was captured by the Russian.
In 1812 it was "visited" by Napoleon
and his army on their way to Russia.
In 1843 the city became the center
of the new Kaunas gubernija ( province ).
From that year until the year 1869
the city's territory doubled in size.
In 1847 the main avenue of the city was formed
In 1862 a modern railway-station was introduced.
A horse tramway from city hall to the station
was introduced in 1892 as was the city theatre.
In 1898 the Kaunas City Museum was opened.

As the first world war went on
the Germans captured the city in 1915.
In 1919 the Poles captured Vilnius.
As a result when Lithuania became independent
second largest city Kaunas became
the Provisional Capital of Lithuania
on the 2nd Jan. 1919.
On May 15 1920 the Seimas ( parliament )
was first met in the new capital.
All embassies and state institutions
were now to be found in Kaunas.
The city now was developing fast
into a big European modern city
Mayors of that period Vileisis ( 1921-1931 ),
Gravrogkas (1932-1933) and Merkys (1933–1939)
were encouraging the economic boom.
The Vitautas Magnus University was opened.
Modern bridges , water systems and bus lines
were introduced in the city as well as new banks

for more on that click here

The flourishing of Kaunas as a capital city
came to an end when the second world war started.
In June 1940 the Soviet captured the city.
The following year the Germans captured it.
The bloodiest period of its modern history began.
Almost all of the large Jewish community of Kaunas
was exterminated in the following years of the war.

for more on that click here

The city was then captured again by the Soviet.
As the war ended It became a part of the USSR
Many streets around the city were now renamed.
Several anti-communist movements
were operating in Kaunas in that period.
Protests were held for almost half a century.

As the second Republic was founded in 1990
many street names became Lithuanian again.
Annual classical and Jazz music festivals
were initiated as well as other cultural activities.
local basketball team Galgiris won the European cup.
Since 1999 Kaunas City Day is being celebrated.
In the year 2009 Kaunas marked the 90th anniversary
of the proclamation of the city of Kaunas
as the Provisional Capital of independent Lithuania.
That very same year the visit to Kaunas took place.

for more on that click here Lietuva- Machtas - Lithuania - Macht - kaunas - Vilnius - Summer ליטא-ליטא  - טיול שורשים לליטא  - קובנה - וילנה  - קיץ  2009