• Kaunas

    19. Jan 2016
©Remis Ščerbauska

Facts and Figures


Kaunas, Lithuania


387,158 inhabitants
(metropolitan area)


City 157 km2
Metro. area 8,089 km2

Educational Institutions

12 universities and colleges
(approx. 30,000 students)

most student-centered city in Lithuania

Lithuania’s sport’s capital

Industrial City

European Heritage label
“Kaunas of 1919-1940”

Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022

Kaunas Interwar Modernist Architecture included in the UNESCO Tentative World Heritage List


Kaunas has a hidden miracle and the time has come to reveal it. This miracle consists of more than 6,000 buildings, designed in the modernist spirit and surviving to the present day. It is an open-air school of good taste and style. It is also a museum of beautiful life, dispersed through the streets, courtyards, and avenues of Kaunas – discovered, washed and restored to its past glory. But it is not just about buildings and sites, it is also about people who built and cultivated them – their stories, their lives and their thoughts. It is about the city’s [nation’s] rebirth and hope, about creative attitude and inspiring productive optimism, about growth of ideas and visions, about art and freedom. It is about changing forms, visual interpretation of values, about creating modernist-inspired design and art objects. It is about initiating a new golden age, creating contemporary gems, drawing inspiration from Kaunas interwar modernist architecture.



In 2015, an international panel of experts established by the European Commission awarded Kaunas city the European Heritage Label for the application “Kaunas of 1919-1940”.  In the same year, Kaunas became the first Central and Eastern European city to join UNESCO Cities of Design network. That was a breakthrough when not only architecture professionals, but also the whole city started realizing that Kaunas interwar period is worth exceptional attention, respect and affection.

The interwar period was rather optimistic for Kaunas. In 1920-1939, when Vilnius was part of Poland, Kaunas served as the temporary capital of Lithuania. This status led to fast growth and extensive modernisation of the city and provoked a huge construction boom. This remarkable economic, cultural, architectural and educational development resulted in an urban landscape exuberantly reflecting Europe’s interwar modernism and constituting today an outstanding heritage of the prosperuous golden age (consisting of more than 6,000 buildings that survived until now).

The awards became an impetus for Kaunas society to engage together in new activities related to modernism. In the past 5 or 6 years, the so-called modernist community is an increasingly visible cultural actor striving to revitalize and promote Kaunas and Kaunas modernist architecture. The movement is steadily gaining influence and attracting more members to its’ informal network: active kaunasians, art scholars, architectural historians, heritage professionals, designers, film makers, artists, universities, festivals, NGOs, partners from other Lithuanian cities and foreign countries. This open and optimistic modernist community is becoming a dedicated solid power redesigning not only Kaunas modernism, but also the whole city.

Discover Kaunas

Kaunas Art Book Faire

This year marks the 5th “Kaunas Art Book Fair”. In a landscape where the involvement of Lithuanian artists in international art book fairs has become…

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Joint exhibition “Stories of Design Innovation: from Kortrijk to Kaunas”

In the UNESCO City of Design in Kaunas (Lithuania), a joint open-air exhibition of architecture and design was opened: here passers-by can see the exhibition…

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AUDRA – Contemporary City Festival

A storm is coming. One of the most important festivals of Kaunas 2022 programme. Over just a few days, you’ll see the entire future of…

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Colors for Ukraine: Kaunas Printers and Designers Raising Funds to Help Neighbours

It was the evening of February 24, 2022, the same day Russia started invading Ukraine. The editors of Kaunas-based culture magazine noticed their friends, founders…

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Call for participation: Interpreting modernism through design and visual arts

Kaunas2022 programme Modernism for the Future invites Lithuanian creators – designers, visual artists, architects – to participate in a collective residence organized by curators from…

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Kortrijk receives €100,000 from the Flemish government for cooperation with the Lithuanian city of Kaunas in the run-up to Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022.…

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Open call for creators // Landscape design festival Magenta

Landscape design festival Magenta  is happy to announce the Open Call – Tactical Urbanism! The festival will take place in Kaunas, Lithuania, on 09-25 September,…

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Open call for artistic residencies Kaunas / Tel-Aviv

Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022 (Lithuania) in cooperation with Liebling Haus – The White City Center (Tel Aviv) is delighted to announce an…

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Designers at the COVID-19 doorstep: the pandemic has caused fast and drastic life changes. How to “reboot” the world?

“Integrated design and its solutions create and shape our understanding of how a city and life in a city should look like. Form and content…

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