Kaunas Town Hall, referred to as a “White Swan”, is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in the temporary capital city. It stands in the Town Hall Square – the main square of the city of Kaunas. This square has a very active city life: the most venerable town guests and young couples after exchanging wedding are greeted here, and sports fans gather here to watch the most important competitions significant for Lithuania.
The colourful history of the important building
The Town Hall history is very colourful. In the Middle Ages the Town Hall Square was a place for markets, fairs, celebrations, and other events. For a long time people have been detained in the basements of the sixteenth century building, it also had an Orthodox Church, a Russian theatre, and a fire fighting headquarters. It was visited even by Napoleon Bonaparte. Kaunas Town Hall was especially loved by the first Lithuanian president Antanas Smetona.
Kaunas Town Hall today
Today the Town Hall meaningfully links the ancient and the present history. It features a historical museum of the city mayor, and stores the most important attributes of the city used in ceremonies – a great city key, a mayor’s mark (a gilded chain), samples of the city’s coats of arms and flags, a ceremonial master’s sign and a traditional bell, and the historic flag of the temporary capital city of 1930. The Town Hall is a place for frequent representational city events, solemn marriage ceremonies and it has a pottery museum. Near the main entrance to the Town Hall there is the sixteenth century wax melting furnace escarpment.
Honorary guest book of the city
The city’s guest book has acquired a great value. It is stored in the Town Hall, and currently has over 350 entries, among them greetings by four kings and queens, three dukes, twelve presidents, Pope John Paul II, cardinals, mayors of other European cities and other famous people. The book has a special greeting to the city of Kaunas by Dalai Lama. You will learn what it says, when you come here.
The old post office is near the City Hall
In the nineteenth century modest Kaunas visitors used to stay in the horse postal station, built on the outskirts of the Town Hall Square. Now the postal station has the Communications Museum telling a story of a long and interesting history of communication between people, and a stagecoach is constantly on duty in the yard. In the museum hall you can find out about the optical telegraph line laid across Lithuania in 1839, being the longest in the world – as many as 1200 km long.