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2017-07-06 Back to list

Meet Jonas Vileišis, the #Kaunastic Interwar Mayor

On July 6th, a new and very impressive statue was erected in Laisvės alėja.

Jonas Vileišis (1872-1942) served as a Mayor of Kaunas from 1921 to 1931. It was a very important decade in the history of our city, then newly appointed as the temporary capital of Lithuania. Vileišis, an experienced and pragmatic lawyer, politician, and diplomat, did his best to make sure Kaunas is worthy of the title. On July 6th, 2017, a bronze statue of the legendary Mayor was erected in front of the Central Post Office. The building is one of 2500 designed and built in Kaunas during the Vileišis era!

KVK 2268 1024x683Rita Vileišytė-Bagdonienė delivering a speech / Photo by Rokas Tenys for kasvyksta.lt

The impressive 2,4 m tall statue (idea by Arūnas Povilas Paliulis; design by Kęstutis Balčiūnas) is a gift to Kaunas from the Lithuanian diaspora in the US. The opening ceremony was attended by the daughter of the Mayor Rita Vileišytė-Bagdonienė who travelled all the way from the US just for that.

KVK 2269Always on duty! Photo by Rokas Tenys for kasvyksta.lt

Here’s a handful of reasons why Vileišis is considered a very #kaunastic mayor, i.e. a partial list of works that were done in Kaunas while he was managing the city.

Jonas Vileisis bigA politician you can trust

Don’t forget a selfie with the legend when you visit Kaunas! Apart from the new statue, you can also visit the Town Hall which was the Mayor’s office during the Vileišis era. His residency was at the diplomatic boulevard of V. Putvinskio; the house of Vileišis was also used by the U.S. Embassy (more on it here).

19242948 1457396534320174 3655677213039797339 o19944638 1457396170986877 2602230534283126892 oThe visiting hours of Vileišis are 24/7. Photo by Kaunas municipality

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