Saulės Gymnasium

The palace appeared in 1913, when the Lithuanian education association has collected enough funds to build a Lithuanian-speaking gymnasium. Then Žaliakalnis was a poorly developed part of the city, so the monumental palace, located at a special are, seen from every point of the city’s centre, appeared here probably because of the cheap land plot. The building was distinguished with its volume: strict requirements existing in Kaunas, which was then the 1st class military fortress of the Russian Empire, has resulted in the fact that buildings higher than two-storeys would be extremely rare. “Saulės” palace –  a building, where the features of the styles expanding in the turn of the centuries are reflected: here we may see the forms typical of Art Nouveau and expressions typical of the so called brick, or material style.

The elements of the geometric Art Nouveau here are mostly used when finishing various parts of the building or when enriching the splitting of the façades: this is extremely prominent in the pilasters splitting the middle avant-corps or in the portal of the former main entrance. The building changed in the 1920s, when it was expanded and added new floors: the triangular pediment on the main part was changed by a superstructure continuing the façade solution and the smaller pediments of the lateral parts disappeared by “upgrading” the lateral avant-corps from one-storey to four-storeys. The use of bricks of different colours and the small plastered panes when creating the expression of the façade – is a rare variation of the material style in the Kaunas Governorate.  Art Nouveau reflected even in the interior equipment and the planning as well: according to the latest trends, the classrooms were planned on the side, where they would receive the most natural light.