Kaunas is the second biggest city after Vilnius in Lithuania. Its official history started from the first mentioning in chronicles in 1361. It reached the peak of the popularity in the twenties-forties of the 20th century when the city became the official capital of the independent Lithuanian Republic. A lot of historical events had happened from 14th to 20th century: the city gained the Magdeburg Law rights; it was destroyed many times by the armies from the German knights to the Napoleon; it had been a part of Poland and Russian different historical periods.
When Kaunas was the capital of Lithuania it was known as the city of Lithuanian bourgeoisie. The part of Kaunas that is known as the district of Zalakalnis was built by the rich citizens in the thirties of the 20th century. Each building here is an original and unique piece of architecture. When visiting Zalakalnis you can’t help travelling by funicular which was built in 1931.
The centre of Kaunas is the Liberty Avenue, the main street of the city with its coffee-houses, stores and flower shops. The district of the Old City is also considered to be the historical centre and amazes with its cathedrals, the Castle of the 13th century, Perkunas’ House and beautiful private cottages.
The population of Kaunas is about 400000 people. Kaunas is a great entertainment and sports centre with lot of stunning night and sport clubs, swimming pools, stadiums etc.
The most famous sports club in Kaunas is “Zalgiris”, a basketball club that is known all over the world. The most famous Lithuanian basketball player Arvidas Sabonis was born in Kaunas. Now after retiring he owns the largest and most fashionable club “11”.