Kaunas was the biggest city and the centre of a county in Trakai Municipality of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since Kaunas kauno apskritis lithuania In the Russian Empireit was the capital of the Kaunas Governorate from to During the interwar periodit served as the temporary capital of Lithuaniawhen Vilniusthe traditional capital, was considered part of Poland between and The city is the capital of Kaunas Countyand the seat of the Kaunas city municipality and the Kaunas District Municipality.
It is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas. Kaunas is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Nerisand is near the Kaunas Reservoirthe largest body of water in the whole of Lithuania. The city's name is of Lithuanian origin and most likely derives from a personal name.
The city and its elderates also have names in other languages see Names of Kaunas in other languages and names of Kaunas elderates in other languages. An old legend claims that Kaunas was established by the Romans in ancient times.
These Romans were supposedly led by a patrician named Palemonwho had three sons: Barcus, Kunas and Sperus. Palemon, his sons and other relatives travelled to Lithuania. After Palemon's his sons divided his land.
Kunas got the land where Kaunas now stands. He built a fortress near the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers, and the city that grew up there was named after him. A suburban region in the vicinity is named "Palemonas". On 30 Junethe historical coat of arms of Kaunas city was re-established by a special presidential decree. The coat of arms features a white aurochs with a golden cross between its hornsset against a deep red background.
The aurochs was the original heraldic symbol of the city, established in The heraldic seal of Kaunas, introduced in the early 15th century during the reign of Grand Duke Vytautas, is the oldest city heraldic seal known in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. An auroch has replaced a wisentwhich was depicted in the Soviet -era emblem that was used since Gules, an aurochs passant guardant argent ensigned with a cross Or between his horns.
Kaunas also has a greater coat of arms, which is mainly used for purposes of Kaunas city representation. The sailor, three golden balls, and Latin text "Diligite justitiam qui judicatis terram" English: Cherish justice, you who judge the earth  in the greater coat of arms refers to Saint Nicholaspatron saint of merchants and seafarers, who was regarded as a heavenly guardian of Kaunas by Queen Bona Sforza.
According to the archeological excavationsthe richest collections of ceramics and other artifacts found at the confluence of the Nemunas and the Neris rivers are from the second and first millennium BC.
During that time, people settled in some territories of the present Kaunas: A settlement had been established on the site of the current Kaunas old town, at the confluence of two large rivers, at least by the 10th century AD. Kaunas is first mentioned in written sources in when the brick Kaunas Castle was constructed. Inthe castle was captured after a siege and destroyed by the Teutonic "Kaunas kauno apskritis lithuania." Commander Vaidotas of the Kaunas castle garrisonwith 36 men, tried to break through, but was taken prisoner.
It was Kaunas kauno apskritis lithuania of the largest and important military victories of the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century against Lithuania.
Kaunas kauno apskritis lithuania power of the self-governing Kaunas was shared by three interrelated major institutions: Kaunas began to gain prominence, since it was at an intersection of trade routes and a river port. Inthe Russian army attacked the city several times, and in the city was occupied by the Swedish Army.
The Black Death struck the area in andkilling many residents. Fires destroyed parts of the city in and After the final partition of the Polish—Lithuanian state inthe city was taken over by the Russian Empire and became a part of Vilna Governorate. During the French invasion of Russia inthe Grand Army of Napoleon passed through Kaunas kauno apskritis lithuania twice, devastating the city both times.
hill fort mound in Kaunas is named Napoleon's Hill. To prevent possible easy access through the city and protect the western borders of Russia, the Kovno Fortress was built. It Kaunas kauno apskritis lithuania still visible throughout the town. Kovno Governoratewith a centre in Kovno Kaunaswas formed in Ina railway connecting the Russian Empire and Imperial Germany was built, making Kaunas a significant railway hub with one of the first railway tunnels in the Empire, completed in In the first power plant in Lithuania started operating.
George the Martyr Church. He began lectures using the Lithuanian languagerather than Russian, and greatly influenced the spirit of the seminarians by narrating about the ancient Lithuania and especially its earthwork mounds. Later, many of the Seminary students were active in Lithuanian book smuggling ; its Kaunas kauno apskritis lithuania main objective was to resist the Russification policy. According to the Russian census ofJews numbered 25, The population was recorded as After Vilnius was occupied by the Russian Bolsheviks inthe Government of the Republic of Lithuania established its main base in Kaunas.
Later, when the capital Vilnius was annexed by PolandKaunas became the temporary capital of Lithuania a position it held until 28 Octoberwhen the Red Army handed Vilnius over to Lithuania. It passed some important laws, particularly on land reform, on the national currency, and adopted a new constitution.
After an unsuccessful coup attempt inAugustinas Voldemaras was imprisoned for four years and received an amnesty on condition that he leave the country. "Kaunas kauno apskritis lithuania" the time, qualified workers there were earning very similar real wages to workers in GermanyItalySwitzerland and Francethe country also had a surprisingly high natural increase in population of 9. Between the World Wars industry prospered in Kaunas; it was then the largest city in Lithuania.
A water and waste water system, costing more than 15 million Lithuanian litas, was put in place, the city expanded from 18 to square kilometres 6. The city also was a particularly important center for the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
In January during the Lithuanian Wars of IndependenceWar School of Kaunas was established and started to train soldiers who were soon sent to the front to strengthen the fighting Lithuanian Army. Due to the exceptional discipline and regularity the Lithuanian Air Force was an example for other military units. The ANBO 41 was far ahead of the most modern foreign reconnaissance aircraft of that time in structural features, and most importantly in speed and in rate of climb.
At the time, Kaunas had a Jewish population of 35,—40, about one-quarter of the city's total population. Kaunas had a rich and varied Jewish culture. There were almost Jewish organizations, 40 synagogues, many Yiddish schools, 4 Hebrew high schoolsKaunas kauno apskritis lithuania Jewish hospitaland scores of Jewish-owned businesses. The treaty resulted in five Soviet military bases with 20, troops established across Lithuania in exchange for the Lithuania's historical capital Vilnius.
On 14 June just before midnight, the last meeting of the Lithuanian Government was held in Kaunas. During it, the ultimatum presented by the Soviet Union was debated. After the occupation, the Soviets immediately took brutal against the high-ranking officials of the state.
Both targets of the ultimatum: The army itself was initially renamed the Lithuanian People's Army; however, later it was reorganized into the 29th Rifle Corps of the Soviet Union.
Shortly afterwards, on June 17, the puppet People's Government of Lithuania was formed, which consistently destroyed Lithuanian society and political institutions and opened the way for the Communist Party to establish itself. In order to establish the legitimacy of the government and design the plans of Lithuania's "legal accession to the USSR", on July 1, the Seimas of Lithuania was dismissed and elections to the puppet People's Seimas were announced.
The controlled passports had imprints and falsified elections to the People's Seimas were won by the Lithuanian Labour People's Union, who obeyed the occupiers' proposal to "ask" the Soviet authorities to have Lithuania admitted to the Soviet Union. the occupation, the Lithuanian Diplomatic Service did not recognized the new occupants authority and started the diplomatic liberation campaign of Lithuania.