In accordance with the official title “The Historical Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania” museum represents the residence of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, but the 2021–2025 exhibition “Stories of the House” dwells explicitly on the overall history of the house. For more online stories check out

History of the Palace

  • Construction of the future presidential palace started in 1846. Flora Chekhovichova, the wife of the college assessor, initiated the construction and the new owner Francisca Belozerska, the widow of a court advisor, further developed the house in 1859. In 1860 Solomon Feinberg, a merchant representing Guild I of Raseiniai Town, acquired this building and in 1866 he adapted it to the needs of the governor. The palace thus served as the residence of the governors of Kaunas Governorate from 1866 to 1915. Until August 1915, 14 governors worked in the palace.

  • During World War I, in the spring of 1916, Duke Colonel Franz Joseph Isenburg-Birstein who was appointed to serve as the commander-in-chief of the Lithuanian sector of Ober Ost settled on the ground floor of the palace. Meanwhile, the upper floor was used for the lounges and a canteen/restaurant for the German officers. The German Emperor Wilhelm II and the Bavarian Prince Leopold visited the palace during World War I. The last commissioner of the German occupant civil government Ludwig Zimmerle abandoned the palace in July 1919.

  • On February 16, 1918, the Council of Lithuania declared Lithuania an independent state. In 1919, the capital was transferred from occupied Vilnius to Kaunas and the Chancery of the President moved into this former governor’s palace on September 1st. From 1919 to 1940, all three Presidents resided in this palace: Antanas Smetona (1919–1920 and 1926–1940), Aleksandras Stulginskis (1922–1926), Kazys Grinius (June–December, 1926). The building was adapted for the work of the President, meetings and the family apartment. The Office of the President was set up in an adjacent building (it did not survive). The Last Meeting of the State Defense Council, the Council of Ministers and the President of the Republic of Lithuania took place in the Presidential Palace on the night from June 14 to June 15, 1940.

  • Journalist Justas Paleckis who was nominated to serve as the Prime Minister by the occupational powers of the Soviet Union moved into the palace as early as on June 17, 1940; he was acting as the provisional president. After the forceful annexation of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, the palace became the headquarters of the Presidium of the Supreme Council until June 22, 1941.

  • In July 1941, when the German army occupied the territory of the former Lithuanian SSR, Hinrich Lohse, the supreme commander of the eastern lands – Ostland, settled in the palace for several weeks. After his departure to Riga, the palace was taken over by the headquarters of Kaunas Department of NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers’ Party).

  • In the summer of 1944, the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania again and the former presidential palace briefly housed the Pioneers Palace. Afterwards, the building was transferred to the Teachers Palace which was founded in Kaunas in 1950. The Teachers Palace used the building from 1957 to 1995 although the building was officially transferred to Kaunas State History Museum (currently Vytautas Magnus War Museum) as early as in 1989.

  • From 1991 historical and preparatory research for the restoration of the building was implemented. The project of the restoration was prepared by specialist of Kaunas Monuments Restauration and Design Institute. The building underwent a major restoration which was completed at the end of 2002. After a few years of uncertainty about the ownership of the building, on July 3, 2005, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus officially transferred the Historical Lithuanian Presidential Palace to the M. K. Čiurlionis national art museum.  On July 5 the Historical Presidential Palace opened its doors to the public.