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“Saulės” Gymnasium

Kaunas, Lithuania
Savanoriu pr. 46-FOMA-13 Large.jpeg
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By Monika Pociūtė, 2023.

The school built on the slope of Zaliakalnis was implemented by the "Saule" society (a Catholic education society operated in Lithuania from 1906 to 1940). The construction was funded with donations from the public - the first building initiated by the public in Lithuania. The school constructions began in 1912, and the project was designed by the gubernatorial architect F. Malinovskis and K. Sakenis.

The newly built school did not lag behind other Western European modern educational palaces of the 20th century. It was equipped with central heating, local water supply and sewerage, baths, toilets, electricity, and a telephone. Some of these amenities were not available to most of the townspeople at that time.

In 1925, Edmundas Frykas was commissioned to expand the premises. Additional floors were built above the central and side elevations. Corridors were added to face the street, and classrooms moved to face the courtyard, so the classrooms are well-lit and protected from the noise of the busy street.

Some additional facilities were implemented - an apartment for the school master, a chapel, the upper floor became a dormitory, the basement was dedicated for a kitchen, dining room, laundry, utility rooms and space for staff and a lockable room for "naughty" children. The school also had a spacious, enclosed fenced yard, which was divided into two parts: a playground and a recreation area.

The school's environment was significantly affected by the last stage of the building's development in 1973. a five-story extension was built, and additional offices and assembly halls were installed. During the Soviet era, the plan of the interior rooms was also changed, and garden terraces were removed.

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