Historic Bank of Lithuania buildings
In Vilnius, the Bank of Lithuania is situated at two different locations: the intersection of Gedimino avenue and Totorių street (Gedimino pr. 6, Totorių g. 2 and 4) and in the borough of Žirmūnai. Part of the Bank of Lithuania is also located in Kaunas at the intersection of Maironis and Donelaitis streets.
The buildings constructed for the Vilnius Land Bank (1889, designed by architect Wiaczeslaw Sztejner) currently make up the central part of the building complex, housing the Bank of Lithuania. The complex was developed in1874–1966: new constructions were built, their function shifted, some buildings were torn down, rebuilt and embellished. While interiors furnished in the manner of the late 19th century evolved over time, they retained elements typical to historicism. One of the most exquisite halls in the building is the meeting hall of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania. It showcases the portraits of the four founders and Governors of the pre-war Bank of Lithuania – Vladas Jurgutis (1885–1966), Vladas Stašinskas (1874–1944), Juozas Paknys (1883–1948) and Juozas Tūbelis (1882–1939).
In 1903–1915, Antanas Smetona, the first President of the State of Lithuania, also worked at the Vilnius Land Bank. According to contemporary accounts, Józef Montwiłł, one of the directors of the bank and a patron of culture, helped Smetona and other Lithuanians to start working at this regional bank of the Russian Empire.
Locals and visitors walking along the main street of Vilnius are drawn in by a unique monument standing near the historical building of the Bank of Lithuania – a tribute to Vladas Jurgutis, the first Governor of the Bank of Lithuania. The monument was created by sculptor Gediminas Piekuras, who cast it from a copper/zinc/nickel alloy of molten 50 litas cent coins. The sculptor used approximately 75 thousand coins, weighing around 450 kilograms. The bust of Vladas Jurgutis is placed on a pedestal featuring images of litas coins from interwar and modern-day Lithuania. Hence the pedestal is a symbolic link between the monetary history of the first Republic of Lithuania and that of the present, with the name of Vladas Jurgutis prominent throughout.
The Bank of Lithuania building in Kaunas was built in 1925–1928. To furnish the interior of the neo-classicist building, furniture and lamps were brought from various Western European cities. It holds many valuables and antiques, most of which are vintage furniture manufactured in Kaunas under special order of the bank. The walls of the bank are decorated with 20 paintings by famous Lithuanian artists of the time.
Since its construction, the building in Kaunas has served only as premises for banks. In 1970, the building was included in the list of architectural monuments. In 1991, it was transferred to the Bank of Lithuania, established on 1 March 1990. In 2003, the building was declared a cultural monument.