Kaunas is Lithuania’s second city, seen by many Lithuanians as the true heart of their country; it served as provisional capital during the interwar period of 1920–1939. It is undergoing rapid modernization, with the mirror-like exteriors of new buildings reflecting parts of the medieval city wall. While much of Kaunas is a busy urban sprawl, visitors will invariably be drawn to the old heart of the city where the main attractions lie.
The most picturesque part of Kaunas is the Old Town (Senamiestis), centred on Town Hall Square (Rotušės aikštė), on a spur of land between the Neris and Nemunas rivers. The square is lined with fifteenth- and sixteenth-century merchants’ houses in pastel stucco shades, but the overpowering feature is the magnificent Town Hall itself, its tiered Baroque facade rising to a graceful 53m tower.