VMU Aula Magna

  • Gimnazijos g. 7, LT-44260 Kaunas
  • Phone+370 37 425 841
  • Manager Rasa Buržienė

The building of the VMU Faculty of Catholic Theology, where the Aula Magna is located, is one of the first constructions designed by architect Feliksas Vizbaras in Kaunas during the interwar period. Built in 1925 by the initiative of St. Zita Union, stylistically, this four story building exudes sophistication of the Renaissance and classicism.

In the 1920s, Aula Magna was one of the most modern buildings in Kaunas. Its luxurious conference hall held its own against Kaunas City Hall, while the exquisite plaster and sculpture works even pushed it ahead of all contenders. The chambers fulfilled various purposes: the meetings of the Zita union, teaching, film viewings. Canteen was available on the first floor, while the fourth floor housed a hostel. After 1940 the building was nationalized, passed along to the hands of the municipal government and served many different functions.

In 1991, the St. Zita union building was handed over to the curia of Kaunas archdiocese and rented to Vytautas Magnus University on a long-term contract. In 1998-2001, restoration and renovation was carried out, after which the Faculty of Catholic Theology settled in the building.

Following the requirements of architectural heritage, the former colors and ornaments of the walls were restored using the surviving fragments. In addition to this, the neoclassical plastic works, consisting of a multitude of details, were also renovated. A great accent is provided by matted chandeliers spreading diffused light and matching all the architectural details. Upon their entrance into the Aula Magna, the visitors are greeted by the painting of St. Thomas Aquinas (author Mykolas Elvyras, 1891), borrowed from the Museum of the Kaunas Archdiocese.

Currently the Aula Magna of Vytautas Magnus University remains one of the most beautiful halls offering some of the best acoustics in Kaunas. Concerts here are intended to spark interest among the youth in classical and modern music. The public here grows their appreciation for professional music, while the community’s aesthetic needs for musical culture are encouraged to grow more sophisticated. The Aula Magna Music Association holds monthly music evenings here, offering diversity of musical interpretations: from old sacral music to the works of modern composers, from instrumental chamber ensembles and vocals to choral music.

The Aula Magna is also where the annual award ceremony of the Person of Tolerance, funded by the Sugihara Foundation, takes place. But that is just one of the many examples, which also include celebratory electoral meetings of the University Senate and Students Representative Council, gatherings of the members of the university community, conferences, seminars, lectures of the VMU honorary doctors, etc.