Abstract Even though officially Lithuania has but one capital, Vilnius, it is often thought and spoken as if there were two important capitals for the Lithuanian consciousness. Vilnius is the official capital, but in modern Lithuanian history Kaunas, the country's second-largest city, from 1920 to 1990 played a symbolic role as the temporary capital. This resulted from the fact that for a part of this period Lithuania had lost Vilnius due to a conflict with Poland. The 15 years after the fall of communism brought to Lithuania not only the fruits of independence but also a host of identity problems. Intense discussions were aroused by the fortunes of sites in Vilnius and Kaunas that had symbolic importance for the national consciousness. The current urbanistic-architectural development of Vilnius first of all reflects the desire to implement the projects that the Lithuanians could not realize during the long decades of war and occupation. An extreme expression of these sentiments is embodied in the much-disputed endeavor to reconstruct the Renaissance Ducal Palace. Though contemporary Lithuania and its national identity are more or less products of the twentieth century, the current state policy has given priority to the romantic symbols of the old Lithuanian Grand Duchy. The memorial sites in the temporary capital, especially the Resurrection Church, once a symbol of the nation's vital tenacity, were accorded a merely local significance. On the other hand, after 1990 Kaunas lost the real significance it once had in the Lithuanian consciousness as the temporary capital. Slowly but inevitably it is becoming a normal and free university city in a maturing civil society.