Kaunas and Lithuanian Grand Dukes

The frequency of visits of Lithuanian Grand Dukes to Kaunas depended on the purpose of their trips. Vytautas the Great (1392-1430) visited Kaunas the most of all the Lithuanian Grand Dukes. His exceptional attention for Kaunas was determined by the ruler’s importance in governing the Lithuanian Grand Duchy and the Duchy’s strained relations with the German Order. Soon the strain in the relations eased, and because of the state reforms, the state administration took over the ruler’s duties of solving clashes between his subjects. Thus, the ruler’s consideration in regard to Kaunas diminished. During their visits to Kaunas the rulers stayed at Kaunas castle. Despite the visits of Lithuanian Grand Dukes to Kaunas being rare, while the rulers resided in Vilnius, the economic life of Kaunas was in fact more active, and the period was fondly remembered by Kaunas townspeople. When the rulers’ residence in Vilnius was abandoned, it also reflected on Kaunas’ economic power.

Liudas Glemža

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