The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania is a representative of the monumental architecture of socialist realism. In the half of a century since its construction, it has become a true symbol of science and knowledge.
The primary aim of the library was to feature the style of decorative socialist realism; however, due to construction delays, the décor of the facade was simplified, and there was a gradual shift towards modernism in the interior. After almost a decade of construction, which even involved using the labour force of German prisoners of war, the building opened its doors in 1963 as the largest library in Lithuania at that time. Its role in shaping one of the most important urban squares in the capital was also very important.
As the years went by, the building began to deteriorate and eventually its condition became very poor. It was then decided to implement major renovations. This process took almost as long as the entire construction period and the renewed library finally opened its door last autumn.
The versatility of the newly-renovated library is truly impressive: the authentic exterior camouflages complex engineering solutions; while the contrasting interior merges an authentic heritage and details with contemporary technology and modern furniture. Now the library is fully open with its reading rooms, art and exhibition halls being visited by hundreds of people every day. The traditional image of a library has gradually changed with the introduction of an abundance of new functions and events.