Architecture and urban development of Kupiškis in Soviet times

Vaidas Petrulis

The first two decades of restored Independence brought in many changes at the cultural, social and economic levels; hence, we can observe the Soviet epoch with more criticism and in more impartial way. This is the goal the present article raises, i.e. based on critical evaluation of archive data and the information available in media of that time, as well as modern sovietology studies, to define the architecture and urban development of the Kupiškis town.

Chapter 1 reviews changes in Kupiškis urban development and living space architecture as a basic element of the town's fabric, depending on political situation and tasks of the time period. The first post-war years, when the political context was determined by Stalinist atmosphere, are described, the Soviet industrialisation in building sphere started by Nikita Khrushchev's political reforms is discussed and processes of so-called late stagnation period are briefed.

Chapter 2 analysis how the step service system was being introduced in Kupiškis and the district. This Soviet system was thought to create urban conditions for all people in Lithuania, trying in such a way to justify brutal destruction of homesteads and collectivisation efforts. The construction of commercial and social infrastructure and cultural objects in Kupiškis and the district are discussed here. The last chapter deals with development of urban industry that was one of key factors in urban development under the conditions of Soviet command system in the national economy.