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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

1 May 2017
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PLACES TO SEE IN KAUNAS

Kaunas Castle
In the 14th century, a stone castle was built at the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers to resist Crusaders’ attacks. It was the first stone castle in Lithuania which played a significant role in the city's defence system. Kaunas Castle is a Gothic building with two rows of protective walls and is the only castle of this type in Lithuania. A settlement started forming around the castle, growing into the present-day city. This castle was first mentioned in written records in 1361, when the Teutonic Knights were preparing to attack it. After a severe battle in 1362, the castle was rebuilt several times, but lost its significance in the 15th c. When Kaunas was granted Magdeburg rights in 1408, town activity started moving to the market place (later - Town Hall Square). The preserved remains of the castle reveal its original structure, shape, method of construction and provide important information about the development of Lithuanian architecture in the 14th century.

Town Hall
Often called the White Swan, the Town Hall’s construction was begun in 1542. The building encompasses Gothic, Baroque and early Classicism elements. In the Medieval Ages, the Town Hall, along with the main market place, was the centre of Kaunas. After its reconstruction in 1970, the Town Hall became the Wedding Palace with the Ceramics Museum in its basement.

 

Arch-Cathedral Basilica
It is the only church in Lithuania in the Gothic style of basilica design. After several reconstructions, it also acquired Renaissance and Baroque architectural features. The Cathedral has 9 altars; the sacristy has crystal-type arches. The tomb of Lithuanian priest and poet J. Mačiulis-Maironis is in the southern wall of the building. Vincentas Sladkevičius, the first cardinal of Lithuania, are also buried in the Cathedral.

 

Vilnius Street
It is the most beautiful street of the Old Town, meant for pedestrians. Most buildings have survived from the 16th century; some of which have been reconstructed. Even the unique telephone booths are a clear indication that you are walking along the street which connects the old and the new parts of the city.

 

Historical Presidential Palace
The history of the Presidents’ Palace in Kaunas begins in 1846. The building was renovated in 1998–2003 and is open to visitors as a branch of the National M. K. Čiurlionis Art Museum. The Palace is symbolically “guarded” by bronze sculptures of the three interwar presidents – Antanas Smetona, Kazys Grinius and Aleksandras Stulginskis.

 

Musical Theatre
Originally the State Theatre, it was built in 1892. In 1940 the Musical Theatre was based in this building. Now, operas and operettas make up the largest part of the repertoire, with ballets and plays for children also staged here.

 

St. Michael the Archangel Church (Sobor)
A Neo-Byzantine-style building with all the architectural traits of a Russian Orthodox church. It was designed by Russian architects and built for the Kaunas Garrison. During the Soviet years, the church was turned into an Art Gallery. Presently it is a Catholic church.

 

Pažaislis Monastery
It ranks among the most beautiful Baroque-style buildings in Lithuania. The church and monastery were built for Camaldolese (Benedictine) monks in the 17th century under the supervision of Italian masters from Florence (Michelangelo Palloni, Joan Merli, and Pietro Perti). Pažaislis music festivals are held here in summer.

 

Kaunas Funiculars
Kaunas is the only city in Lithuania with this type of transport. In the residential districts of Žaliakalnis and Aleksotas these "climbing cars" serve both as a means of transport and entertainment. The Aleksotas funicular links the old part of the city with the slopes of Aleksotas hill, offering a marvellous panoramic view of the city. The Žaliakalnis funicular provides an easy way of reaching the Resurrection Church from the city centre.

Kaunas Monumental Christ’s Resurrection Church
It is the biggest basilica-type church in the Baltic states. The church was built in 1932–1940. After Lithuania proclaimed independence in 1918, the idea to build a church as a symbol of thanks to God appeared. Construction was stopped by the Soviet occupation. The building was confiscated and used as premises for the Radio factory after the war. In 1990 the church was returned to worshippers. During the restoration of the church, some changes were made in the project. The space in the church is in the style of a basilica with three naves. The architecture is monumental and laconic. The tower is 70 meters high. Visitors have the possibility to go to the observation deck on the church roof to enjoy the panoramic view of the city.

File:Perkuno namas 2006-06-30.jpg

House of Perkūnas
is one of the most original and archaic Gothic secular buildings, located in the Old Town of Kaunas, Lithuania. Originally built by Hanseatic merchants and served as their office from 1440 till 1532, it was sold in the 16th century to the Jesuits who had established a chapel there in 1643. The Jesuits have also completed the Church of St. Francis Xavier at the Town Hall Square in 1722.

The ruined house was rebuilt in the 19th century and served as a school and theatre, which was attended by Polish-Lithuanian poet Adam Mickiewicz. At the end of the 19th Century it was renamed "House of Perkūnas", when a figure, interpreted by the romantic historians of that time as an idol of the Baltic pagan god of thunder and the sky Perkūnas was found in one of its walls. Today, the house of Perkūnas once again belongs to the Jesuits and houses a museum of Adam Mickiewicz.

Category : Travel Lithuania!

  • Regular water tourism routes Kaunas – Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant – Kaunas (duration: 3 hours; price: 20 LTL adults, 10 LTL childs) and Kaunas – Rumšiškės – Kaunas (duration: 6 hours; price: 17 LTL adults, 8 LTL childs) are available on Saturdays and Sundays from Kaunas Pažaislis pier. Each route start from Kaunas Reservoir pier at 11 A.M. Another water tourism route Kaunas – Zapyškis – Kulautuva small resort town (duration: 2 hours; price: 10 LTL adults, 5 LTL childs) starts from Kaunas Vytautas’ church pier in the Old Town on Sundays at 12 P.M. Tickets are also available in advance at Kaunas region tourism information center, Laisves aleja, 36.

    December 05 2012
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