Kaunas Things to Do

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    Kaunas
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    Kaunas panorama
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    by EasyMalc

Most Recent Things to Do in Kaunas

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    Town Hall Square

    by EasyMalc Written Feb 13, 2015

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    The centrepiece of Kaunas Old Town is the Town Hall Sq (Rotuses aikste), and the centrepiece of Old Town Sq is - you’ve guessed it - the Town Hall.
    This graceful, white Baroque 16th century building is affectionately called the ’White Swan’ and it’s easy to see why.
    Over the years it’s had a multitude of uses, some more acceptable than others, but today it’s used as a ’Palace of Weddings’ , which seems to me to be very appropriate, not only because of its appearance, but also because of its proximity to the confluence of the Neris and Nemunas rivers.
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    At the far end of the square your eye will be drawn to Holy Trinity Church and the pastel shades of the seminary buildings which at one time were the most important Catholic learning buildings in the country.
    One of its most famous sons was Pastor Jonas Maciulis Maironis. A writer of patriotic poetry, his statue stands in front of the 18th century house where he lived, and which is now the Maironis Museum of Lithuanian Literature.
    I came to the square early in the day before there was much activity and to my shame I never made it back here for an evening out, but if I ever come back here I’ll make sure that I do next time.

    Holy Trinity Church Maironis Statue The Maironis Museum
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    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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    Confluence Park

    by EasyMalc Written Feb 13, 2015

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    Even before I came to Kaunas I could see from a map of the city that it’s a place where two rivers join up, and I was always going to endeavour to see where they met.
    I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m pleased to say that it didn’t disappoint.
    The two rivers in question are the Neris and Nemunas and they converge here at Confluence Park. Given the geographical landscape I guess it must flood at times and so I wasn’t expecting a park in the sense that it would be cultivated with flower borders and manicured gardens - and I was right.
    Apart from strolling down to where the rivers meet you can visit the statue of Pope John Paul II who held mass here in 1993 and take a look at the reconstructed Kaunas Castle
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    I’m writing this tip the day before Valentine’s Day, and for all you romantics out there you may be interested to hear that Neris is a feminine noun in Lithuanian and Nemunas is masculine. After the male and female rivers join they never split up and the confluence has now become a romantic site for newlywed couples.

    A photographer taking pictures of a young couple Pope John Paul II
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    • Hiking and Walking
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Kaunas Castle

    by EasyMalc Updated Feb 12, 2015

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    On a slightly raised piece of land near to the confluence of the rivers Nemunas and Neris, Kaunas Castle is the oldest historical building in the city. That said, not too much of the original stone building survived the centuries and a lot of money has been spent in recent years to bring the castle back to something like its original form.
    Purists may prefer to see what was just left of the original, but the Lithuanian authorities seem to like the idea of restoring their heritage to what it was like when it was built, or at least as near as they can.
    What’s left of the original castle here stems from the 14th century but there was a castle here before that. Apparently it was razed to the ground by the Teutonic Knights and this one took its place not too long afterwards.
    One of the earliest castles to be built of stone in Lithuania, it’s not difficult to see why it was built here where the two rivers join. After the threat from the Teutonic order waned, so did the importance of Kaunas Castle, and the building was used in a variety of different ways. Its proximity to the rivers also saw flood damage and eventually it was just abandoned. Its reconstruction started in 2010 and completed the following year and now belongs to the Kaunas City Museum.
    Whatever your thoughts about whether a building like this should be reconstructed or not, it’s still worth coming to take a look, even if it’s only for the location in which it stands.

    Statue near the castle
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    St. Michael the Archangel Church

    by EasyMalc Written Feb 11, 2015

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    At the far eastern end of Laisves aleja (the main shopping street), the church of St. Michael the Archangel looks as though it could be Kaunas Cathedral. That was the way my mind was thinking when I first saw it, but mind you I’d only been sightseeing in Kaunas for about ten minutes when I came across it.
    On closer inspection I could see that it needed a good coat of paint so I guessed that it wasn’t as important as I first thought. Mind you, as it turned out, this is still one of the city’s most alluring buildings - on the outside at least.
    Not being a religious person, my interest in churches lies mainly with their history and architecture. This one was built in 1893 as a Russian Orthodox church, a style which I’ve always liked, but it also has some columns and other differences, which the experts refer to as neo-Byzantine. No matter what architectural style it comes under, for me it was a good looking building, but really that’s about where it ends, because the interior is a bit of a let-down if I’m being honest.
    The reason the inside of the church doesn’t match its promise from the outside is really down to its history.
    It was originally built for the Russian soldiers who were based here at the end of the 19th century and remained a garrison church even after they left. Firstly, it was a Protestant German army church in WW1 and then a Catholic Lithuanian army church straight afterwards.
    In 1962 when Kaunas came under Soviet rule the church was closed down and turned into an art gallery, but with Lithuanian independence in 1991 it reverted back to a Catholic church.
    I have to admit that my first view of St. Michael the Archangel gave me a false impression of what to expect on the inside, but it still has a history, just not in the way I thought it was going to be.

    Related to:
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    • Architecture

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    The lost beauty of sv.Jurgis (st.George)

    by remigia Written Aug 26, 2014

    A massive red brick building situated next to Kaunas Castle is hard to miss. On the first glimpse it doesn't look like church much- no traditional bell tower, no decorated main entrance. Never the less it is one of the oldest churches in Kaunas dating back to 1470ties. Sv.Jurgis Kankinys (st George the Martyr) church is a part of the Franciscan monastery complex which is now partly incorporated into teritory of Kaunas Archidiocese palace and priest seminary.
    The passing centuries were ruthlessfor the place. The church managed to revive after great fire of 1603 and 2 raids of Moscow armies in 1656-59. But with Napoleon war in 1812 and Russian Empire occupation that led after the fall began. Well, Napoleon had crazy ideas about how to use churches - sv.Jurgis served as a storehouse for flour. With Franciscan monastery getting weaker the whole complex became a part of seminary in the middle of XIX century. But no big attention was paid to preserve it. Finally, the Soviets got the final kick- in 1950 they closed the church and it became a part of medical school. As long as it was big space with little range of temperature - the church became a perfect place to store medical and chemical stuff....At the beggining of XXI century monks got back their property and the restauration began.
    Be prepared for the shock when entering in. The place that once had one of the most beautiful interiors now looks rather chaotic. Although the carcass is still relatively untouched and space inside the church hasn't been changed since late XVIII century, the the main decoration now are shaby walls damaged by water and chemicals with mysterious holes, pale paintings, some leftover woodcarvings, ruined cathacombs in front of coulourless altar. After first glimpse of shock, there come signs of hope- new stained glass windows, restored frescos, a view to flowers in the inner yard of the monastery. Don't miss those primitive paintings of st.Francis life and the main picture of st.George in the center of altar. The monks had no funds to order proffesional works. So children from the art school came for help and they were allowed to put their names on paintings.
    Before leaving the church someone has written on the other side of the altar in Latin " 1950 March 5th The Almighty left this sanctuary "......well...... personally for me it's not true and even if the God went away, it was just for a short walk. It's one of the few places where i can always feel a peaceful and comfortable aura surrounding me.

    View to sv.Jurgis (st.George)
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    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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    Lazy afternoon at Raudondvaris

    by remigia Written Aug 14, 2014

    Settled on the hills over the Nevezis river valleys there's a lovely suburb of Kaunas- Raudondvaris. The name means "The Red Manor" and it comes from red brick mansion house with a tower built in XVII century. During centuries it passed through the hands of various owners. But the "golden era " of the manor associate with noble family Tiskeviciai who became the owners of this place at the beginning of XIX century till 1940ties. The whole complex consisted from the mansion house, which is often called "a castle", orangery, horse stables, 2 officinas and icehouse surrounded by park. Unfortunally during the Soviet occupation years the manor became a part of agricultural college nad there was little attention paid to preserve it's beauty and historical herritage. First years of Lithuanian independence were also harsh for the place letting it to ruin slowly....Luckilly, the beginning of XXI became a renaissanse for the Red Manor. The former icehouse became Kaunas District infocenter where visitors can get all the needful information about places to visit and activities in surrounding area. Stables now are a modern art center and concert hall. Orangery was turned into luxurous restaurant. and the castle now hosts a museum, conference hall, halls for weddings and receptions. The park is one of those "wild parks" type and for the last few years land-art festivals are organized when various artists create their works from natural materials that can be found around. some of those works are destroyed by natural forces but some of them survive and become a part of natural landscape. By the way, my personal favourites are candelabras made from tree branches hanging all along the park.
    Raudondvaris manor is perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon (or morning, if you prefer that) when you are staying in Kaunas for few days. Nice place , lovely atmospere for walks around a park and the Nevezis valley. Visiting museum you will find out more about history of Kaunas district, about Tiskeviciai family and also about one of most prominent Lithuanian composer Juozas Naujalis. On summer weekends tourists can take a boat trip on the Nevezis.
    Useful tip: although the restaurant is one of those luxury style and rather expensive- the coffee cup costs just the same as in any other place in Kaunas. So why drink it "take-away" when you can drink it sitting on cushioned chairs surrounded by nice things....

    The Raudondvaris Castle Officina Stables Some of lan-dart Orangery
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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Family Travel

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    Kaunas Castle

    by stevemt Written Aug 3, 2014

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    Archeological evidence suggests that Kaunas Castle was originally built during the mid-14th century.

    Today the round tower houses an art gallery. The castle is open to tourism, and hosts occasional festivals. Major reconstruction work started in 2010 and ended in 2011.

    There are many legends surrounding the castle. Some of these talk about hidden tunnels giving access to and from the castle during it's many sieges. Another legend talks of huge vaults hidden under the castle.

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    St Georges Church

    by stevemt Written May 22, 2014

    The church of St. George was part of the Bernardine Monastery. The first wooden church was built in 1468. It was replaced by the current brick church in the late 15th century and completed before 1503. It’s been ruined by fire three times, suffered the wrath of the Moscow army during the war of 1656-1659 and then had a bit of a rest during the 18th century before Napoleon turned it into a warehouse.

    During Soviet times, the church was used to store medicine. It was returned to the Friars in 1993 in a pretty shabby condition, and restoration of its outstanding if run-down Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque interior has been slow to say the least. Ongoing restoration work has seen the addition of a new roof although the church itself remains locked for the foreseeable future.

    Restoration was actually being undertaken when I was there, one of the wall paintings was getting some restoration work done on it, painfully slow though.

    This view is very deceiving Restoration in progress a painting in relativly good order
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    Museum of Devils

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written May 3, 2014

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    We visited this Museum in August of 1978.
    The museum contains the A. Žmuidzinavièius collection of sculptures and carvings of devils, and a collection of devils from the whole world.

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday – Sunday 11–17; Thursday 11–19.
    Closed on the National Holidays.
    Both with Antanas Žmuidzinavièius Memorial Museum:
    Entrance fee – 6 Lt

    Museum of Devils
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    9th fort

    by Raimix Updated Jan 12, 2014

    Visiting IX fort was my purpose on the ride to Kaunas. I have heard a lot about it, also many of my friends have been there, so I decided finally to gather group of friends and drive to Kaunas.

    In Tzarist Russia, in the end of 19th century, Kaunas got new fortress. 9th fort was one of the best survived parts of fortress, so now here is museum about history of fort, people, who suffered the regime. During Second World War it was used also as prison, concentration camp for Jewish.

    It is actually scary place, but good to remember history, it is not so long past and not so positive one.

    Entrance to museum is 1,70 euros. You can also visit nice place with massive sculpture.

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    Monastery of Pazaislis

    by Raimix Updated Jan 12, 2014

    Monastery of Pazaislis is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Lithuania and whole Eastern - North Europe. It was built in 17th and belongs to Baroque style, here it is especially rich, especially in interior details. The architects were Italians Giovani Batista Frediani, fresco were made by Michael Paloni.

    I visited in already for third time, but this time I haven't had possibility to visit it inside, as here is already a museum, and it was closed. Some visitors think it is already off the beaten path, but it is still in Kaunas, of course, in 17th century it was still outside Kaunas.

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    Vytautas the Great Church

    by antistar Updated Nov 28, 2013

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    As the old town flows down to the Nemunas you find Vytautas the Great Church perched on its north bank. Its precarious location has caused it to suffer from repeated flooding, with a deliberate burning at the hands of Napoleonic troops to just add injury to injury. It's built in the Gothic brick style of several other Kaunas churches, but its towering spire and riverside location make it stand out a little bit above the others.

    Vytautas the Great Church, Kaunas Vytautas the Great Church, Kaunas Vytautas the Great Church, Kaunas

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    Vilniaus Gatve

    by antistar Updated Nov 28, 2013

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    This is the main road out of the old town, and for many the first impression they will have of Kaunas's old town centre. The main section starts at the pleasant Laisvės Avenue and finishes at the wonderful old town square. In between are classic examples of Lithuanian houses, as well as the lovely old telephone booths (pictured).

    Vilniaus Gatve, Kaunas Vilniaus Gatve, Kaunas

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    Church of St. Michael the Archangel

    by Mikebond Written Jul 4, 2013

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    The Church of St. Michael the Archangel is located at the end of Laisvės alėja. It was built as an Orthodox church in Neo-Byzantine style between 1891 and 1895, when Kaunas belonged to the Russian empire.

    (more to come)

    Church of St. Michael the Archangel

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    Monument to Vytautas

    by Mikebond Written Jun 28, 2013

    The monument to Vytautas the Great - the most famous ruler of medieval Lithuania - is located on Laisvės alėja, near the Kaunas city municipality building. It was first erected in 1930, then demolished by the Soviets and finally re-erected in 1990.

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