Kaunas Things to Do

  • Kaunas
    Kaunas
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  • Kaunas panorama
    Kaunas panorama
    by Mikebond
  • wood and playground near Pa?aislis
    wood and playground near Pa?aislis
    by Mikebond

Most Recent Things to Do in Kaunas

  • remigia's Profile Photo

    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)
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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  • remigia's Profile Photo

    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
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Family Travel

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  • stevemt's Profile Photo

    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.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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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
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    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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    • Museum Visits

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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    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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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    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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  • antistar's Profile Photo

    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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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    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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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    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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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Ninth Fort Museum

    by Mikebond Written May 24, 2013

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    After having (a, for me, belated) lunch, my hosts took me to a historical landmark: the Ninth Fort Museum, whose construction began in 1902 and was achieved at the eve of WWI.
    From 1924 on, the Fort served as city prison, but it became famous during the first Soviet occupation (1940–1941) when it was turned into a prison of NKVD, from which political prisoners were sent to Soviet camps.
    During the subsequent Nazi occupation, the Ninth Fort served as a concentration camp. It became a museum in 1958.
    The memorial you see in the photos was built in 1984 and dedicated to the victims of fascism at the Ninth Fort.
    Visiting this fort is rather strucking, especially if you go with a guide. Our guide spoke quite good English, so I could easily understand his explanations. However, I wouldn't have found the museum if I had been travelling alone, because it's still a hidden spot.

    9th Fort Museum 9th Fort Museum Memorial to the victims of fascism Memorial to the victims of fascism Memorial to the victims of fascism
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Panorama over Kaunas

    by Mikebond Written May 21, 2013

    Here you see the potentially breathtaking view over Kaunas. Unfortunately, the sky was dark and cloudy, but panoramas are always beautiful, aren't they?
    The building with a smile depicted on it is part of the local university. I will have to look for the names of the other buildings and the bridge (any help would be appreciated).

    Kaunas panorama Kaunas university a bridge

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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Pažaislis Monastery - the wood nearby

    by Mikebond Written May 21, 2013

    After visiting the whole complex of Pažaislis Monastery, my hosts took me to a wood nearby (has it got a name?) where I could see what remained of an old tree. There was also a commemorative landmark whose meaning I have forgotten (and, sadly, I still can't read Lithuanian).
    At the end of this pleasant walk, a beautiful belvedere was waiting for me...

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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Pažaislis Monastery - the museum

    by Mikebond Written May 20, 2013

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    The museum of Pažaislis Monastery is a very interesting jump into the past. It offers a comprehensive look on the past history of this place.
    It is arranged in a very visitor-friendly way, with descriptive panels as you can see from these photos. Oh, yes, the museum is the only part of the monastery where photos are allowed.

    fake bookshop displaying historical pieces replica of a copyist replica of a nun with old photos more objects descriptive panel
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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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