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Places of Interest in Kaunas

Kaunas is an academic city with rich history, offering plenty of interesting landmarks and fun places to visit. As a starter guide, here are some of the most important locations every guest of Kaunas should see. Each of the titles includes a link to a map showing the exact location of the landmark.

Kaunas Castle

Place in the map

Built in the late 13th century, it is the oldest brick castle in Lithuania and the first one in Kaunas. Kaunas Castle played a significant role in the defence system of the city, suppressing the attacks of the Crusaders and their further movement into Lithuania, including the capital Vilnius. In 1362, after a long siege, the Crusaders destroyed the castle; however, it was later rebuilt and fortified. Kaunas Castle lost its strategic significance after the Battle of Žalgiris (Grunwald).

Town Hall

(Rotušės a.)

Place in the map

Often called the White Swan of the city, the Kaunas Town Hall combines elements of Gothic, Baroque and early Classicism styles. In the Middle Ages, the Town Hall was the centre of the city: its square served as the marketplace and the location of various festivities and executions of criminals. After the re-construction of the building in 1973, the Town Hall was turned into the Wedding Palace, while the Museum of Ceramic Art settled in its basement.

St. Francis Zavier Church and Jesuit Monastery

(Rotušės a. 7, 8. 9)

Place in the map

This late Baroque style church was constructed in the early 17th century. In 1787, it was transferred to the Order of Franciscan Monks, later it served as an Orthodox Church, Alexander Nevsky’s Cathedral and a Technical College. In 1990, the Jesuit Community regained the church.

Kaunas Cathedral

(Vilniaus g. 1)

Place in the map

The only Gothic style church in Lithuania, using Basilica design. Reconstructed a number of times, the church has acquired architectural features of the Renaissance and Baroque. The Cathedral has 9 altars and crystal-type arches in the sacristy.

Vilniaus Street

(Vilniaus g.)

Place in the map

The most beautiful and the busiest street in the Old Town, intended only for pedestrians. Long time ago it used to be the main road leading to the Kaunas Town Hall. The majority of its buildings have survived since the 16th century and many of them have been reconstructed.

Vytautas’ the Great Church

(Aleksoto g. 3)

Place in the map

This church was built in the 15th century, which makes it the oldest one in Kaunas. It is one of the first Gothic brick buildings of cross-shaped layout in Kaunas. The building belonged to Franciscan monks and was used as a warehouse of weapons during the Napoleonic Wars.

The House of Thunder

(Aleksoto g. 61)

Place in the map

One of the most original buildings of the flaming Gothic architecture, The House of Thunder was constructed in the 15th century for Hanza merchants. In the 19th century, a statue of Thunder was found in one of the walls, which is why it was designated a pagan temple. The first Kaunas Drama theatre was established in the house in 1844. Now the House of Thunder belongs to the Jesuit High School.

Laisvės avenue

(Laisvės al.)

Place in the map

1.7 km long pedestrian-only street, connecting the old and the new parts of the city. Its beginning and end precisely indicate the directions of the East and the West.

“The street is one of the first places that every visitor should visit while staying in Kaunas. The street starts with Soboras and brings you to Vilniaus gatvė, where the Old Town begins. This street was built during the last years of the 19th century and finished in the 20th century. After a
reconstruction in 1982, it became a pedestrian street. Nowadays, Laisvės alėja is one of the main places for entertainment in Kaunas. It has a special charm which invites to go for a walk during the sunny days.” (Erasmus student Iván Llera Huerta)

Monument to Vytautas the Great

(at the turn of Laisvės al. and L. Sapiegos g.)

Place in the map

This monument was unveiled in 1932 in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania. Created by sculptor Vincas Grybas, it first stood in Panemunė, but was destroyed in the Soviet years. After the restoration of independence, it was rebuilt at the junction of Laisvės alėja and Sapiegos street.

St. Michael the Archangel Church

(Nepriklausomybės a. 14)

Place in the map

This is a neo-Byzantine style building with architectural traits of Orthodox sanctuary. The church was designed and constructed by Russian architects and built for the Kaunas military garrison. Later it functioned as an art gallery, until it was turned into a Catholic church.

Garden of Military Museum

(Vienybės a.)

Place in the map

Monumental busts of famous Lithuanian writers and politicians were unveiled here. The Eternal flame and wooden crosses commemorate those who lost their lives for the independence of Lithuania.

Kaunas Funiculars

(Skriaudžių g. 8 and Aušros g. 6)

Kaunas is the only city in Lithuania which has funiculars, one of the oldest means of transport. The funiculars in Žaliakalnis and Aleksotas are used for two purposes – transportation and pleasure trips. The funicular in Aleksotas links the old part of the city with the slopes of Aleksotas which offer a beautiful view of the city. The funicular of Žaliakalnis goes up from downtown to the monumental Christ’s Resurrection Church, the roof of which also provides a spectacular panorama of the city.

Statue of Liberty

(Vienybės a.)

Place in the map

This sculpture is the symbol of Lithuanian Statehood. It was inaugurated in 1928, destroyed during the Stalinist regime and restored in 1989.

Kaunas Zoo

(Radvilėnų g. 21)

Place in the map

The only zoological garden in Lithuania. It is set up in the old oak grove and has around 270 species of animals and birds.

Pažaislis Monastery

(T. Masiulio g. 31, Kaunas)

Place in the map

One of the most beautiful architectural ensembles of the Baroque style in Lithuania, the Pažaislis Monastery was built in the 17th century as a Camaldoli Abbey under the supervision of Italian masters from Florence. Pažaislis music festivals are held here every summer. More information: www.pazaislis.lt.

Kaunas Marios Regional Park

(Miškininkų g. 2, Vaišvydava, Kaunas District)

Place in the map

Artificially made Kauno Marios (Kaunas Lagoon), covering the total area of 63,5 km², was created in 1959. The open-air Folk Museum, Pažaislis Monastery and Kaunas Yacht Club are located nearby.

Adomas Mickevičius Valley

Place in the map

The stone where poet Adomas Mickevičius loved to sit and create poems lies in the valley that surrounds the Girstupis rivulet.