Kaunas City and Pažaislis monastery

  • Old town - Covering a total of 106 hectares or thereabouts, is dominated by a majestic, often crumbling mix of Gothic and Renaissance-style structures with a cluster of 16th century merchant houses around the town hall. The main street, Vilniaus, was in its day way back in the 13th century, a highway linking the city with Vilnius.
  • Kaunas castle – The city’s 13th century castle was the country’s first defensive bastion and the only double-walled castle in Lithuania. Unlike most other castles of the time, Kaunas was not made by wood, but was one of the few stone castles.
  • Perkūnas house – Built in a similar style to St. Anne’s church in Vilnius, this is one of the most original examples of late Gothic architecture in Lithuania. Built during the final days of the 15th century, the rich architecture symbolized the economic power of the Hanseatic League and German expansion.
  • Town hall – The 53-metre high tower over the ancient heart of Kaunas, the Town Square, was first built in 1542 and is referred to as the White Swan of Kaunas
  • Devils museum - This museum owes itself to the eccentric Antanas Žmuidzinavičius (1876-1966) who collected over 2,000 depictions of devils from all over the world. There are also wood carvings, soft toys and loads of references to music and alcohol. Of particular interest are the Hitler and Stalin devils, doing the dance of death over a helpless Lithuania.
  • M. K. Čiurlionis state art museum - Painter, composer, mystic and depressive, are some of the adjectives that have been used to describe the nation's artistic hero. During his short lifetime, Čiurlionis (1875-1911) churned out the first Lithuanian symphony (In The Forest). Many claim that Čiurlionis was the inventor of abstract art instead of Russia's Kandinsky as the history books dictate. What is clear is that the man was a genius.
  • Mykolas Žilinskas art gallery - The museum's large collection of European paintings holds examples of almost every major art movement in the last hundred years. The museum is usually noted as being the home of the only Rubens in Lithuania, but some believe it is the home of just some superior copies of Rubens.
  • After you've had enough culture, religion and food for thought, be sure to have a stroll along Laisves Alėja –the heart of Kaunas. The longest pedestrian street connecting the Old Town of Kaunas with the new town.
  • Pažaislis monastery and church form the largest monastery complex in Lithuania, and one of the most magnificent examples of Italian baroque architecture in Eastern Europe. It is situated near Kaunas, on a peninsula in Kaunas Sea Club. Founded in 1662 by Great Chancellor Kristupas Zigmantas Pacas for Order of the Camaldolese Hermits, the main construction has been built until 1674 and further finished until 1712. The church was designed by Isidoro Affaitati, the architect of John II Casimir, and the later finishing works after 1674 were directed by Carlo and Pietro Puttini. The building of the towers and the dome after 1755 was funded by king's chambelain. In 1832 the church was closed by and later converted into an Orthodox church. After 1920 the ruined church returned to Roman Catholics and was restored by sisters of the Lithuanian convent of St. Casimir. After World War II, the Soviet authorities converted the church and monastery into an archive, a hospital and finally an art gallery (in 1966). In 1990s the complex was returned to the nuns of the convent and reconstruction works started since.