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Kaunas - Baltic Way

Kaunas

Town HallKaunas (337,000 population), the second largest city of the country, is thought to be one of the best places in Lithuania for those who want to feel the real Lithuanian spirit.  Kaunas is well known as a Provisional Capital and is famous for its basketball team “Žalgiris”, the Kaunas Zoo,  the central street called Freedom Avenue (Laisvės alėja) and local townspeople`s pride of their city.

The city originated in the 13th century when the first brick castle in Lithuania, the biggest defence fortress then, was built. In 1408 the city was granted the Magdeburg rights. Afterwards Kaunas began growing at a fairly rapid pace, especially its importance as the centre and main river port for trade with Western Europe. In the 16th century Kaunas was one of the best developed cities in the Lithuanian Grand Duchy. Kaunas is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris. It includes many historic, military, Jewish heritage monuments and number of marvelous buildings and other places that cannot be found anywhere else in Lithuania.

Old TownThe city boasts a well-preserved Old Town, which is a concentration of valuable cultural and architectural monuments, including the Kaunas Castle, the gothic House of Thunder, Vytautas the Great and St. Gertrude Churches, Kaunas Town Hall, also called The White Swan etc. In addition, the city has some unique engineering heritage, i.e. funiculars launched 70 years ago. One of them lifts guests and visitors to the Aleksotas Hill which, like the Insurrection Church, opens a beautiful panorama of Kaunas.

Ciurlionis museumThere are plenty museums in Kaunas. M.K.Čiurlionis Art Museum offers a chance to see the works of M.K.Čiurlionis, the genius of the Lithuanian art who is ranked alongside M.Shagal, V.Kandinski and K.Malevičius. Visitors to the Museum of Devils (with over 3,000 items), the only museum of its kind in the world, will experience a number of merry impressions. Vytautas the Great War Museum acquaints its visitors with the history of Lithuania. Nearby there are a symbolic Statue of Liberty and the eternal fire commemorating those who fought and died for the Lithuanian independence.

Pazaislis

The city offers a number of opportunities for cultural and leisure activities: several drama, pantomime and dance theatres, a puppet-show, and the Musical Theatre, which is the initiator of the annual Operetta festival in the Kaunas Castle.

The International Kaunas Jazz Festival represents an annual emotional fiesta of music. The unique features of this festival include carillon jazz, the Jewish theme in jazz performed in a synagogue, and others.

Located on an island of the Nemunas River, there is the largest multi-purpose indoor arena in the Baltics called Žalgiris Arena. The arena's maximum possible seating capacity for basketball games is 15,688, and 16,160 seats for concerts.

Pažaislis Monastery, the pearl of the Lithuanian mature Baroque of the European scale settled by the Kaunas Lagoon, hosts international Pažaislis music (classical) festivals every summer.

Kaunas is a large centre of industry, trade and services in Lithuania. It is located near the centre of Lithuania and at the most important road connection between the Baltic States, the Via Baltica.

 

 

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