Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 24, 2021

Kaunas On the Nemunas River

In our armchair travels through Europe we are now in the Baltic State of Lithuania. Officially it is the Republic of Lithuania and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania shares its land borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south and Russia to the southeast.

Kaunas is a city in south-central Lithuania and sits at the confluence of the Neris and Nemunas Rivers. It is Lithuania’s second-largest city.

Of particular interest for tourists is Kaunas medieval Old Town which is found next to the confluence of two major rivers the Nemunas and the Neras. You’ll discover that Town Hall Square is surrounded by historic churches.

On the south side is St. Francis Church with two towers, a college and a Jesuit monastery. Close by you’ll find the unusual House of Perkunas built of red brick in the 16th century and stands on the site of a former temple built to the Lithuanian thunder god, Perkunas. On the bank of the Nemunas River is the Gothic Vytautas Church and to the west of the square built in the late Renaissance period Holy Trinity Church with a terracotta-roof.

On the east side is the red brick Kaunas Cathedral which is the largest gothic building in Lithuania.

House of Perkūnas is a Gothic 15th-century mansion with a brick facade and ornate arches and turrets. It was built by merchants of the Hanseatic League. The interior shows the lifestyle of the nobles with chandeliers, dining tables, and a library with a small exhibition that is dedicated to 19th-century Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz. The house was named for the thunder god Perkunas. You can get a guided tour. The house has also been a drama theater and it continues to host performances from time to time.

The Town Hall has Old Town’s tallest tower that rises from it. It is an elegant white building that was built in the mid-16th century. The hall has been a theater, a prison, and a palace. Today it is used for official events. The first two floors serve as a wedding hall and there is a small town museum in the cellar.

Pažaislis Monastery was built by Camaldolese monks in the 17th century. The Baroque monastery is located 9 km east of central Kaunas on a promontory that juts into the Kaunas Sea. It was given to the Russian Orthodox order by Tsar Alexander in 1831. It has a 50 m high cupola and a luxurious Venetian interior that has pink and black Polish marble, On the premises, you’ll find Monte Pacis which is one of Lithuania’s best fine dining restaurants.

MK Čiurlionis National Museum of Art is one of the oldest and grandest galleries in Lithuania. It is Kauna’s leading art museum. Here you can see the impressive paintings of Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, one of Lithuania’s greatest artists and composers. In the gallery, you can see contemporary sculpture exhibitions, Lithuania folk and religious art, 16th- to 20th-century European works and Lithuanian landscapes and portraits from the 1900s to 1940s.

Open-Air Museum of Lithuania consists of re-created 18th and 19th-century villages that represent Lituania’s main regions. Joiners demonstrate their crafts in the museum workshop. There are indoor exhibits and you can get a tour of the park, The museum is located 25 km east of Kaunas.

Kaunas Picture Gallery is a branch of the Ciurlionis museum and exhibits the artwork of 20th-century Lithuanian artists include a Lithuania In Exile exhibition by emigre artists, Even though most explanations are in Lithuanian the art does its own talking with 1920s and 30s watercolors that depict the countryside and fishing villages along with a vivid triptych by 20th-century painter Adomas Galdikas, plus temporary exhibitions.

St Michael the Archangel Church is a neo-Byzantine church that was turned into a stained glass museum during Soviet times. It was built for the Russian Orthodox faith and reopened to Catholic worshippers in 1991. The church catacombs have been converted into the Kaunas Museum for the Blind letting visitors experience a sightless world.

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