Lithuania’s dark 20th-century background is poignantly explained, 7km north of Kaunas. Begin from the sombre, church-like gallery using striking stained glass and displays detailing Lithuania’s suffering under the Soviets and the Nazis. Subsequently continue uphill to the Holocaust museum as well as the WWI-era fort — a hard-labour prison in the early 20th century along with also a center of torture and mass killings throughout WWII.
MK Čiurlionis National Museum of Art
One of Lithuania’s oldest and greatest galleries, Kaunas’ top art museum (founded 1921) is your place to familiarize yourself with all the dreamlike paintings of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911), among the nation’s biggest artists and composers. Elsewhere in the big gallery are modern sculpture displays, Lithuanian religious and folk art, 16th- to 20th-century European works as well as Lithuanian landscapes and portraits by the 1900s to 1940s.
Kaunas-based Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara (1900–86) saved around 6000 Jewish resides between 1939 and 1940, issuing transit visas to twenty-six Jews who faced being pressured to Soviet citizenship. After the Soviets annexed Lithuania and arranged each of consulates be closed he requested for a brief extension. Dubbed’Japan’s Schindler’, he disobeyed orders for 29 times by registering 300 visas daily, and handed the postage into a Jewish refugee if he abandoned. Sugihara House tells his life story.
Museum of Devils
This museum is dedicated to the Devil, Lucifer, Satan, the fallen angel, the seducer, the cajoler, together with over 3000 statuettes, carvings, masks and other pictures, gathered over the decades from landscape artist Antanas Žmuidzinavičius (1876–1966). There is a light-hearted quest of the Horned One in a variety of mythologies, and a look at parties held to push darkness and bad, from Walpurgis Night and Shrovetide into Halloween.
Artist Vytenis Jakas moved to the courtyard over a decade ago and turned it into an ever-evolving art endeavor, producing murals and moving on partitions the photographs of Jewish households that lived here before WWII. The’Stick Your Memory’ wall invites you to join in and give a sentimental knick-knack into the chaotic yet joyous collage.
Built in 1871, the only functioning synagogue of the who lived since 1941, as well as among the very few remnants of Kaunas’ once-strong Jewish neighborhood, this is a remarkable dark-wood and golden bimah. Outside there is a memorial to 1600 kids murdered at the Ninth Fort. It is ideal to call ahead in the event that you would like to see.
Constructed by Camaldolese monks at the 17th century, this spectacular baroque monastery is located 9km east of fundamental Kaunas, on a promontory jutting into the Kauno marios (Kaunas Sea). Given to the Russian Orthodox sequence by Tsar Alexander in 1831, it is sumptuous if marginally run-down affair using a 50m-high cupola and lavish Venetian interior created from black and pink Polish marble. On the assumptions is Monte Pacis, among Lithuania’s best fine dining restaurants.
The monastery has had a chequered history, getting a psychiatric hospital at the Soviet era, prior to visiting its Catholic roots in 1990. It is Ideal to visit during the Pažaislis Music Festival, between June and August.
House of Perkūnas
With elaborate arches and turrets rippling out of the brick facade, this late-15th-century mansion is a treasure of Kaunas’ late-Gothic architecture. Constructed by merchants of the Hanseatic League, its inside is set out to elicit the noble lifestyles of the past: chandeliers, dining tables and also a library which has a little exhibition specializing in 19th-century Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz. The magnificent house is known for its thunder god Perkūnas, whose likeness was found during renovations in 1818. Add $1 for a guided tour.
Lietūkis Garage Massacre Memorial
This little memorial at the courtyard marks the place where, on June 27, 1941, during the very first days of the Nazi occupation of this city, Lithuanian’patriots’ wearing the white armbands of this Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) murdered 70 or so Jewish passers-by, by beating them to death using crowbars and hammering them along with the insertion of high pressure water hoses to various orifices till they burst. The scene was attended with a cheering crowd of onlookers.
Old Town’s tallest tower (53m) climbs from Kaunas’ Town Hall, an elegant white layer-cake of a structure. Constructed from the mid-16th century, the hallway has served as a theater, a magazine, palace and prison through recent years. Nowadays it’s largely used for official occasions, even though it’s also a favorite photo-op for people stopping from the tourist office indoors.
Open-Air Museum of Lithuania
The open-air museum includes re-created 18th- and 19th-century villages representing Lithuania’s main areas (Dzūkija, Aukštaitija, Suvalkija, Žemaitija and Lithuania Minor). Potters, weavers and joiners show their crafts at the memorial workshop and, although the indoor displays closed for the winter months, tours of the park could be reserved during the year. The memorial is currently in Rumšiškės, 25km east of Kaunas, about 2km off the Kaunas–Vilnius street.
Kaunas Photography Gallery
There is always an intriguing temporary display on in this gallery, for example as Integration, an intriguing juxtaposition between vague, dimly lit photographic pictures of Remigijus Treigys and abstract, daring explosions of color by Eimutis Markūnas.
St Michael the Archangel Church
The Soviets turned into this blue-domed neo-Byzantine church, which matches the skies so radically at the eastern end of Laisvės alėja, to some stained-glass museum. Constructed for the Russian Orthodox faith in 1893, St Michael’s has been sentenced to Catholic worshippers in 1991. The church catacombs are converted to the Kaunas Museum for the Blind — enabling people to experience a sightless world.
Maironis Lithuanian Literary Museum
Even travelers unenthused by turn-of-the-20th-century literature will be enchanted with this museum devoted to Lithuanian luminary Maironis (aka Jonas Mačiulis). The museum is within a superbly manicured 18th-century mansion, purchased and supplied by Maironis in 1909. Highlights include the rococo Red Room (really baby blue) along with the Great Dining Room, gloriously adorned with traditional heraldry left in bold picture artwork.
Christ’s Resurrection Basilica
There is an austerity, simplicity and girth for the white-washed concrete cathedral, constructed over a span of 70 years from 1934 onwards, although its Functionalist style divides view. A Nazi newspaper warehouse, a radio mill under the Soviets, it was eventually recorded in 2004. Just take the staircase ($1.20) or the elevator ($2.40) into the upstairs patio for good views of the city.
St Francis Xavier Church & Monastery
The southern aspect of Rotušės aikštė is dominated with rosy-pink late-Baroque facade of this St Francis Xavier Church, faculty and Jesuit monastery complicated. Peek in the twin-towered church, built between 1666 and 1720, and grow up to the viewing stage to get a bird’s-eye vantage point over Kaunas’ Old Town.
Known in full as Vytautas the Great Church of the Accession of the Holy Virgin Mary, this red-brick church is among the Earliest in Kaunas. Constructed by Franciscans from the early 15th century, it had been used from the Orthodox church and Napoleon (within an ammunition shop ) prior to being relegated to Catholicism in 1990.
Povilas Stulga Lithuanian Folk Music Instruments Museum
This museum indicates that any raw material could be turned into a musical tool. Housed at a 16th-century Gothic home, the lovely 7000-piece collection contains bone and wood flutes, strange reed pipes, three-string cellos, and equally fundamental and elaborately carved kanklės (zithers).
Medicine & Pharmaceutical History Museum
Dating back to the 1930s, this enjoyable museum details the advancement of health science in Lithuania within the decades. Additionally, there are expositions on Lithuanian and Siberian folk medication along with a rebuilt 19th-century apothecary, full with ceramic vessels and clay jars.
Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery
This art museum three floors relies on the personal collection of Mykolas Žilinskas, however, is currently controlled by the National Čiurlionis Art Museum. The collection is most powerful on European art from the 17th to the 20th centuries also boasts Lithuania’s just Rubens.
Field of Sacrifice
The area of Sacrifice — a title inscribed on paving slabs in the front of this City Garden — would be a dreadful tribute into the 19-year-old Kaunas enthusiast Romas Kalanta, that, in 1972, set himself alight in protest in Soviet ruler.
This historical funicular in the southern end of Aleksoto Tiltas (Aleksoto Bridge) goes from 1935 and also the viewing platform in the top devotes excellent rooftop views of Old Town (greatest in the morning).
Kaunas Museum for the Blind
Even the catacombs of St Michael the Archangel Church are put up to allow you to experience a brief spell for a man without sight.
Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum
With over 250,000 specimens spread across three floors, this museum covers the animal kingdom by the imposing taxidermy mammals (bison, muskox, large cats, hippos, primates) to diverse birdlife, and also a paleontological section filled with mammoth remains. It was established in 1919 from Tadas, a famed Lithuanian naturalist, along with the screens are comprehensive and well organized, however, you leave with a wistful sense that you would rather have seen such animals alive and from the wild.
Presidential Palace of Lithuania
This handsome 19th-century construction has been the seat of government for the Republic of Lithuania between the wars. Restored to its original splendor, it currently houses a display on separate Lithuania including historical photos, presents given to previous presidents, ranges of household silver along with presidential awards. Statues of prior presidents additionally stud the palace garden.
Sts Peter & Paul Cathedral
With its tower, that this church owes much into baroque renovation, particularly indoors, but the first 15th-century Gothic form of its own windows stays. The largest Gothic building in Lithuania, it was likely founded by Vytautas about 1410 and today has nine altars. The tomb of Maironis stands out the south east wall.
Vytautas the Great War Museum
Founded from the Lithuanian Armythis tradition retains exhibitions about the history of weapons, Lithuanian army background, the span of the Grand Duchy and much more. Of special fascination is that the wreckage of this Lituanica, where Steponas Darius and Stanislovas Girėnas expired while trying to fly nonstop from New York into Kaunas, at 1933.
A rebuilt tower, segments of wall and portion of a moat are all that remain of 14th-century Kaunas Castle, a significant bastion from Teutonic strikes around that the city originally grew. There is an exibition about the background of this castle, even a rebuilt dungeon, in addition to the chance to test your hand in old Lithuanian matches and archery.
Statue of Maironis
Maironis was the pen name of Kaunas poet and priest Jonas Mačiulis (1862–1932) whose writings helped awaken the nation’s civic longings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Stalin banned his functions.
Jan Zwartendijk Memorial
This untitled setup by Giny Vos, introduced at 2018, is a tradition to this Dutch diplomat Jan Zwartendijk, that rescued tens of thousands of Jewish lives during WWII together with Chiune Sugiharaalong with his Japanese counterpart.