Kaunas Attractions

Kaunas attractions include Kaunas Castle, St. Michael the Archangel Church, Kaunas old city hall, Pažaislis monastery, and Laisvės alėja pedestrian street.

Kaunas Castle is a 14th century fortress, located in a historically important place, adjacent to the Nemunas River.

Military importance of the fortress diminished after the Battle of Tannenberg in 1410, after which it was used as, for example, as a residential and office building, with only about 1/3 of the original structure remaining to this day.

Of the preserved sections of the fortress, in use is its round tower, which features a variety of exhibits, and the castle grounds, a popular summer festival venue.

Of Kaunas attractions, St. Michael the Archangel Church (Kauno Šv. arkangelo Mykolo bažnyčia) is the city’s main Roman Catholic church, built in a neobyzantine architectural style, in 1895.

VIDEO: Tour of St. Michael the Archangel church.

Highlights at the church, which originally functioned as an Orthodox military church, include its 266 columns and pilasters of varying sizes, within the facade.

With his plans for the church, which can accommodate (at best) around 2,000 visitors, architect Constantin Lymarenko also made the 50 meter (164 ft) tall interiors impressive.

Baroque Kaunas old city hall, from 16th century, is one of the most beautiful buildings here, and, due to its narrow tower, it is also known as “White Swan”.

VIDEO: Tour of the Kaunas old city hall.

The old city hall is located in the middle of Kaunas old town’s central square, and in addition to admiring the building from the outside, you should also check out the building’s interiors, which include a ceramics museum.

Highlights at the ceramics museum, located on on the old city hall’s basement level, include 15th century pottery, but the museum also features more modern ceramic art.

Pažaislis monastery, meanwhile, is a building complex located on a picturesque peninsula that extends into a lake, and represents some of the most beautiful Baroque period architecture in Eastern Europe.

The monastery was founded by Grand Chancellor Krzysztof Zygmunt Pac of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in 1662, with most of the construction work on the main building taking place from 1674-1712, from plans by Italian architects Pietro Puttin, Carlo Puttin, and Giovanni Battista Frediani.

Today, the monastery is especially well-known as a venue for the annual (three month long) Pažaislis Music Festival (www.pazaislis.lt), which features around 30 concerts.

Finally, 1.6 km (1 mile) long Laisvės alėja is Eastern Europe’s longest pedestrian street, passing through the oldest sections of Kaunas, through the most idyllic parts of the old town.

The tree-lined, boulevard-like pedestrian street, which is called the most beautiful street in Lithuania, was completed in the late 19th century.

Along the street, you can find many highlights, including Kaunas State Music Theatre, Kaunas Drama Theater, as well as St. Michael the Archangel Church.