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JESUIT  PROPERTIES  IN  KAUNAS - Kaunas

JESUIT PROPERTIES IN KAUNAS

Jesuits in Kaunas

Jesuits, the Society of Jesus, is a religious order (for guys) in the Roman Catholic Church founded by Spanish cleric Saint Ignatius Loyola (1481-1556) and officially confirmed by Pope Paul III in 1540. They came to Lithuania before 1570 and put important role in Lithuanian and Kaunas history especially on field of education. Schools and colleges run by them were among the best that time. They founded the Jesuit college in 1649 in Kaunas.

Kaunas Jesuit College and since 1924 High School (Kauno Jezuitu Gimnazija) were located in these buildings of the Church of St. Francis Xavier and Jesuit Monastery on my picture. The front facade of the church looked quite different and better than the backside. Surprized?

No wonder, the construction in late Baroque style started in 1666, but this complex of buildings was destroyed by fires a few times. In 1825 it was turned into the Alexander Nevski orthodox church. Then, after World War I, the buildings were returned to the Jesuits and from 1962 they belonged to a vocational school and were given back to the believers in 1990.


Address: Rotuses aikste 9, 3000 Kaunas, Lithuania

Directions: South of the Town Hall Square (Rotuses aikste). From its southeastern corner walk southwards Aleksoto gatve (street) and look to your right.

Other Contact: gvsj@lcn.lt

Phone: +370 (37) 42 30 98

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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BOOKS  ONLY  IN  LITHUANIAN :-((( - Kaunas

BOOKS ONLY IN LITHUANIAN :-(((

Need more info?

Unfortunatelly almost all information in the Museum of Exiles & Political Prisoners was given exclusively in Lithuanian language. There were nmerous and very intereting books and publications on Soviet occupation, exciles and other repressions, Lithuanian struggle for independence etc. available there. But they all were exclusively in Lithuanian. Why? My only source of information at place was a museum custode, old woman who couldn't speak English but could Russian, at least a little.

Need more information?
Read the following articles from LITANUS, an English language journal on arts and science:

1. Soviet Terror in Lithuania During the Post-War Years

2. Lithuanian Resistance to Foreign Occupation 1940-1952

3. The Situation in Occupied Lithuania: Administration, Indoctrination and Russinization

4. Russification

5. A Comparison of the Struggles for Independence of the United States and Lithuania

6. Lithuania's Independence: The Litmus Test for Democracy in the USSR.


BUKOVSKY AND SOVIET ARCHIVES
If you know Russian you can search Soviet archives (limited choice) copied by Vladimir Bukovsky here.

In 1992 he was granted access to large number of documents from the Soviet archives because he was chosen by Russian government to investigate whether the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had been a criminal institution. He copied many files using small handheld scanner and smuggled them to the West. Hmm... Bukovsky was announced to be persona non grata in "new" Russia in 1996.



Address: Vytauto gatve 46, 3000 Kaunas, Lithuania

Directions: Take a trolleybus 1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16 or a bus 6, 20, 23, 37, 29, 34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 45 to Vytauto prospekata (avenue), stop close to Kestucio gatve; walk Vytauto southwards, the museum approx. 300 m on the left.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 1, 2005
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THE LAST STRUGGLE  FOR  INDEPENDENCE  ON  PICTURES - Kaunas

THE LAST STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE ON PICTURES

The last struggle on pictures

These historical pictures (enlarge) were displayed in the Museum of Exiles & Political Prisoners. They were taken in Vilnius around Lithuanian parliament where the downfall of Soviet Empire started on 11th March, 1990, when the Supreme Council announced Lithuanian independence restored - read here.

The Soviet Union opposed strongly against independence of Lithuania (and later on of Latvia and Estonia) in 1990. Keep in mind that all state institutions (but not "rebel" parliament and free human minds) were fully controlled by Soviet authorities. KGB headquarters and officers had to be very active that time. Well, they had a lot of work with cutting, burning and transferring to the East tons of files - evidences of their crimes.

Soviet troops surronded, attacked and captured Vilnius TV tower on January 13 1991 to "re-establish order". Thirteen innocent and armless defenders of the TV tower were killed. Keep in mind that full control of mass media was key feauture of the Soviet system. I hope that Vilnians could watch Polish TV that time. Btw did Soviets like 13th? The marshall law against the Solidarity Trade Union in Poland started on 13th December, 1981 - sad date never to forget for me.


On 13th January 1991 the Soviet troops were preparing to attack the parliament building as well. But thanks to determination of both crowds of Vilnians surrounding the building which put up barricades and members of parliament inside (ready to defend it) they finally gave up. Read the very interesting interview with Vytautas Landsbergis - the central player in the drama: here


Address: Vytauto gatve 46, 3000 Kaunas, Lithuania

Directions: Take a trolleybus 1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16 or a bus 6, 20, 23, 37, 29, 34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 45 to Vytauto prospekata (avenue), stop close to Kestucio gatve; walk Vytauto southwards, the museum approx. 300 m on the left.

Website: http://www.balticsworldwide.com/news/features/crackdown.htm

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 19, 2004
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MUSEUM OF EXILES AND POLITICAL PRISONERS - Kaunas

MUSEUM OF EXILES AND POLITICAL PRISONERS

On mass deportations

There were many old black & white photographs and other documents related to deportations from Lithuanian Soviet Republic to deep, Asian parts of the USSR (Siberia) during and after WWII, displayed in the two rooms of the Museum of Exiles & Political Prisoners. Unfortunately most information on exhibited items was given exclusively in Lithuanian language. Luckily the museum custodian knew (a little bit) Russian language. It was enough to get to know some interesting facts.

HOW MANY DEPORTEES?
There were no official dated concerning number of deportees to the USSR from Balric states occupied by the Soviet Russia since 1940. They were never published both by the former Soviet Union and by Russia now. The known fact is that the population of Lithuania lowered by almost 8% between 1939 and 1959. Western authors estimate the number of deportees from Lithuania as 200,000 to even over 500,000. There were over 60,000 registered survivors of deportations living in Lithuania in 2003.

FIRST MASS DEPORTATIONS
It's known that some 40,000 people were deported from Lithuania (incl. 10,000 from Kaunas) only during the two days just before German invasion against the Soviet Russia in June 1941. More: read here, please.


Address: Vytauto gatve 46, 3000 Kaunas, Lithuania

Directions: Take a trolleybus 1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16 or a bus 6, 20, 23, 37, 29, 34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 45 to Vytauto prospekata (avenue), stop close to Kestucio gatve; walk Vytauto southwards, the museum approx. 300 m on the left.

Website: http://www.lituanus.org/1986/86_4_04.htm

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 19, 2004
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MYKOLAS ZILINSKAS ART GALLERY - Kaunas

MYKOLAS ZILINSKAS ART GALLERY

M. Zilinskas Art Gallery

This complex of modern buildings, on my picture, was put in southeastern corner of Nepriklausomybes aikste (Independence Square) and housed Mykolas Zilinskas Art Gallery. There was cinema "Menapilis" there as well. The buildings were built in 1989 to honour of art collector Mykolas Zilinskas (1904-1922).


Address: 12 Nepriklausomybes Square, 3000 Kaunas

Directions: Take a trolleybus 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, 15 or a bus 6, 10, 21, 23, 37, 39, 40, 46 to Kystucio gatve (street), stop at Gedimino gatve; walk Gedimino northwards approx. 150 m to reach the square.

Other Contact: +370 (37) 22 28 53

Phone: +370 (37) 32 27 88

Website: http://www.muziejai.lt/Kaunas/zilinsko_galerija.en.htm

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 19, 2004
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STATUE  IN  FRONT  OF  ZILINKAS  ART  GALLERY - Kaunas

STATUE IN FRONT OF ZILINKAS ART GALLERY

Nude symbol of Kaunas

This statue, on my picture, depicted a nude guy. It was put among modern buildings which housed M. Zilinskas Art Gallery. The statue was well seen from a distance at the Independance Square and was so unique that I called it the nude symbol of Kaunas.


Address: 12 Nepriklausomybes Square, 3000 Kaunas

Directions: Take a trolleybus 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, 15 or a bus 6, 10, 21, 23, 37, 39, 40, 46 to Kystucio gatve (street), stop at Gedimino gatve; walk Gedimino northwards approx. 150 m to reach the square.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 19, 2004
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LAISVES  ALEJA  (LIBERTY  AVENUE) - Kaunas

LAISVES ALEJA (LIBERTY AVENUE)

Main street of Kaunas

The main and the most representative street of Kaunas - Laisves alaja (Liberty avenue) - was closed to traffic (ecept for bicycles) and run from Nepriklausomybes aikste (Independence Square) eastwards to Vilniaus gatve, main street of the Old Town.

What was there? Do you want the whole list? OK, just top 5 points of visitor's interest, from the east that was from Nepriklausomybes aikste (Independence Square):
1. Tourist Information Centre of Kaunas Region (# 36; hours: Mon-Fri: 9.00 am - 6.00 pm, Sat: 9.00 am - 3.00 pm, Sun: closed)
2. Kaunas State Musical Theatre (#91)
3. Central Post Office (#102)
4. Zoological Museum (# 106)
5. Church of St. Gerthruda (#101a)


Add numerous stores/shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels, a movie theater, ATMs, banks, Kaunas State Academic Drama Theatre, Kaunas Puppet Theatre and Kaunas Municipality.


Address: Laisves Aleja, 3000 Kaunas, Lithuania

Directions: From the Old Town walk eastwards Vilniaus gatve and at its end turn a little right to Laisves aleja.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 19, 2004
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INDEPENDENCE  SQUARE - Kaunas

INDEPENDENCE SQUARE

Independence Square

This relatively large square, on my picture, was called Nepriklausomybes aikste in Lithuanian (Independence Square) and was good point to start walking tour around the New Town. It was the largest square in the New Town.

There was large white structure of Church of St. Michael the Archangel put in the middle. Mykolas Zilinskas Art Gallery was located in southwestern corner of the square. Add a restaurant with green umbrellas put on a square, seen on my picture and the main walking and shopping street of the New Town - Laisves aleja (avenue) which went eastwards from the squre.

For visitors driving a car
The squre was closed to traffic (open for bicycles only). I parked my car on dead street south of the square: Gedimino gatve. There were paid (in parkometers) parking places on both sides of the street. Well, most of them were occupied in a weekend.


Address: Nepriklausomybes aikste, 3000 Kaunas

Directions: Take a trolleybus 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, 15 or a bus 6, 10, 21, 23, 37, 39, 40, 46 to Kystucio gatve (street), stop at Gedimino gatve; walk Gedimino northwards approx. 150 m to reach the square.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 19, 2004
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SIGNS  OF  FOREST  BROTHERS - Kaunas

SIGNS OF FOREST BROTHERS

Signs of forest brothers

There were numerous photograps of young boys and guys Lithuanian partisans displayed in the Museum of Exiles & Political Prisoners. There were signs of each district group of freedom fighters, two of them on my picture.

An armed resistance of partisans in 1944-1953 took about 20,000 sons and daughters from Lithuanian nation. More than a half of them perished fighting for freedom in 1944-1945. Middle lenght of fighting as a partisan was only 2-3 years. Most of the fighters that died and was killed were younger than 21. Even after the death of Lithuanian patriots jeering at them was often. To frighten the inhabitants, the bodies of partisans were laid down in town squares, yards and markets.


Address: Vytauto gatve 46, 3000 Kaunas, Lithuania

Directions: Take a trolleybus 1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16 or a bus 6, 20, 23, 37, 29, 34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 45 to Vytauto prospekata (avenue), stop close to Kestucio gatve; walk Vytauto southwards, the museum approx. 300 m on the left.

Website: http://www.lituanus.org/1986/86_4_04.htm

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 19, 2004
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THEY  WERE  KILLED  BY  SOVIETS - Kaunas

THEY WERE KILLED BY SOVIETS

Resistance against Soviet rules

There was part of the Museum of Exiles & Political Prisoners devoted to resistance against Soviet authorities and esp. anti-Soviet partisans called forest brothers which fighted till 1953. I saw many documents and pictures unfortunatelly in Lithuanian only. All young faces of forest brothers on these pictures were killed by Soviets.



REFLECTION
My reflection was serious and somewhat sad. Where was democratic western Europe and its great politicians in times when one part of Europe (Western) enjoyed victory over Nazism, then fast rebuilding process, unbelievable growth and prosperity while the second part of Europe suffered from slavish Soviet system, stagnation, poverty. Add millions of deportees, killed, died in Soviet concentration camps etc., etc. Didn't they know the truth? Unbelievable!

Or maybe it was much more comfortable to "believe" in Soviet liers on great Soviet state of ever lasting happiness, free elections in Poland, Czech, Lithuania etc. etc. and do nothing except some very cautious words of some doubts? At least the 2 top world's politicians (Churchill and Roosvelt) agreed to sell over half of Europe to the Soviet Union for almost 50 years... Hmm... in my times of 70' and 80' till the times of US president Raegan many western top politicians in real supported crimes of the Soviet Union... they were talking about so called "peaceful coexistence" with the Soviet Union (hmm... with criminal, slave system?). OK, errare humanum est... Hopefully they are not going to suggest "peacful coexistence" with terrorists and states which support terrorists now?


Address: Vytauto gatve 46, 3000 Kaunas, Lithuania

Directions: Take a trolleybus 1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16 or a bus 6, 20, 23, 37, 29, 34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 45 to Vytauto prospekata (avenue), stop close to Kestucio gatve; walk Vytauto southwards, the museum approx. 300 m on the left.

Website: http://www.lituanus.org/1986/86_4_04.htm

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 19, 2004
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matcrazy1

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