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main tours sightseeing tours to vilnius kaunas city tour


SIGHTSEEING TOURS
TO VILNIUS

Kaunas city tour (duration - 8 hours)

    If you want to visit a really Lithuanian town, go to Kaunas, the second largest town in the country. In contrast to cosmopolitan Vilnius, in Kaunas the overwhelming majority of the population is Lithuanians.
    Nobody knows when exactly the town's history started. The historians suppose that the first settlement at the crossing of the Nemunas and Neris rivers had existed already in the 3- 4th century A.D. But the first historical reference to the town dates back to 1362. In the 15th century, Kaunas prospered: the town grew rapidly, trade developed and artisans prospered. However, in the 17- 8th centuries numerous fires, plague epidemics, and endless wars completely exhausted the city. Only in the middle of the 19th century, when Kaunas became a provincial center of Tsarist Russia, the city began to revive again.
    In the 20th century, from 1920 to 1939, Kaunas even was a capital of Lithuania, because Vilnius at this time was occupied by Polish army.
    In Kaunas, the past and the present are deeply intertwined. The Old Town can be called an open-air museum of ancient architecture. There are great many architectural monuments, gothic and baroque churches and fantastically beautiful buildings of the 18- 19th century.
    Kaunas city tour includes:

  • St George's Church that was built in 1400, after the christening of Lithuania.
  • Castle ruins. The fortification was constructed in the 13th century to repulse the numerous attacks of crusaders. But even 13-meter high and 2-meter thick walls couldn't withstand a three-day siege, and in 1362 the knights totally destroyed the castle. On this place a new fortification was soon erected. The ruins of its wall and one of the towers you can see nowadays.
  • The Theological seminary.
  • The Town Hall Square, the heart of Kaunas Old Town. The Town Hall traditionally consists of the belfry and the adjoining hall where municipal meetings took place. The graceful snow-white gothic tower is often compared with a white swan.
  • The Jesuit Church (the Church of St Fransis). The first baroque church was constructed on this place in 1666. In 1825, it was renamed after Saint Alexander Nevsky and since then the Orthodox services were carried out there. After World War II the church was returned to Jesuits, but in 1962 it was again desecrated and handed over to a vocational school. Only in 1990 it was finally returned to the believers.
  • The Cathedral (15- 17th centuries). Originally the cathedral was built in the gothic style, but after the total reconstruction in the 17th century its architecture acquired some baroque and renaissance elements. The cathedral treasures many things of a great artistic value: paintings, bas-reliefs, ancient furniture, church plates and clothes for solemn religious ceremonies.
  • The church of Vytautas. Built in 1399 by Minorities, the church is considered to be the oldest brick building in the town.
  • The Perkunas House (no visits inside). It is one of the biggest gothic buildings in Lithuania. Perkunas is a pagan thunder god in Lithuanian mythology. The house has been called so because in 1818 a statue of this god was found in the wall of the building, dating back to the 15th century.



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