Thursday, May 28, 2009



Kaunas, located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris, is the second largest city in the country and was between WWI and WWII the temporarary capital of Lithuania.

"KAUNAS CASTLE, a Gothic building at the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers with two rows of protective walls, was first mentioned in 1361, when the Teutonic Knights were preparing to attack it"

"KAUNAS PRIEST SEMINARY, the biggest in Lithuania, serving the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas, is part of the Faculty of Theology of the Vytautas Magnus University"


"FOUNTAIN - It probably has something to do with Napoleon, who traversed this land, but the reference was lost..."

"STATE DRAMA THEATRE - Started in 1920, it is the biggest in Kaunas, and one of the oldest in Lithuania"


"THE WHITE SWAN - The Town Hall’s construction began in 1542 with Gothic, Baroque and early Classicism elements. In the Medieval times, the Town Hall and the main market place were the centre of Kaunas. After its latest reconstruction in 1970, it became the Wedding Palace with the Ceramics Museum in its basement"

"ST. FRANCIS XAVIER - Constructed in late Baroque style in the early 18th century, it was given to the Franciscan Monks in 1787, to be later used as an Orthodox Church, as A. Nevsky's Cathedral and as a technical college. In 1990, it was returned to the Jesuits"

"CATHEDRAL - The first Gothic church here was first mentioned in writing sources in 1413. The construction of the largest Gothic church in Lithuania 84m long by 34m wide - was concluded in 1624 and its present-day form comes from the 1800 renovation"

"GERMAN MERCHANT HOUSES - From the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries"

"VYTAUTAS CHURCH (The Church of taking Holy Virgin Mary into Heaven) - One of the first Gothic brick churches in Kaunas, it was built in the 15th century and belonged to Franciscan monks. During the Napoleonic Wars it was used as an ammunition warehouse..."

"HOUSE OF PERKUNAS - One of the most original examples of flamboyant Gothic architecture in Lithuania, the building was constructed in the late 15th century for Hansa merchants. In the 19th century, a statue of Perkunas (Thunder/Zeus) was found, leading to the assumption that a pagan sanctuary existed in the site. It was home to the first Drama Theatre of Kaunas in 1844 and belongs presently to the Jesuits"

"MUSEUM - The Mikailojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis National Art Museum hosts most of the paintings of the painter and composer, perhaps the most famous Lithuanian artist of all time, whose name was used to name the asteroid 2420 Ciurlionis. The museum is also home to Ciurlionis' memorabilia, Lithuanian folk art, 17th-20th century fine and applied art, Ancient Egypt art, numismatics..."

"DEVIL MUSEUM - The museum, a well-kept secret, hosts a collection of sculptures and carvings of more than 2000 devils from Lithuania and the whole world. When the museum opened in 1966, it housed 260 statues, property of the artist Antanas Zmuidzinavicius (1876-1966), who was obsessed by the number 13, also known as the devil's dozen"

"LAISVÈS AVENUE - Built in the 19th century and running in the East-West direction, the 1.7 km long Liberty Avenue connects the old and new parts of the city. At its end, the Neo-Byzantine-style St. Michael, the Archangel, Church may be seen"


Trotter said...

Hi Everybody! Probably, at this stage, the wish to see things improving is only a wishful thinking... But, at least, hope lasts and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel... even if it only means that things aren’t getting worse... Anyhow, hope you enjoy this new aspect of Lithuania, make your comments and have a superb and sunny weekend!

Rajesh said...

Once again you have taken us to different world with wide range of marvelous architecture. Wooden sculptures are excellent.

Z said...

Well, it looks like you had some great weather there and Kaunas looks lovely. Let's hope your worries are proved wrong.

A great weekend to you too!

Olivier said...

magnifique le Kaunas Castle (cela me fait penser a certaines maisons dans la ville de colonges la rouge)

hpy said...

Looking at the photos made me think about the hansaetic influence even before reading your text.

magiceye said...

thank you for the lovely tour of kaunas.
the photographs are magnificent!

Dina said...

Love that castle and the wood crosses.
So 13 is a devil's dozen? Aha.

Baron's Life said...

Love the wood sculptures but also all the rest

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

Wow, the skies are blue, the grasses are looks like a beautiful spring time in Lithuania!

Lifecruiser Travel Blog said...

I feel right at home with this as we also have some hanseatic influences here in Sweden. I love all old architecture. Thanks for the excellent tour!

Here is a personal invitation to the virtual international cocktail party the 1st every month!

Tell us about us your drinks ‘Round the world!

Bring all your party friends over, everybody is welcome!

Read more about it here: Drinks Round the World New Cool Meme(Sorry for the link, but it's necessary to find the way there)

Cheers ;-)

S-V-H said...

A devils museum...I liked that! Normally people have museums and cities of Angels, right? :) The Baroque architectures and some houses reminded me a lot of East European styles :)

Nice post, Gil!

Sue's Daily Photography

Voegtli said...

After all these beautiful posts on the Baltic capitals and cities, my envy (since long) to go and visit these 3 states is more and more vivid.

Ron said...

Awesome, awesome pictures. I really like the old look to this country. I could see myself visiting this place one day.

Go Penguins beat Detroit!!!

Anonymous said...

I've never been here before. Thanks for taking me there via your blog.


alicesg said...

Very beautiful series of photos again. I like the first photo, it looked like a nice place to play hide and Have a nice weekend.

Lara said...

again, best wishes! and thanks for showing us another wonderful place!

lyliane six said...

C'est vraiment bien l'architecture des pays de l'est! mais bien beau et que nous pouvons redécouvrir maintenant.
Le temps se remet au beau pour ce long weekend de Pentecôte, heureusement, le jardin a été très arrosé!! bises à vous 2.

Chuckeroon said...

This is great, Trotter. Lifetime ambition to see these countries, so far not achieved (Finalnd and Petersburg being nearest I ever got.) So...tks again.

Maria Verivaki said...

so this is kaunas - i thought it sounded very unusual

i hope you are well and happy after the health problems in your family

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers Gil. Loved the dog statue and the secret devil's museum...fascinating! A gorgeous gothic church being used as an ammunition house...something wrong about that! :) Enjoy your weekend ~ Lynn

P.N. Subramanian said...

The structure of the House of Perkunas fascinated me. Kaunas seems to be a quiet place. Thanks.

Lori said...

What an amazing variety of art and architecture they have there. You've taken us to so many interesting parts of the world. I've so enjoyed seeing Lithuania! Have a great weekend!

A Lady's Life said...

The fountain and the Gothic Cathedral was quite beautiful.
Hope things get better for you soon.:)

Cergie said...

L'Histoire avec un grand "H" cotoyant la modernité. Les croyances les plus sombres à coté de la religion. Ce qui m'impressionne particulièrement sur ce message et qui résume tout cela est la photo du dessus, celle du Kaunas Castle, toute pimpante dans un cadre ydillique et qui remonte au moyen-âge... Brrrr Ce devait être sinistre de vivre là alors. La vie ne devait rien tenir d'un temps sous un ciel bleu....

Nikon said...

Great shots, Gil! I love the cathedral interiors.
The phone booth shot is a favorite, too - I don't know why that grabbed me!
I hope that everything turns out well my friend!

Joy said...

Kaunas is definitely very pretty! Love the old buildings and the beauty of the city.

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Have a great weekend! Come back tomorrow for more of Fairhaven!

A Pinay In EnglandYour Love CoachI, Woman

Azer Mantessa said...

the devil museum is quite tricky. i thought you have put up the wrong picture because there are similarities with what there are in Bali.

looks like a nice city. like watching those people walking on the streets. here, people just don't bother that much anymore on street shops. mostly go to the shopping malls. street shops are losing businesses like plague.

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

Hey Gil, Again the "" website is blocking me to enter your blog!!... Do you know why? Anyhow I have to try again over and over a several time to enter your blog (sorry for the complan) but it is thát I want to visit your blog ..... otherwise I would give in...

I love the stautes and the history of this great place, the colours of the statues stones, are excelklent and amazingly great!!! The building ( and their names too) are incredible, from such a beauty I mean!!! Fantastic showing of this "whats the name?" haha Thanks for showing and I had a good time watching your photo's.

Thanks for your compliments, and Yés the festival of Photography is indeed a succes,although... visters like to watch and nót to buy, maybe in the future who knows?

Wishing you a great weekend with tons of SUN! :)

JoAnn Holland

[G@ttoGiallo] said...

Happy that teutonic knights left something of the Kaunas castle...

Tinsie said...

Great presentation of Kaunas! Seems like a lovely city and has a bit of a scandinavian feel to it, I think.

Pietro Brosio said...

Gil, thanks so much for this interesting tour of Kaunas. The images are all fantastic! I like that odd fountain, the wooden sculptures, the cathedral, very nice and pleasant the Laisvès Avenue.
Have a very good week ahead!

Mariposa said...

Hola GMG! Thanks for checking up on me. been a busy few weeks! How are your parents? I hope they are doing well.

I missed a few posts on Lithuania.. it's so beautiful!! :)

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Beaucoup de points communs avec l'architecture du sud de la Suède.
Beaux pays !

julia said...

The whole lot are simply astounding. I went to school with a girl from Lithuania, a migrant, she had lovely white blond hair. I'm a blast from the past, do hope you are not having too many difficulties...I'm not seeking comments either!!

Middle Ditch said...

They are some truly astounding buildings. I enjoyed my visit.

PeterParis said...

Nice to see that despite different regimes, the church interiors seem to have been saved and / or well restored. The 1800 renovation of the cathedral could have been disastrous, but seems to me very attractive; the colours, the light...

The Hansa architecture is also very attractive and interesting!

Few of us have had the opportunity to be tourists here, so sincere thanks for all this information!

Shionge said...

I'm overwhelmed Gil, it is amazing to see the different architecture and creativity all over the city :D

I bet you are having fun and we are lucky to have you snap all these wonderful shots for us :D

Have fun!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Fantastic shots Gil! Superb focus and lighting, making them all very picturesque!

The architecture is splendid, particularly the interiors of the cathedrals which have been captured remarkably well!

Thanks for sharing!

eye in the sky said...

im in constant awe of the beauty seen through this post...

Marie said...

Super photos. Je ne connais pas du tout la Lituanie. On dirait qu'au niveau architectural, les Lituaniens ont été influencés par toutes sortes de régions et de civilisations...

bindu said...

I love the dog sculpture fountain and the beautiful old buildings. The place looks so clean and full of history!
As I looked over your previous post on arts, I realized how little I know of this country. Thanks for the trip!
Sorry I haven't visited regularly. I'm trying to get some work done for a deadline and will hopefully have more time soon.

mhel said...

I would love to visit KAUNAS PRIEST SEMINARY. Oh and the LAISVÈS AVENUE seems a good place to feel the vibrancy of the city.

Trotter said...

Hi Everybody!! It is great to read you here, commenting on these tough and a bit monotonous posts... Thanks for the great endeavour!! I’m back on the twelve month delay and, with the difficulties around, it would be a surprise if I could manage to make it better!! Meanwhile, enjoy: that’s the best I can offer... ;))

It’s amazing how different things can be around the globe; that’s what makes travelling a fascination... at least for me... ;))

Great to read you back here! Thanks for the concern! Actually the weather helped last June in Lithuania!

C’est vrai qu’il y a quelque chose de proche à Collonges!!

The Hansa was also there… Actually it was everywhere in Northern Europe!

My pleasure!

13, it had to devil’s something… Dozen, what else… ;))

They are excellent at the wooden sculptures…

Blue and green; quite concentrated!! Great weather, no filter… ;))

The Hansa had strong and long arms…
Thanks for the invitation; for the time being I remember only two cocktails, but I’ll try to join once I had some time to think a little bit more on the issue!!

East Europe, of course; the devil’s museum is a fait-divers; actually an idea of an eccentric artist who started collecting devils… ;))

I’ll join to try the other two… ;)

So, Penguins won a game 7-6? It’s hard to follow it here… ;))

My pleasure!!

Alice SG,
Hide and seek at the Kaunas Castle must have been the great entertainment in medieval times… ;))

Great to see you here, even with a busy schedule!!

C’est marrant de revisiter ces trésors oubliés; en plus ils ont tout renouvelé pour la capitale européenne de nous sommes allés à la plage samedi matin, pas de jour férié la semaine dernière. Mais à la prochaine, on aura le 10 (jour du Portugal), le 11 (Corpus Christi) et, à Lisbonne, le 13 (Saint Antoine, de Lisbonne, bien sûr)!!! Quelle semaine de travail… ;)

Finland and St. Petersburg is already something quite interesting in the region; would love to get back there after all these years!

Yeah; that’s Kaunas!! Thanks for the concern; it’s hard to improve when your parents age sum almost 180 years… ;))

Thanks! The dogs’ fountain is amazing!! And the devil’s museum quite odd;
as odd as an ammunition house in a church… ;))

I agree with you; the House of Perkunas is an outstanding example of flamboyant Gothic! Amazing!! And Kaunas is actually quiet; you should see Laisvés Ave. after 6:00 p.m…. ;))

My great pleasure to take you to some interesting parts of this not so small world!!

Thanks! Hard to improve things at a certain point in time!
The dogs’ fountain is an amazing and a bit weird sculpture; I wonder what had Napoleon to do with that… ;))

Si je me rappelle bien, le diable fait partie de la religion… ;))
Je tends à être d’accord avec toi, mais l’idée d’Alice SG - voir le château comme un lieu idéal pour le jeu cache-cache - n’est pas dépourvue de sens… ;))

That telephone booth looks terribly British. Many years ago we also had some like that; the telephone company was British…. ;)

I wouldn’t say very pretty; but nice-looking enough to deserve a detour, like Michelin guide would read… ;)

It’s true there are some similarities with Bali, but the photo isn’t wrong… ;))
Shopping malls are killing street shops, except those which move into the shopping malls… But I prefer walking in the streets, though I acknowledge that it’s convenient to have almost everything just around the corner. Anyhow, Lisbon downtown is still the hugest open air shopping mall in Europe, I’m sure… ;))

Trotter said...

I had some problems in accessing some blogs, including mine, some weeks ago, but no longer; it seems Blogger fixed it… Isn’t it still a problem with the Trojan that affected your computer? Anyhow, thanks for your effort to comment here!
Watching but not buying; that’s a sign of the times… Like coming here and not commenting; delurkers… ;))

They had no chance to destroy everything… ;))

It’s a mix of Scandinavian and Mittel-Europa… ;)

You’re very kind. It’s true that some of these pictures came out well and show a nice town; probably nicer than the real one… ;))

Glad to read you back here. Thanks for the concern; things will hardly improve at this stage… Glad that you enjoyed the post!

C’est toi qui le dis, mais je suis d’accord!!

It was so nice to read you back here; I had lost track of Newcastle, Australia, but you keep a very interesting, though unjustly visited, blog!!

Glad that you enjoyed, and thanks for your first comment here! Look forward to seeing you back!

Actually, mostly restored than saved… I agree with you on the restoration of the cathedral!! It could have been a disaster, like many other renovations we’ve seen…

Oh dear, that was last year; I’m not having much fun nowadays… ;)

It’s true that there was some luck on those interior pictures of the cathedral; they came out quite well… ;)

It’s your eyes… ;)

C’est beau te revoir ici!! Carrefour d’influences, c’est peut-être la façon de définir Lituanie… ;)

Hope you manage to survive all the tasks and look forward o reading you here and at your blog!!

Asian Traveler,
Just start packing!! ;)

Unknown said...

Amazing sculptures Gil.

Trotter said...

Closer to the asteroid... ;)

Lakshmi said...

loved the masks ..

Trotter said...

It had to be weird, to collect all that... ;))

Stella Bella said...

The castle looks interesting! :)

Trotter said...

Which one do you mean: Kaunas or Trakai? Both... ;))

lv2scpbk said...

Trotter, Wow! I want to comment on all those photos. The cathedral-spectacular! Love the stonework around the castle. The crosses more wonderful photos. Love the Spinx cats, and of course I love looking at the towns in full view. The last one where you can see the people walking around.

Trotter said...

Sometimes I hesitate to catch people strolling around, but you're right: that's the way to see towns in full!!

Ted said...

Could it be that the Zeus statue was merely a stage prop, less a sign of a Pagen sanctuary than of a 19th century interest in staging Greek Tragedy?

Trotter said...

It could be... Actually, the 19th century was keen on Greek heritage... ;))

Leif Hagen said...

Great photos there, Blogtrotters! Fun to look through the castle artifacts and other castle pictures. I just discovered your blog - nice! Kind regards from EAGAN daily photo in Minnesota, USA

Kcalpesh said...

Awsome structures, beautifully shot! Amazingly clean place! The old wooden sculptures are so beautifully done... and also the fountain! Thanks for sharing all the pics!!

Trotter said...

Thanks for your visit and first time comment here! It's amazing what they collect inside... ;)

They actually seem to have a great tradition in wooden sculptures!