Kaunas Castle

 

Located near the main avenue in Kaunas called Freedom avenue, the Kaunas Castle is easy to find and both  - interesting and useful to visit. This gothic building used to serve for defensive purposes long time ago, but nowadays it is the main tourism information center in Kaunas.

Archeologists suggest that Kaunas Castle was built in the 14th century although there is no any written data confirming this information. It occupied half a hectare then and was widely known as a very strong castle. Raised on a very strategic place where there is a confluence of Nemunas and Neris rivers that connects 2 biggest Lithuanian cities – Vilnius and Kaunas, Kaunas Castle often faced sieges by Teutonic orders. In 1362 the castle was destroyed by Teutonic order, but Lithuanians built a new one in 1368. The new castle was fenced with walls of 12 meters height and 3,5 meters width. All 4 corners of the castle included towers.

On the second half of the 16th century Kaunas Castle was strengthened again as in the inside yard there was a wooden gallery fitted for rifles, who already used gunpowder technologies, built.  But as soon as these technologies were invented, the castle lost its` defensive importance as even high and thick walls could not resist forces of explosion so the castle became a residence of Lithuanian dukes. In 1549 the Kaunas Castle was given to famous Lithuanian noblewoman Barbora Radvilaitė who beautifully rearranged it. In the end of 17th century some parts of the castle were destroyed by waters of Neris river. Despite that, Kaunas Castle was used for military purposes by Russian and Sweden armies in the same century. That was the last time when Kaunas Castle served for war. When Napoleon army entered Lithuania it was the last time when Kaunas Castle was devastated. In 1930 archeological researches and conservational works in the Kaunas Castle were started. The South eastern tower of the castle was restored and fitted to use of  Vytautas the Great War museum which nowadays is not located in the castle anymore as the exposition was returned to the War museum in the 9th decade.

Nowadays the Kaunas Castle is an architectural monument of National importance. It is the oldest stone castle in Lithuania. Although there is no any permanent exhibitions located in the castle, there are often various transferable exhibitions arranged.  During the summer season tourists are welcome to visit the tower of the castle and its` catacombs in order to get acquainted with Kaunas history from inside. As there is also a tourism information center established, it provides people with all information concerning travelling, sightseeing and activities in Kaunas region. People here also can buy original souvenirs, book hotels, excursions or transportation.

The Kaunas Castle is a well preserved historic monument telling nowadays people about the first spatial structure built in Lithuanian territory. Visiting its ruins located on a picturesque hill on river valley is one of must visit sight in Kaunas undoubtedly.

Kaunas Castle ruins