The City of Kaunas
Kaunas is the second biggest city in Lithuania and counts approximately 400,000 inhabitants. The city of Kaunas is conveniently located on the Via Baltica, which stretches North to South, and on the East-West motorway, which connects Klaipeda with Vilnius. East of Kaunas there is a big artificial lake, the so-called Kaunas Reservoir. Kaunas has its own airport, however it is not used often. The most important airport for civil transportation is the airport in Vilnius.
The old town in Kaunas is looking like a promontory, surrounded by the rivers Nemunas and Neris. There used to be a castle there, which was first mentioned in written documents in 1361. The Teutonic Knights attacked this castle several times, to connect their territories in East Prussia with those in Livonia. However, they never achieved their objective.
Since Vilnius was conquered by the Polish after the Lithuanian independence in 1918, Kaunas became Lithuania’ s capital, before Vilnius regained this title later. New city parts emerged and industry flourished. In 1922, the first university opened its doors. Today, with over 20,000 students, Kaunas is still an important university city, which modifies the city’s image considerably .
Today, Kaunas is a city bubbling with student life. In the old town there are many hotels, which range from economical to sophisticated. In any case, the old town is worth a visit, where many old buildings have been kept. There are also many restaurants and cafes. Beside the ruins of the old fortress, you can see the towerless George Church and the old baroque council house, which is also called “white swan” due to its high tower. Nearby stands the Cathedral.
You can stroll through the old town along the Laisves Aleja, the Freedom Avenue, which has been a pedestrian zone since 1982. It is also one of the longest streets in Kaunas, with more than 1 mile. Theaters, museums and historical monuments are found along the way. The Devil’s Museum is exceptional, where it is possible to admire more than 2000 devils from all over the world. Another exciting trip is to take the cable car on the other side of the river Nemunas. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century. If you come to the top of the elevation, you will enjoy an amazing view over the whole city of Kaunas.
Today, Kaunas is the city with the most students throughout Lithuania.