Kaunas is Lithuania’s second-largest city and has long been a center of Lithuanian economic, intellectual, and cultural life. Since 1413, Kaunas has been the largest city and county seat of Trakai Municipality in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. From 1843 until 1915, it was the capital of the Kaunas Governorate in the Russian Empire. During the interwar era, it became Europe’s sole temporary capital city. It is now the county seat of Kaunas, as well as the headquarters of the Kaunas city municipality and the Kaunas District Municipality. It also serves as the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas. Kaunas is situated at the junction of the two main Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris, as well as near the Kaunas Reservoir, Lithuania’s largest body of water.
Kaunas – Info Card
|POPULATION :||• City 297,669|
• Metro 577,221
|FOUNDED :||First mentioned 1361|
Granted city rights 1408
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone EET (UTC+2)|
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
|LANGUAGE :||Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4%|
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant (including Lutheran and Evangelical Christian Baptist) 1.9%, other or unspecified 5.5%, none 9.5%|
|AREA :||• City 157 km2 (61 sq mi)|
• Metro 8,089 km2 (3,123 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||48 m (157 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||54°53′50″N 23°53′10″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 46.05%|
• Female: 53.95%
|ETHNIC :||Lithuanian 84%, Polish 6.6%, Russian 5.9%, Belarusian 1.2%, other or unspecified 2.3%|
|AREA CODE :||37|
|POSTAL CODE :||44xxx – 52xxx|
|DIALING CODE :||(+370) 37|
Tourism in Kaunas
Kaunas, located in central Lithuania, is the country’s second largest city, with roughly 350,000 residents . For a period, it served as temporary capital, benefiting from investment and prestige.
Major Kaunas is marked by two pedestrian streets: the 2-kilometer-long Laisvs alja (Liberty Avenue), a central thoroughfare surrounded by linden trees, and its extension, Vilnius Street, which leads to the city’s oldest portion — Old Town of Kaunas.
Some of Kaunas’ most notable features include:
- Kaunas Castle, a 14th-century fortress
- Vytautas Church, one of Lithuania’s oldest churches and the oldest in Kaunas
- Kaunas’ St. Gertrude Church
- Kaunas Cathedral Basilica, Lithuania’s biggest Gothic structure with a late Baroque interior
- During the Soviet occupation, St. George’s Church was said to have been converted into a dancing studio.
- Pažaislis abbey, a magnificent structure in the Baroque style
- St. Michael the Archangel’s Neo-Byzantine church
- The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Eternal Flame, and statues of Lithuanian national renaissance icons may be found at Vienybs plaza, just in front of the War Museum.
- Christ’s Resurrection Church, with a panoramic perspective of the city unfolding.
- Kaunas Zoo, Lithuania’s sole state-run zoo.
- Kaunas Fortress, one of Europe’s biggest defensive constructions, covering 65 km2 (25 sq mi), is a 19–20th century military fortress that contains a Holocaust site known as the Ninth Fort.
- Kaunas Botanical Garden
- Napoleon’s Hill
- Kaunas Synagogue
- House of Perkūnas
- Kaunas Town Hall and the square
- Architecture complexes of the interbellum period;.
- The Lithuanian open-air Ethnographic Museum, located east of Kaunas on the bank of the Kaunas Reservoir in the village of Rumiks, displays the legacy of Lithuanian rural life in a wide collection of genuine resurrection structures.
- The Mega Shopping Mall has a marine aquarium.
Because of the amount and diversity of museums in Kaunas, it is frequently referred to as a city of museums. Among the museums in Kaunas are:
- Vytautas the Great’s War Museum
- M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum, which commemorates the work of avant-garde artist M. K. Čiurlionis, who tried to integrate painting and music into an unified creative medium in the early twentieth century.
- Žmuidzinavičius Museum (also known as the Devils’ Museum), which has a collection of over two thousand sculptures and carvings of devils from over the globe, the majority of which are folk art. The Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin demons, who are conducting the death dance over a playground filled with human bones, are particularly interesting.
- Museum of Lithuanian Aviation.
- Museum of Lithuanian Medicine and Pharmacy History.
- Exhibits from the interwar era are on display in the historic Presidential Palace.
- Museum of Lithuanian Folk Instruments Povilas Stulga.
- During the Soviet era, the so-called ab underground printing house was a component of the nonviolent resistance press. It is now a section of the Kaunas War Museum, situated 8 kilometers (5 miles) north of Kaunas in a tiny Saliu settlement near Domeikava. Despite the fact that the AB printing business operated on a regular basis, it was never discovered by the KGB. In 1999, it was included to Lithuania’s Registry of Immovable Cultural Heritage Sites.
- Some renowned Kaunas citizens’ residences, including Paulius Galaunė,Adam Mickiewicz, Juozas Grušas, Balys Sruoga, Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas,Salomėja Nėris, Juozas Zikaras, Vincentas Sladkevičius, have been made into public museums.
Kaunas is known for its extensive cultural life. The major venue for classical music events is the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra. In Kaunas, there is a historic circus tradition. In the early nineteenth century, a static circus was created in Kaunas’ Vytautas park. Baltic Circus, Lithuania’s sole professional circus organization, was created in Kaunas in 1995. Kaunas theatres has played an important role in Lithuanian society. There are at least seven professional theatres, several amateur theaters, ensembles, and numerous art and sports organisations. Theatres of diverse forms are some of the outstanding representations of cultural life in Kaunas.
Climate of Kaunas
Kaunas has a humid continental climate (Köppen climatic classification Dfb) with an annual average temperature of around 6 °C (43 °F).
Despite its northern position, Kaunas has a comparatively warm climate when compared to other sites in comparable latitudes, owing mostly to the Baltic Sea. Due to its location, daylight in Kaunas ranges from 17 hours in summertime to roughly 7 hours in midwinter. The Kazl Rda Forest, located west of Kaunas, creates a microclimate surrounding the city, controlling humidity and temperature and shielding it from strong western winds.
Summers in Kaunas are warm and pleasant, with typical daytime highs of 21–22 °C (70–72 °F) and lows of 12 °C (54 °F), however temperatures might exceed 30 °C (86 °F) on certain days. Winters are chilly and sometimes snowy, with average temperatures ranging from 8 to 0 °C (18 to 32 °F) and seldom dropping below 15 °C (5 °F). In general, spring and fall are cold to moderate.
Geography of Kaunas
The city has a total area of 15,700 hectares. 8,329 hectares are dedicated to parks, woods, gardens, natural reserves, and agricultural areas.
Economy of Kaunas
Kaunas is Lithuania’s largest industrial, commercial, and service center. Food and beverage industry, textile and light industry, chemical industry, publishing and processing, pharmaceuticals, metal industry, wood processing, and furniture industry are the most developed industries in Kaunas. Information technology and electronics have recently emerged as key areas of commercial activity in Kaunas. The city also has a sizable construction sector, which includes commercial, residential, and road building.
Companies from the United States, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, and Russia are the primary foreign investors in Kaunas. Several major international and Lithuanian companies have their headquarters in Kaunas, including “Kraft Foods Lietuva,” the largest Generic Pharmaceuticals producer in Lithuania “Sanitas,” the largest producer of sportswear AB “Audimas,” one of the largest construction companies “YIT Kausta,” JSC “Senukai,” the largest producer of strong alcoholic drinks in Lithuania JSC “Stumbras,” the Finnish capital brewery JSC “Ragutis,” JSC “F Kaunas is considered one of Lithuania’s largest logistical centers due to its geographical position. In Kaunas has been operating the biggest wholesale, distribution, and logistics firm in Lithuania and Latvia, JSC “Sanitex,” as well as a subsidiary of material handling and logistics company Dematic in the Baltics. Lithuanian Railways, the national state-owned railway corporation, is currently preparing a feasibility study for the Kaunas Public Logistics Centre. The “Margasmilt” firm is now working on a project including the exploitation of the Pagiriai anhydrite deposit. The project involves anhydrite mining, a mine with subterranean warehouses, the construction of an overground transport terminal, and the construction of an administration structure. The Pagiriai anhydrite deposit is situated 10.5 kilometers (6.5 miles) south of Kaunas’ city and 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) southwest of Garliava. The Pagiriai deposit has 81.5 million tons of well investigated anhydrite deposits.
The “UBIG group” (a commercial kio bank branch) is a management firm with diverse assets in property development, banking, aluminum, mining, logistics, textiles, sports, financial intermediary, and other industries. The Lithuanian Central Credit Union – a national credit union cooperative federation founded in 2001 — is headquartered in Kaunas. The Lithuanian Central Credit Union currently has 61 members.
In Kaunas, there are also some creative firms, such as the top distributor of computer components, data storage media “ACME group,” internet and TV provider, communications JSC “Mikrovisata group,” developer and producer of original TV and embedded technologies JSC “Selteka.” The Kaunas-based joint Lithuanian-German corporation “Net Frequency” provides multimedia and technological services. JSC “Baltijos Programin ranga,” a subsidiary of No Magic, Inc., produces world-leading software modeling tools in Kaunas. In February 2011, the South Korean business LK Technology launched an LED lighting assembly facility in Kaunas. JSC “Baltic car equipment” is a pioneer in the Baltic nations in the production of electronic equipment for autos. It also specializes in the establishment of new telemetry, data bases, and mobile payment initiatives. The Kaunas Free Economic Zone, which was formed in 1996, has also attracted some foreign investors, including the creation of a new 200 MW Cogeneration Power Plant proposal proposed by the Finnish capital business Fortum Heat Lithuania. Air Lithuania had its headquarters in Kaunas prior to its demise. The Kaunas Hydroelectric Power Plant is Lithuania’s biggest.
Some noteworthy modifications are now under development or in the midst of litigation. The Žalgiris Arena, a new landmark of Kaunas, started building in the fall of 2008. It was finished in August of 2011. The Vilijampole area on the right bank of the Neris and Nemunas rivers, near their confluence, is now being discussed for additional development.
Internet, Comunication in Kaunas
There are free Wi-Fi hotspots all across the city, particularly in restaurants. Since June 2009, all Laisves aleja have had free Wi-Fi.
Since 1999, the Kaunas area tourist information center has been providing tourism information. It also has offices in Kaunas International Airport, Central Train Station, Kaunas Bus Station, and the “Park Inn by Radisson Hotel.”