Places to visit
The Town Hall square
Kaunas defence wall
Kaunas fortress (XIX century)
Kaunas modernism architecture
Kaunas officers' house
Kaunas Botanical garden
Kaunas panorama view
Following tracks of Napoleon
Kaunas railway tunnel
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was occupied by the Russian Empire in 1795. Kaunas became a border town. Kaunas was divided into two separate countries - Russia and Prussia – by the Nemunas River. Kaunas was of huge strategical value for Russia. The decision was made to construct
fortress in Kaunas
to be used as an obstacle against enemy armies after Napoleon invaded Russia (the French army crossed the Nemunas River near Kaunas) and Prussia had strengthened it power. An edict to construct the fortress was issued by
in 1879. Nine forts and eight batteries surrounding the town had been built during the period from 1882 to 1911.
The fortress was battle-tested in 1915 when Germany attacked the Russian Empire, and withstood eleven days of assault before capture. Later the fortress lost its importance. The sixth and the ninth forts were used as prisons since 1918 . Some sections of the fortress came under possession of civil institutions. The
housed the Central Archive.
Some forts were used as prison by the Nazis during the World War II . Thousands of Jews were killed in the ninth and the seventh forts.
Some forts were used as a basis of the Soviet army during the Soviet occupation. The
was opened as a museum in 1958. Some of the forts were used by Lithuanian army after Lithuania regained its independence. Some of them are renovated and open to the public.
The museum of the Ninth Fort is dedicated to the Holocaust and the Nazis and the Soviet occupations of Lithuania . The Seventh Forth was restored and now is open for visitors.
A majority of other forts are closed to the public becauset he site is full of unexploded ordnance.
Despite the damage that it has sustained, the Kaunas Fortress complex is the most complete of the surviving Russian Empire fortresses.
For more information about the museum of the Ninth fort visit:
, the Seventh fort:
Constructions of new buildings were influenced by decision to turn Kaunas into a fortified town: instructions were given to build buildings that could have no more than two floors (despite there were exceptions). Some of the buildings of Kaunas Fortress survided into the present:
St. Michael the Archangel's Church or the Garrison Church
Military quartiers (typical red brick buildings) were built in Kaunas districts
to accommodate the troops of the fortress (1895-1889)
The military airport was built in Panemunė (1912), grain storehouses, fire station were built in Šančiai, food warehouses, gas millhouse were built in
Various military warehouses and buildings were constructed in
Kaunas districts Žaliakalnis
Six Orthodox churches were built ( few of them survived into the present).
The 7th Forth
Military quartiers in Panemune district
Entrance to Military quartiers in Panemune district
Military quartiers in Lower Sanciai district (Juozapaviciaus str.)
Military quartiers in Lower Sanciai district
Old military technique exposition will be opened in the 6th Forth in 2019.
Copyright © 2017 Darius Krasauskas,