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
and the church are wonderful masterpieces of Italian baroque that were built in Lithuania. The monastery was founded in 1662 by Lithuanian nobleman
, the Grand Chancellor and statesman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, who is buried in Pažaislis church.
The monastery and the church were built for the Order of
. It was the first Monastery of this type in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Italian architect Lodovico Fredo (from Venice) was invited by Kristupas Pacas to design a complex of the church and was given lands located near Kaunas as reward. The name of these lands
(currently they form one of the districts of Kaunas city named Freda) is derived from the name of the architect Little is known about the level of involvement of Lodovico Fredo in designing of the complex. But according to the documents that survived into the present, Italian masters Pietro Puttini, Carlo and Pietro Puttini and Giovanni Battista Frediani were the main designers of the complex. The interior stucco work is ascribed to
Giovanni Battista Merli
and the frescos (more then 140) to
Such architectural solutions as a hexagonal church plan, and a concave facade were adapted in Europe for the first time.The height of a hexagonal dome is 53 m.
The monastery had gone through the worst time in the 19th century. It was plundered by the Napoleon’s army in 1812. Oginskij, Šiukšta, Pušeta, Šopo, all of them the commanders of Lithuanian uprising of 1831 against the Russian occupant rule, met in Pažaislis to discuss the plans of Kaunas defense by the rebel forces during the uprising. Unfortunately, the uprising had failed succesfull, despite there were fights against the Russian forces in Kaunas.
The decision was made by the Russian occupant government to close the monastery in 1832 The monastery was came under the possession of the Russian Orthodox monks, many elements of the interior had been changed, some of them were seriously damaged. The archive and many valuable items were taken by the Russian Orthodox monks in 1914 when they left the monastery for Russia. A hospital was established here by the German occupant government . This resulted in even bigger damage.
The monastery of Sisters of St. Casimir was established here after Lithuania regained its independence (in 1920) and was until the Soviet period in 1948. It was closed from 1948.
Archives were established here by Soviets. More recently the complex housed psychiatric hospital. The monastery came under the possession of M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in 1967 . Explorations and restoration of the monastery began.
The monastery was returned to the monastery of Sisters of St. Casimir in 1992 and was restored. Many works are ongoing.
Pažaislis monastery was visited by the Kingdom of Sweden in the 17th century and by Russian tsar in the 19th century .
The original interior of the monastery had been restored in our days. and. six pictures painted by Michelangelo Palloni, portraits of the fundraiser of the monastery K. Pacas and his wife, and 140 frescos can be seen in the monastery complex by the visitors. There also left 3 monks houses.
K. Pacas and his wife are buried in the church.
Pažaislis monastery and the church are among the best masterpieces of Eastern Europe of the Baroque period.
Today the monastery is to the venue of the annual international
Pažaislis Music Festival
How to get there:
T. Masiulio str. 31. You can reach by public transport: trolleybuses No. 5,9,12 (in summer time) until the last stop "Kauno marios".
Plan your route:
Kaunas routes and timetables
Copyright © 2017 Darius Krasauskas,