When Vilnius was occupied by the Polish in the 1920s and 30s, Kaunas served as the capital city of Lithuania. Although it never regained that importance in the country, it certainly has a lot of traces as a political and independent loving symbol city. It is here that independence was first declared in 1918, and the first major protest against Soviet rule took place when a 19-year old student burnt himself on the City Square.
The city is littered with statues of poets and fighters for independence fighters, and one for the brave student will be added. It is also place of the Freedom monument, with an eternal flame opposite and many statues of heroes of independence. They can be proud, Lithuania was, its size notwithstanding, the first country to declare independence from the former Soviet Union.
Apart from its historical importance, Kaunas is also a friendly city to walk around in. Its large shopping street is smoke-free, there is a Devil's museum where you can see Devil Stalin chasing Devil Hitler over Lithuanian territory, there is an old city centre with attractive colourful houses. Then there are art galleries, various kinds of churches and cathedrals, and a vibrant student life.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Kaunas (Lithuania). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Kaunas. Read more about this site.