The sprawling city of Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania and is a leading hub for Lithuanian academic, cultural and economic life. The seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas and home to the Kaunas University (Vytautas the Great University of Kaunas) and the University of Medicine, the city sits where the 2 largest Lithuanian rivers meet, the Nemunas and the Neris with the Kaunas Reservoir near by. First hitting the history records in 1361, the city was plundered during the 1st World War. Overflowing with the vibrancy of youth due to the number of students living in the city, it is famous for its central street named "Freedom Avenue" and will have you reeling with what to do or see first.
The beautiful Old Town is worth putting on the walking shoes for to gawk at the architectural styles over the ages from the ornate interior of the Kaunas Cathedral Basilica, the Gothic spires of the Hanseatic House of Perkunas to the medieval fortress Kaunas Castle (14th Century) that was the first stone castle in Lithuania. The spectacular 16th Century Town Hall often referred to as the "White Swan" also holds the Ceramics Museum. If you are an architectural buff chasing design, then head to the Baroque styled Jesuits Monastery, the Church of St Francis Xavier or the Arch-Cathedral Basilica (you can double up on reasons to go and say a prayer at the same time). For the museum hound there is the Devils Museum that is the only one of its kind in the world and Napoleon's House to check out. There is even a Wax Melting Furnace to explore for the curious brain that wants to revisit this XV Century craft.
You should make sure you amble along the pedestrian only street that is 1.7km long and flush with Linden trees, flowerbeds and cafes, Laisves Aleja, to get a real feel for the spirit and pride the locals have in their city. This street connects the old town with the new town.
In the winter months you will have so many clothes on in an attempt to keep warm that it will take you 10 minutes just to put your thermal undies on. A helpful hint is to keep a hip flask of vodka in your coat pocket to have a swill from when the body begins to freeze.
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