The Cradle of Lithuanian Culture and Tradition
Lithuania's second largest city, Kaunas, is situated at the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers,
closer to what would be
Lithuania's geographical centre. The city is an important industrial and cultural centre with an approximate population of 415,000.
The earliest known references to Kaunas appear in records dating from 1361. The city's old
town, picturesquely dominating the junction of two rivers, is a fascinating combination of
archaeology, architecture and history. Here one finds the remains of a castle dating
back to the 13th to 16th centuries standing as evidence of the ancient battles between Lithuania
and the knights of the Teutonic Order. Numerous other buildings crowd together in a stimulating
mixture of the arts and architecture of different eras. The 15th century produced the church of
Vytautas, Saint George's church and the reconstructed Cathedral. City Hal!, dating from the 16th
to 18th centuries, is surrounded by charming old houses; the PerkUnas (Thunder) House dates
back to the 15th century.