10 things you can find only in Kaunas
1. Art Deco and Rationalism in architecture. The turbulent years of city development coincided with the flourishing of the style, therefore, it is the only city in Lithuania, where you can find entire streets filled with the buildings of the architectural styles. More than that, if you thrust yourself upon old Kaunas citizens, you will find rich authentic interiors.
2. The only operetta theater in Lithuania, Kaunas State Musical Theater. Annual international festival Operetta at Kaunas Castle is connected to a cherished tradition of the theater.
3. Kaunas is a distinctive example of prewar technical advancement: funiculars, that were amongst the first ones in Europe, are still in operation, the old sports hall, that witnessed European Basketball Championship of 1939, is still there. Kaunas Vytautas The Great War Museum houses the fragments of „Lituanica” airplane. Darius and Girėnas flew across the Atlantic Ocean in it, by the way, to Kaunas.
4. In the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, you can see a collection of all pieces by Lithuanian artist No. 1 and listen to the music of dualistic genius.
5. The tower of Vytautas The Great War Museum is equipped with one of the two carillons in Lithuania (the second one is in Klaipėda). A set of tuned bells is operated by keyboard and treadles. During the Soviet era, bell music lovers would flood the square. For many years composers father and son Viktoras and Giedrius Kuprevičius would climb the tower to play the carillon.
6. The hydroelectric plant located near Kaunas is the biggest power plant in Lithuania, that uses renewable resources. Once it was built, it provided the country with electrical power and also safeguarded the city from floods. Once Nemunas was dammed for the needs of power plant it gave to the city Kaunas Reservoir, a recreational zone for citizens, where one can enjoy yacht sails during the season.
7. In the middle of Temporary Capital looms Lithuanian old wood Ąžuolynas (Oakwood). A legendary pilot Steponas Darius established the first stadium in this park.
8. In the very heart of the city, next to the stadium, there is a zoo, the only one in Lithuania. Although the conditions for animals are not praiseworthy, it is fantastic to meet a lion, polar bear or giraffe in the center of a city.
9. If you take a train to reach the city, you will enter a railway tunnel, that was built by the order of tsar Alexander II, who was under the deep impression of Switzerland. Tunnel (as a matter of fact, two of them) built despite the fact, that it was possible to have a detour around a low hill, because further, up to Saint Petersburg, there was nothing except boring plains.
10. Kaunas is a hometown of “Žalgiris”. Attributes and title of this basketball club set the trends and lifestyle here. Since the time of politically charged rencounter with CSKA Moscow name of “Žalgiris” is one of the Kaunas core values. And of course, one cannot deny Kaunas of being a cradle of Lithuanian basketball.
Edita Mildažytė is a Lithuanian journalist, publicist, host of TV shows, a head of charity and support fund, author and producer of documentaries, author of a book “Pasimatymas su Lietuva” (“Lithuania on a First Date”) and originator of various projects.