True Lithuania

Pažaislis Monastery and Kaunas Reservoir Area

The Pažaislis monastery dating to the 17th-18th centuries is a wonderful example of late baroque. The central domed church is surrounded by additional buildings forming several courtyards. Pažaislis monastery grand courtyard is the place for closing concerts of the annual Pažaislis festival of classical music.

The monastery may be visited for a fee every day except for the "Days of silence" that are declared by local nuns. It is to the east of Kaunas city center.

A part of Pažaislis monastery. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The monastery now stands next to the Kaunas Reservoir (Kauno marios) made after the Kaunas Hydroelectric Plant dammed the Nemunas river in the 1960s. The reservoir submerged many villages yet it created a popular place for recreation. North of the monastery Kaunas yacht club stands with many affluent people of Kaunas owning yachts in the Kauno marios. Others may be sunbathing or swimming in its beaches available on all shores of the Reservoir, including near Pažaislis Monastery.

Petrašiūnai cemetery (2 km walk from Pažaislis monastery) is the burial place for the famous people of Kaunas (previously of whole Lithuania). The pantheon is in northeast divided into sections by occupation (scientists, priests, sportsmen, artists, Soviet political prisoners...). Alpinist section styled as a hill is interesting. World-famous burials include archeologist Marija Gimbutienė (Gimbutas) and semiotic Algirdas Greimas.

Petrašiūnai cemetery. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Pažaislis may be reached by trolleybuses (Kauno marios stop).

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