- Open-Air museum of Lithuania
It is the biggest folk museum in Lithuania and Baltic countries, as well as one of the largest open air museums in Europe. It covers an area of 195 hectare and inside there are more than 90 000 exhibits. The museum represents the life of Lithuanian peasants and inhabitants of towns betweenin the period of the XVIII and XX centuries. It covers all ethnographical regions: Dzūkija, Aukštaitija, Suvalkija and Mažoji Lietuva. Various celebrations related to calendar holidays and cultural customs as well as different educational workshops take place in the museum regularly. You should visit this place more than once because in different seasons you will see the museum in completely different perspectives. It is not surprising that Open-Air Museum is one of the most visited place in Kaunas, as it is nearby, although, in fact it belongs to Kaišiadorys region.
The museum belongs to Rumšiškės, one of the few towns which changed its geographical location due to some tremendous engineering plans some time ago. An old church, moved up onto the hill and now is overlooking the former town place. Nowadays it is a 60 square kilometers size artificial lagoon.
If you are going to visit the museum, you should devote some time for the largest pine in Lithuania, it has a five metres scope stem!
Tel. +370 346 47 233
- Homeland of cardinal Vincentas Sladkevičius in Guronys
During the long history of Lithuania there were only three Lithuanian cardinals. One of them was born in a small village Guronys, Žasliai parish. Between two mythological hills once there was a house, where every day, the youngest child in the family, a forthcoming cardinal, was crossing his home doorstep in order to do daily housework. Unfortunately, the homestead of the boy, later a cardinal, has not remained. Currently
In 2002, after the pope John Paul II had added light secrets to the rosary prayer, in Guronys, a construction of a village park started. Vincentas Sladkevičius in particular enjoyed the rosary prayer. In the memory of this, in the cardinal‘s birthplace a park and a house for the Spiritual Exercises (praying) were built.
Tel. +370 600 56 206
- Kruonis pumped storage plant
In the 70s demand for electricity increased dramatically and authorities made a decision to build a hydro power plant in Kaunas. During the construction the Nemunas river was dammed and the biggest artificial lagoon near Kaunas city was created. Despite this, the demand for electricity remained. Nuclear Power Plant in Ignalina was built and it started to work in 1990, but then a new problem appeared: the need of electricity was different at a different time of the day. Uneven electricity demand encouraged the idea of compensation of ineffective energy variation by building Kruonis Pumped Storage Power Plant. It started work in 1992.
During the day, when the need of electrical power is higher, water is released from the pool to the lagoon through the water pumps. This way, electricity can produce up to 900 MW power. If you ask and get a permission to visit this place, on the upper pool you will see a spectacular panorama! Not very far away in Surgantiškės village, you can find a gravitational hill. Leave your car and watch how it rolls up a hill, of course, it is just an optical illusion.
- Padaliai ferry
If you are going to visit the first Lithuanian capital Kernavė in the spring or summer time, you should use an opportunity to travel in Kaišiadorys region as well. Having decided to do so, you will have to cross the Neris river. From Kernavė you could travel to Kaišiadorys through Vievis or Jonava, but it is much easier to use Gediminas Dzeventauskas‘ services. He is an owner of a unique business. From the early spring until the late autumn, he helps people move over the Neris river from Čiobiškis to Padaliai. The ferry has been working for more than 80 years, although, it is known that this way people were crossing the Neris already in the XIX century. Will we surprise you by mentioning the fact that ferry reaches another shore just with a help of the river flow without any other assistance?
- Fomer dominicans monastery in Paparčiai
It is Stanislavas Beinartas‘ merit that people call Paparčiai a prominent place. In 1649 he funded the construction of Dominicans monastery, the latter gave every effort to popularize this place.
Count Konstantinas Tiškevičius during his trip on the Neris river saw the white towers of the monastery over the tree tops and said: “It is famous Paparčiai“. Later, he described the place in his book The Neris and its banks.
At the time the monastery owned a huge library, a rich garden and even their own water supply system. What is more, in the monastery there was a school, where novices studied. Unfortunately, because of the active participation in 1831 and 1832 rebellions against Tsar an his government, the monastery was closed and, later on, destroyed. Nevertheless, there are many things to see for curious tourists. It‘s only a miracle that the gate and the graveyard chapel of the monastery survived. In the place, where the monastery‘s main building once stood, now there is a community house. Here everyone can take place in various educational workshops, lectures and festivals of baroque music. Nature lovers have a possibility to visit the Paparčiai Botanical Reservation, one of the first established reservations in Lithuania.There is a vast number of herbs which are very rare.
Tel. +370 610 42 112
- Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Kalviai
Kalviai church is very likeable and popular with newlyweds, tourists and local people. It is rather small, without a permanent priest, but unique for its round architecture. There is only one more church of a similar form in Lithuania. The construction of Kalviai church was funded by Tomas and Juzefa Vavžeckai, but the architect is unknown. The first Mass in the church was started in 1806.
Various nature disasters were destroying church from time to time, the latest accident happened a few years ago when a huge tree fell on but surprisingly, the fence and the building of the church remained intact.
Behind the church, a few hundred meters down the hill, there is the biggest lake in Kaišiadorys region. On the shore of itthere is a popular entertainment zone with all necessary infrastructure as well as a volleyball court, basketball playground and a summerhouse.
- Jesus Christ transfiguration cathedral in Kaišiadorys
The first supervisor Juozapas Kukta in Kaišiadorys‘ diocese once said: „Where a bishop settles, there a city arises”. There is some truth in his words but Kaišiadorys growth was mainly influenced by establishment of a railway. Of course, you cannot deny the fact that creation of a diocese also contributed to more intense development process of Kaišiadorys town. Paradoxically, at the beginning of the XX century there was no church in the town and it did not appear later as well. In 1913, when the construction of the church finally began, it immediately was stopped because the First World War started. German soldiers took all constructional material and the building process delayed. After the diocese had been created, the prayer house was finished as a cathedral, not a church. The project of the construction was created by Vaclovas Michnevičius, the most famous architect of Independent Republic of Lithuania. He also created an excellent project for the diocese Curia House, near the former President Algirdas Brazauskas‘ park.
Starting from 2015, everyone can visit God’s Mercy Chapel inside the Cathedral and see the relics of St. John Paul II, St. Faustina and St. Mykolas Sapočka.
- Žasliai mound
Žasliai town is related to a written legend about the origin of Lithuanian nation. The story tells us that after the death of Rome duke Palemonas,a son of descendant Kukovaitis‘ mother Pajauta, built an idol near Žasliai lake. People considered Pajauta as a goodness and were praying in her memory. Later, a forest of lime trees to honour her was planted there. It is possible that Saint Jurgis church was built on the legendary mound, where the idol stood a long time ago.
- Žasliai culture and hand craft centre
Žasliai Jewish community is one of the first known in Lithuania. In 1555 twelve Jewish citizens wrote a complaint letter to Žygimantas Augustas, the Great Duke of Lithuania. They were asking for help because Trakai voivod threatened against them. Jews were considered the largest part of Žasliai population until World War II. They developed various business activities, showed initiative creating voluntary fireman organization, actively participated in the cultural life of the town. Near the entrance to the former synagogue building you will see a bass-relief of Leopoldas Godovskis. He was a Jewish musician and composer as well as one of the best known inhabitants in Žasliai. At the moment there is a place of Žasliai culture and handicraft in this where everyone can try various activities such as home bread, Kugel or „šakotis”( baumkuchen) baking.
Tel. +370 346 20 274, +370 650 98 858
- President of Lithuania Algirdas Brazauskas house
The former president‘s house looks quite inconspicuous, although later, passing by, you could notice a presidential flag hoisted on the facade of the house. There are a lot of things to see and to hear here. It is the first house designed and built by President Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas himself. He grew up in Kaišiadorys, studied and together with his brother helped his parents.The President‘s father Kazimieras and mother Sofija lived here to the end of ther life. Pictures, documents, old furniture reminds us a calm daily life of Brazauskai family.
Excursions, cultural celebrations and other events take place from time to time in this place.
Tel. +370 346 51 747
- Scarp “Mergakalnis”
Mergakalnis is the highest sightseeing place on the Kaunas lagoon shore. In 1970 forty five villages were moved because of the Kaunas Hydropower Plant construction. Following, more than 63 square kilometers water lagoon has been created. From the viewpoint you could see another power plant- Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant, which is more than nine times powerful than Kaunas Hydropower Station. There is a legend about Mergakalnis. People say that in the old times from the scarp people were throwing downward the girls of a shameful behavior and ill fame packing them into sacks. Nowadays in more liberal times this place is likeable and visited by romantic couples.
- Darsūniškis gates/chapels
There are many reasons to visit Darsūniškis, even the Great Duke of Lithuania Vytautas decided to build a castle here. Sadly, time and nature disasters destroyed not only the castle but also the mound on which the palace stood. Only writings on the monument in the former castle place reminds us the memorable times of Darsūniškis. It is known that once Vytautas invited his cousin, king of Poland Jogaila there.
The Nemunas river attracts fishermen from all around Lithuania. All of them try to catch their life fish here.
- Maisiejūnai mound
It is told that here a giant lived long time ago. He had a neighbour on the Lašiniai mound, on the other side of the Strėva river. It is a question, where the giant lives now, as well as it is not clear where he was on the second of February in 1348. That day famous battle between Teutonic troops and Lithuanians took place here. The Great Dukes of Lithuania, cousins Kęstutis and Algirdas fought shoulder to shoulder against Germans but they lost and their two brothers Mantvydas and Narimantas, sadly, were killed in the battlefield. Every year, in autumn, people who are interested in the Baltic cultureand history come here to celebrate. Sadly, the giant has never come to this event.
Near the Maisiejūnai mound you can also visit the First World War soldiers’ cemetery.
- Synagogue of Žiežmariai
In the Kaišiadorys region district Žiežmariai was the biggest city for a quite a long time. A good geographical location and vast number of passing travellers encouraged the establishment of entrepreneurial people‘s settlement. Most of them were Jews, they consisted the largest number of total population as well. Just behind the central square of the town, they built a synagogue. Christian church and the Statue of Angel of Freedom at the same square shows us coexistance of friendliness among people of different religions and culture at that time. After the war synagogue was turned into a warehouse. Now the building is going to be restored. In 2004 table was hanged on the wall with a writing mentioning the first stop on the road of the Jewish cultural heritage.
Tel. +370 346 69 027
- St. Virgin Mary, Angel queen church in Kruonis
Almost everyone in Poland knows Mykolas Kleopas Oginskis‘ polonez “Saying Goodbye to the Homeland”. In Lithuania the Oginskiai family is associated with Rietavas manor, but not many people in Lithuania know that the name the Oginskiai family is related to a small village Uogintai which is in Kaišiadorys region. Kruonis catholic church, former orthodox building, represents the beginning of the era of the Oginskiai family. Bohdan Oginskis is a “pillar” of the orthodox church. He is also the warrior and the man, who created the foundation for the ”Golden Age” of the Oginskiai family. In the church there are his and his son‘s remains, as well as the grave stones with an epitaph. Kruonis, likewise Darsūniškis, had suffered historical hardships too. During Napoleonic wars in the XIX century the Oginskiai renaissance style manor was completely destroyed. You can see the ruin sof it near Kruonis Gymnasium.
Finally,if you decide to visit Kruonis, don‘t miss a chance to go to the Gojus forest where you can find one of the biggest graveyards of Lithuanian partisans with a monument and cross composition.
- Laukagalis stone
Thunder, mound, altar, these words are familiar to us, but do you know what they really mean? In Laukagalis, near Paparčiai village and Europe forest, not far from a memorable oak,( once green and beautiful now dead) there lies a stone. It may look inconspicuous, but of a strange form with small hollows on the top. The external view of the stone which looks like a throne makes us think that it is more than “just a stone”. People say that devil comes here and sits in front of the sun, that’s why people call this place by his name. In fact, it is quite difficult to tell how often he visits this site, only grass-snakes are frequent guests here, that is for sure. Our ancestors were not able to write so they expressed their thoughts using signs and symbols. These signs are a rich source of investigations in order to know and approve some facts of Lithuanian history. The hollows on the stone are similar to Ursa major arrangement, the polished side was probably an altar, through the gutters of the stone perhaps some water flowed or, who knows, perhaps blood.
A few years ago, to commemorate the Lithuania‘s admission into European Union, near the stone European forest was planted
- Poet Jonas Aistis museum
Jonas Aleksandravičius, better known as Jonas Aistis, was born and spent his childhood in Rumšiškės town. He had several nicknames, one of them was Kossu. People say that Jonas Aistis was a very sensitive poet as well as prone to fall in love. In order not to forget who he had fallen in love with, Jonas created his pseudonym KOSSU (Konstancija, Ona, Sara, Sonia, Uršulė) from the first letters of his beloved girls’ names. His poetry represents beauty and sadness. Before the Second World War, he was a very popular poet with youth. He won a national award in 1937 for the poetry collection “Dead Eyes of Chimera”. In Rumšiškės town you have an opportunity to visit Jonas Aistis Museum and get more information about his life and poetry. He is buried in the graveyard of Rumšiškės town. A few kilometres away, in Dovainonys village, you can visit his birthplace and meet his nephew.
Tel. +370 346 47 611