Pažaislis Monastery


Built by Camaldolese monks in the 17th century, this striking baroque monastery lies 9km east of central Kaunas, on a promontory jutting into the Kauno marios (Kaunas Sea). Given to the Russian Orthodox order by Tsar Alexander in 1831, it's a sumptuous if slightly run-down affair with a 50m-high cupola and luxurious Venetian interior made from pink and black Polish marble. On the premises is Monte Pacis, one of Lithuania's best fine dining restaurants.

Take trolleybus 9, or cycle the riverside path.

The monastery has had a chequered history, becoming a psychiatric hospital in the Soviet era, before reverting to its Catholic roots in 1990. It's best to visit during the Pažaislis Music Festival, between June and August.

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