Lithuania's dark 20th-century history is powerfully and poignantly told at the Museum of the Ninth Fort, 7km north of Kaunas. Begin in the main museum, a modern gallery space with a church-like interior, which details the country's WWII experience. With the same entrance ticket, continue uphill to the WWI-era fort, converted into a hard-labour prison in the early 20th century and a centre of torture, interrogation and mass killings in WWII.
Outside the fort are poignant memorials to 50,000 people, mainly Jews, who were murdered by the Nazis in Kaunas.
The fort was built in the late 19th century and was occupied by German troops during the First World War. When WWI ended, it became a hard-labour prison. In WWII, the fort was used as a holding pen for political prisoners before they were deported to distant parts of the Soviet Union.
Enquire ahead for guided tours of different aspects of the site, including the early history of the fort and the Holocaust in Lithuania (extra charges apply, usually €5).
Take bus 23 from Jonavos gatvė to the 9-ojo Forto Muziejus stop, then cross under the motorway.