Kaunas Cathedral Basilica

Kaunas, Lithuania

Kaunas Cathedral Basilica (Kauno Šv. apaštalų Petro ir Povilo arkikatedra bazilika) is a Roman Catholic cathedral basilica. The exact date when the first Gothic style church dedicated to apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul was built is unknown, but it was first mentioned in written sources in 1413. The first parochial school in Kaunas at the St. Peter and St. Paul church was mentioned in 1473. The construction works were concluded only in 1624. The church greatly suffered from wars in 1655and was rebuilt in 1671 and gained some Renaissance features. Only one of the towers was rebuilt after the fire of the roof in 1732. As a part of renovation, the internal decorations were funded by the King Stanisław August Poniatowski in 1771. The main altar, a lectern and a choir were installed by Tomasz Podhajski in 1775. The present day shape of the building is from 1800 renovation. Тhе bishop of Samogitia, historian and one of the best known Lithuanian writers of the 19th century Motiejus Valančius was interred in a crypt of the church in 1875.

The church was promoted to cathedral status by Pope Leo XIII in 1895. It received the Basilica title in 1926, when the Diocese of Samogitia was reorganized into the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kaunas by Pope Pius XI. The cathedral, being 84 m long, 28 m height and 34 m wide is the largest Gothic church in Lithuania. The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, built in 1895, is an independent extension of the southern nave with carved wood furnishings in the neo-gothic style.

There is also a Neogothic mausoleum of one of the most famous Lithuanian romantic poets Maironis near the wall of the chapel. Kaunas Cathedral Basilica was included into the Registry of Immovable Cultural Heritage Sites of the Republic of Lithuania in 1996. Lithuanian Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevičius was also buried in the Kaunas Cathedral Basilica in 2000.

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Details

Founded: c. 1413
Category: Religious sites in Lithuania

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rob P (7 months ago)
If you're in Kaunas' Old Town, then you should visit the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul. You might not expect much from seeing the plain exterior, but inside is truly splendid. Large triple nave, huge arches, numerous side altars, a chapel for adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, glorious high altar. Don't miss the large paintings high up along the nave depicting key moments in the lives of the church's patron saints -- Peter and Paul.
Natasha Kirichuk (12 months ago)
It looks a little scruffy from the outside, but is really grand from the inside. The organ there is really beautiful, as are all 7 altars. Must visit.
Keerthivash Chellamalai (12 months ago)
A must visit in Kaunas old town!
Ramil Rahmanov (14 months ago)
Amazing historical monument. So beautiful. I make it's model. It is different way of handicraft (combination of Cathedral without glue ) I will show at here after finishing .
J. G (2 years ago)
Intricately decorated Catholic church. All for visit during noon mass. Fantastically surprised.
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The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

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