Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania, and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the center of a powiat in Trakai Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. During Russian Empire occupation it was the capital of Kovno Governorate from 1843 to 1915. It became the only temporary capital city in Europe during the Interwar period. Now it is the capital of Kaunas County, the seat of the Kaunas city municipality and the Kaunas district municipality. It is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas. Kaunas is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris, and near the Kaunas Reservoir, the largest body of water entirely in Lithuania.
St George’s church first was build as a wood one in 1468 and meant to be a minor one. But in 1471 renovations started and castle was rebuilt from wooden into bricked. As this church was built in strategically important place (near to Kaunas castle and close to where Nemunas and Neris river confluence) it has many times suffered from military as it often happened to be in aggressor’s way. Church of course never was build to serve as fortification so this kind of treatment was very harmful to church. You can see that this church is from two parts. It is because half of it was completely destroyed in a battle in XVI century. Later it was rebuilt, but you can clearly see that one part of it is way smaller. However both parts are in gothic style. When Napoleon came to Lithuania he found this church greatly damaged and decided that is it’s worthless and turned it into inventory for crops. In 1936 this church was once again renovated, but soon soviets came and turned this church into medical school (I am not kidding). After that this castle was so damaged that no one wanted it. It was abandon until 2005 when government decided that we once again must renovate it. Reconstruction started in 2008 and still goes on. I find this church very interesting as it has suffered so much and still stands and at least half of its remaining part is original from XV century.
You can’t really appreciate this forlorn-looking Gothic building without taking into account its history. It’s had a rough ride since its beginnings in 1487. It’s been ruined by fire three times, suffered the wrath of the Moscow army during the war of 1656-1659 and then had a bit of a rest during the 18th century before Napoleon turned it into a warehouse. During Soviet times, the church was used to store medicine. It was returned to the Friars in 1993 in a pretty shabby condition, and restoration of its outstanding if shabby Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque interior has been slow to say the least. The good news for those who appreciate religious buildings is that by the end of 2011 the job promises to be complete. At the time of writing in May 2010, a large crane was seen hovering over the building putting the finishing touches to the roof.
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snunney (84805) 2011-03-21 5:28
We continue our tour of this interesting if somewhat dilapidated church. I like the upwards point of view here and the graphism offered by the soaring arches.
paololg (31448) 2011-03-21 15:46
Ciao caro Krzysztof,
also in Treviso Napoleon has transformed precious medieval churches as stores. Fortunately they are been restored but now they are only splendid museums. Interesting testimony of this beautiful Gothic architecture, I hope that you can photograph this church next year, after the restauration.
Ciao, have a nice day!
Sonata11 (33283) 2011-03-21 17:11
nie myslalam ze to jest tak ogromne.Atchitektura jest ciagle piekna mimo ze jest juz to tak zniszczone. Ciagle sa slady pieknych malowidel. Bardzo ladna kompozycja. Podoba mi sie.
danyy (0) 2011-03-21 23:49
Witaj mon cher ami,
une photo oů les lumičres n'explosent pas mais sont en tous cas bien respectées. Une contre plongée qui entraine une défomation de la perspective qui ne gęne pas du tout ici.
My best regards.
jhm (139972) 2011-03-22 4:09
Thank you very much for your interesting notes.
I see that a lot work will are for restauration of these splendid church.
Also the colors and the light are wonderful for look at.
Excellent captured and nice composed, TFS.
Have a nice day,
mkamionka (30694) 2011-03-23 4:38
kolejna smutna odslona z tego niegys pieknego miejsca. Ladna perspektywa, staranne wykonanie, aczkolwiek przykro sie robi ze takie rzeczy bywaja tak zapuszczone.
raszid62 (18583) 2011-03-25 3:04
Piękne i majestatyczne wnętrze tej katedry. Ona naprawdę musiała być kiedyś przepiękna. Doskonała kompozycja o perfekcyjnej jakości.
- Copyright: Krzysztof Dera (Fis2) (86247)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2010-06-05
- Categories: Architecture, Artwork
- Camera: Canon EOS 30D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Hoya HMC SUPER UV M77
- Exposure: f/8
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2011-03-21 4:45