Archive for the ‘Lithuania’ Category

VIII Fort, Kaunas Fortress, Lithuania

Posted: February 10, 2014 in Lithuania
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I came to this place with my host in Kaunas. It was a rainy day and in our walk back home we got totally soaked. I mean, really soaked. Nevertheless, it was fun. Definitely not easy to find the right access to this fort, even for my local friend Thomas. When we finally did it to the entrance, it started raining. So we stayed “indoors” for a while, for no avail. The rain never stopped and we decided to start walk back. Overall it’s not such a big deal. I am just creating this article because, well, I was there. It exist. So it deserves to be mentioned in this blog.

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Historic backround (taken from my previous entry about Fort VI):

Kaunas Fortress (Lithuanian: Kauno tvirtovė, Russian: Кοвенская крепость) is the remains of a fortress complex in Kaunas, Lithuania. It was constructed and renovated between 1882 and 1915 to protect the Russian Empire’s western borders, and was designated a “first-class” fortress in 1887. During World War I, the complex was the largest defensive structure in the entire state, occupying 65 km2 (25 sq mi).

The fortress was battle-tested in 1915 when Germany attacked the Russian Empire, and withstood eleven days of assault before capture. After World War I, the fortress’ military importance declined as advances in weaponry rendered it increasingly obsolete. It was used by various civil institutions and as a garrison.

During World War II, parts of the fortress complex were used by the governments of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union for detention, interrogation, and execution. About 50,000 people were executed there, including more than 30,000 victims of the Holocaust.[3] Some sections have since been restored; the Ninth Fort houses a museum and memorial devoted to the victims of wartime mass executions. The complex is the most complete remaining example of a Russian Empire fortress.

There is much more there so if you wanna check it, here is the link:  Kaunas Fortress

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I found this place almost by accident. Of course, I was well aware of the Kaunas Fortress, even before I traveled to Lithuania. But due to time management I was not planning to visit the Fortress, and definitely not the VI Fort. But in my second day in Kaunas my host drove me to the Ethnographic Museum (a hell of a place, by the way) and in our way back to the city I glanced at my GPS and… “holly shit man, there is a cache just there, just behind this roundabout”. So poor Tomas drove there, while he admited that he never been in this specific fort himself.


 

Well, actually there isn’t much to see there. First you will have to find the right access. It’s not the old main entrance. There is plenty of water in front of it and anyway, it’s sealed. You rather look for a gate as you see in the last picture of this blog entry.

Anyway, I could enter a couple of tunnels, look at brick walls and pretty much this was it.

Now, a bit of background information taken from Wikipedia:

Kaunas Fortress (Lithuanian: Kauno tvirtovė, Russian: Кοвенская крепость) is the remains of a fortress complex in Kaunas, Lithuania. It was constructed and renovated between 1882 and 1915 to protect the Russian Empire’s western borders, and was designated a “first-class” fortress in 1887. During World War I, the complex was the largest defensive structure in the entire state, occupying 65 km2 (25 sq mi).

The fortress was battle-tested in 1915 when Germany attacked the Russian Empire, and withstood eleven days of assault before capture. After World War I, the fortress’ military importance declined as advances in weaponry rendered it increasingly obsolete. It was used by various civil institutions and as a garrison.

During World War II, parts of the fortress complex were used by the governments of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union for detention, interrogation, and execution. About 50,000 people were executed there, including more than 30,000 victims of the Holocaust.[3] Some sections have since been restored; the Ninth Fort houses a museum and memorial devoted to the victims of wartime mass executions. The complex is the most complete remaining example of a Russian Empire fortress.

There is much more there so if you wanna check it, here is the link:  Kaunas Fortress

Not sure exactly where the gate is but follow these coordinates and you will find it somewhere around:

54° 54.070’N  23° 58.780’E