In 1959 after the construction of the Kaunas hydroelectric power station, the waters of the Nemunas River flooded a greater part of the valley, covering an area of over 6.350 ha and formed a wonderful lagoon landscape.
In order to preserve the unique landscape of the Kaunas lagoon, its ecosystem and cultural heritage, the Kaunas Lagoon Regional Park was established by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania in 24 September 1992.
The total area of the park covers 9.869 ha and includes territories in Kaunas City and the Kaunas and Kaišiadorys districts.
Kaunas lagoon is 44 meters above the sea level, and the highest point in the park is 93 meters above sea level in Pastrėvys forest. The widest point in the lake reaches 3.3 km and the narrowest 0.3 km. The deepest place in Kaunas Lagoon is around 22 meters, and the total length of the coast (up to Balbieriškis) is 200 km.
Places to visit
One of the most wonderful sights in the park is the Pažaislis Monastery architectural ensemble, one of the most valuable 17th century late Baroque buildings in all northeastern Europe.
The Lithuanian Open Air Museum of Ethnographic Culture (in Rumšiškes) is situated on the rocky terraces of the Praviena stream not far from the lagoon. The museum present the architecture, culture and household characteristics of the different ethnographic regions in Lithuania.
There is also a marina, the S.Nėris memorial museum, Rumšiškės church and belfry (salvaged from the bottom of the lagoon), castle mounds and other natural and cultural objects.
Flora and fauna in the regional park
Old-growth forests with rich fauna and flora complexes (the Rumšiškes church and Dabinta forests), a population of forest dormice that are very rare in Lithuania and the reed-covered, marshy shores of the lagoon that have become a paradise for water birds are all preserved in the 16 reserves of the park. The Arlaviškės Botanical Reserve seeks to preserve the unique steep and slanting slopes of the lagoon covered with pyramid and cone-shaped juniper bushes. Juniper bushes are quite common in pine forests in the southern part of Lithuanian, but here they are a rarity.
The wide waters of the lagoon, bays and water plants along the shores attract a large variety of birds. During the hatching and migration periods almost every species of water bird registered in Lithuania can be observed here. Various duck species, graceful white swans and the great black cormorants flock to the lagoon, favouring the more remote and quite areas.
The lagoon is also rich in fish. There is an abundance of roach, perch, bream and pike, while the odd fisherman may also catch a sheartfish or carp.
One should also take the opportunity to visit the Girionys Dendrological Park. This is a landscaped park established near Girionys village on the shores of the Kaunas Lagoon and is unique for its combined size and rich collections of plants species.
Plant groups of different form, size and colour were planted here in such a way, so as to empahise the relief and create distinct open and closed spaces within the park. Trees and shrubs of contrasting colours were combined: lime and maple trees intertwine with white-trunked birch, cornels, hawtorns and lilac bushes. Visitor will also be impressed by the diversity of conifers in the park. An experienced deondrologist will recognise several kinds of larch, fir trees, silver firs and other species of conifers.
How to reach us?
The park is situated on the outskirts of Kaunas City, making it easily accesible for all. Once in Kaunas visitors can reach the park by public transport as well as by bike or on foot.