OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

A 24
 

Nemunas str. 14, 14 b


Eglė: Hens running across the yard, pigs being farmed behind the house and the old horse of Kaunas silently sitting in the garage...

*Eglė:* Hens running across the yard, pigs being farmed behind the house and the old horse of Kaunas silently sitting in the garage... It is a description of a casual rural household after World War II, of one of the buildings located in Nemunas Street. Described as the Red-light district during the interwar period, the street was many times called the Venice of Kaunas as well, as the overflowing river used to flood the street. Despite the street being unknown to many tourists, and a few of who live in Kaunas since birth having been there, locals are full of memories. It is known that since the 1870’s, the property of land belonged to the town dweller Chaim Gidoni and after his death in 1876; to his family’s generations. In 1900, two-storey buildings (now Nemunas St. 14 and 14B) of red brick masonry were built. Later, in 1927 the property was sold to Benjamin Gruzdas, who was the owner of a jewellery store in Laisvės Avenue and the official provider of Omega watches. The oldest residents remember themselves being children, sitting in the house and watching playfully the overflowing river. Together with floating giant floes (heet of floating ice) the river used to flood almost up to the windows of the ground floor of the Nemunas St. 14B building. Ms. Elena was one of these children, who grew up listening to the clamour of children’s voices and saw adults organising birthday celebrations with food, music and dances until sunrise. However, not all of the memories cause nostalgia. According to Mr. Levas, several tragic accidents have happened: during one of the floods, a woman drowned when she accidentally fell into the basement, a German military officer jumping out from the balcony of building 14B, and one woman burned alive in the fire of a storehouse where she lived. Another local resident, Romas, remembers the times when several families had to live in one small apartment. Once, his mother hosted two students, who protested against the Soviet Union government by sewing so called “granny” pants out of the union’s flag and hanging it on the fence next to the parterre. These past stories allow people to feel the spirit of the street and re-live every moment experienced by former residents of Nemunas street.

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3 tekstas namas
1998

Mindaugo bokštas


Kas žino, gal gyvendama kitokiame name nei šešiaaukštis krantinėje, Ūla vis dėlto būtų nušokusi nuo tilto.

Kas žino, gal gyvendama kitokiame name nei šešiaaukštis krantinėje, Ūla vis dėlto būtų nušokusi nuo tilto.

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Scan10007 001
1933 / 1937

Ice-rinks of the Temporary Capital


Roberto: When ice hockey was the most popular winter sport in Kaunas, the teams of Kauno Jachtclubas, LFLS and Makabi had their own ice-rinks.

*Roberto: *When ice hockey was the most popular winter sport in Kaunas, the teams of Kauno Jachtclubas, LFLS and Makabi had their own ice-rinks. The largest, best installed, illuminated and most popular among the residents of Kaunas was the Ice-Rink of Kaunas Yacht Club (next to the Nemunas Island, somewhere between Maironio and I. Kanto Street), where the main matches between the teams of the highest league of Lithuanian ice hockey as well as figure and speed skating competitions took place. LFLS ice rink was a bit smaller. It was established at the corner of A. Mickevičiaus and Kalnų (now V. Putvinskio) streets. Not many people have memories about this ice rink in Kaunas, and even fewer of them have original photos. These three old photos from the personal album of the famous pre-war Lithuanian sportsman Vladas Dzindziliauskas captures the ice rink of Lithuanian Physical Education Union club c. 1933–1937. *Maybe some residents of Kaunas have more photos or memories about these ice-rinks of the Temporary Capital?* It would be very interesting to see them on this website. (2014)

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1996

Stepžukė


Saulė: After high school, I got into Kaunas Stepas Žukas Technical School of Applied Arts.

*Saulė: *After high school, I got into Kaunas Stepas Žukas Technical School of Applied Arts. It was still called like this in 1996. We, students, would simply call it Stepžukė. My years of studies were probably the happiest of my youth. In high school, I felt different and I couldn't wait until I graduate, and in Stepžukė I felt like myself. This place on a hill with a fenced territory was like a protected area where I felt very well. A group of us working with glass was a small one, so this communication was very warm, we would usually spend our time together and go to concerts.

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6 2
 

The Singing Fountain


Alvydas: Some time ago, before the monument for Darius and Girėnas, there was a “singing fountain”.

*Alvydas: *Some time ago, before the monument for Darius and Girėnas, there was a “singing fountain”. Everyone really liked it... (2014)

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Remio V Parkas
0000 / 1992

Vytauto parkas - istorija


Vytauto kalnas ir parkas mena tuos laikus, kai 1362 m. kryžiuočiai laikė apgulę Kauno pilį, o nepilnametis Kęstučio sūnus Vytautas jodinėjo dabartiniame Vytauto kalne su savo kariuomenės būriu, ieškodamas progos padėti savo broliui Vaidotui.

Vytauto kalnas ir parkas mena tuos laikus, kai 1362 m. kryžiuočiai laikė apgulę Kauno pilį, o nepilnametis Kęstučio sūnus Vytautas jodinėjo dabartiniame Vytauto kalne su savo kariuomenės būriu, ieškodamas progos padėti savo broliui Vaidotui.

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...
 

Demokratų (Democrats) Square


Dobrė: “The action was held in November 1941: at 6 pm we were lined up.

*Dobrė*: “The action was held in November 1941: at 6 pm we were lined up. Our line, where my aunt, my grandmother and I were standing, was checked only after dark. At the time, I was ill, covered in boils, and for that reason I looked very tired, and my grandmother as well. Only my aunt was able to work. A Jew officer came to us, he was a friend of my father, which is why he let us go to the „good side” and we were not condemned to die. Everyone was amazed; it was a gift from God to us.”

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DSC2814
1955 / 1965

Smėlynas (The Sands; P. Vileišio Square)


Petras Vileišis Square (or Smėlynė, as it was called by the residents of Kaunas) was a place famous for horse racing.

Petras Vileišis Square (or Smėlynė, as it was called by the residents of Kaunas) was a place famous for horse racing.

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...
 

Ramybės (Serenity) Park


Asija: ”A protest happened in Ramybės (Serenity) Park, after which it was decided to remove the cemetery located in the park.

*Asija*: ”A protest happened in Ramybės (Serenity) Park, after which it was decided to remove the cemetery located in the park. Three schools were located near the cemetery and we (students at the time) saw everything from very close. Male teenagers could not miss such an event. They scavenged graves and brought found bones into the classroom in order to scare girls. Braver ones went deeper into the graves and showed everyone crosses or rings they had managed to find. This was a most horrifying period of Kaunas history. It united us with the Lithuanians.” (2017)

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1980

Robertas Antinis about Laisvės avenue and its people (video)


Sculptor Robertas Antinis sharing his memories about  people of Laisvės avenue and Kaunas (2014).

Sculptor Robertas Antinis sharing his memories about  people of Laisvės avenue and Kaunas (2014).

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1. Solveiga Lukminaite Kauno Jachtklube 1997 m.
 

Yacht club


Solveiga Lukminaitė: My brightest memories are related to my favourite places in Kaunas, especially Kaunas yacht club.

**Solveiga Lukminaitė: **My brightest memories are related to my favourite places in Kaunas, especially Kaunas yacht club. In my childhood, I used to go there for a walk with my parents. I would love watching the yachts... Each time, I would admire the yacht I shared the name with. Even though currently I don't visit this place as often as I used to, whenever we stop by the yacht club, I still remember it and feel nostalgic. (2014)

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zs2
1982

Žalgiris Stadium


Gintaras: Žalgiris Stadium was not only a place of sports events; people were also interested in the shows by stunt drivers from Czechoslovakia.

*Gintaras: *Žalgiris Stadium was not only a place of sports events; people were also interested in the shows by stunt drivers from Czechoslovakia. You can only imagine how running tracks looked after their performances. :) The Soviet government took interest not only in the health of the sportsmen, but sophisticated pastime of the audience as well: next to the stadium (and in a lot of other places in the city), there were glass pavilions with drink vending machines. Here people could chat and discuss episodes from the matches and their results. Fifty kopeks and a glass of cheap wine called rašalas (‘ink, a derogatory term for cheap, poor quality wine) would quickly relax not only the tongue but brain as well... This place to get drunk has been replaced by a Hesburger restaurant, and instead of the stadium, there is MOLAS Shopping Mall. :) (2014)

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SITES OF MEMORY

1 Projects 115 14 Routes
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Our memory is framed by spatial reference points: places, sites, buildings, and streets give us our bearings and enable us to anchor and order our memories. So, the material alteration of these places can lead to the substantial modification of our memories, and even their disappearance.
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