OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

azuolynas rimante
 

Ąžuolynas (Oakwood Park)


Alma: It is very nice to remember how people would gather in the Oakwood Park.

*Alma: *It is very nice to remember how people would gather in the Oakwood Park. In summer, it was full of people. Even though there were no normal paths in there back then. Some would play the harmonica or guitar. Everyone would gather in groups or families to spend some time in nature. It is also very pleasant to remember Song Festivals. The songs used to fly all around the Oakwood Park. 

Read more
Edita 1963 m erzina liutus
 

Lions of the War Museum


Rimantas: “This photo of my daughter Edita is taken in 1963, when she was 3.5-years-old.

*Rimantas*: “This photo of my daughter Edita is taken in 1963, when she was 3.5-years-old. I liked taking photos since my very childhood, we used to visit the garden in front of the Museum of War quite often, and this was where I captured her photo teasing the lions. I was working in a special scientific workshop, where various architectural and historic monuments were restored. Among many preserved architectural monuments in Lithuania, I also contributed to the repair of facades and interior of M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum and Museum of War. Your initiative inspired me to browse old photo archives. While looking for this photo, I looked through photos and slides featuring the construction of the Open-Air Museum of Lithuania, restoration of the Town Hall and Town Hall (Rotušės) Square, as well as reconstruction of The House of Perkūnas, the spire of Vytautas Magnus Church and many other monuments. Thus, I immersed into memories...” (2018)

Read more
IMG 20150306 155214
1997

Russian Aesthetic Education Centre


A.K.: Russian Aesthetic Education Centre later received the name of Mstislav Dobuzhinsky.

*A.K.*: Russian Aesthetic Education Centre later received the name of Mstislav Dobuzhinsky. It is still operating in V. Krėvės prospect, not far from the shopping centre used to be called Pasimatymas. I guess most of its visitors back then were children from the neighboring Russian school No. 20, even though later I attended the Lithuanian Pilėnai school. Probably it was my father’s initiative for me to attend all these extracurricular activities and have someone to practice my native language with, yet for me it has been (and I hope that it still remains) an exceptional place of artistic education, even though when I look back at this building, sad thoughts come to my mind. This place is like an island among the gray multi-storey buildings of Dainava, where people would create things, while we talked with teachers and fellow students in Russian.

Read more
3a
1991

World Lithuanian Games


When I was sixteen, it was the first time, when I brought my photo camera to the Oakwoord Park, Darius and Girėnas Sports Centre, the Hall and the Stadium.

When I was sixteen, it was the first time, when I brought my photo camera to the Oakwoord Park, Darius and Girėnas Sports Centre, the Hall and the Stadium. It was during the World Lithuanian Games in the summer of 1991. I followed the participants marching from the Old Town. There were crowds of people, great mood, no mournful atmosphere. The second day of the Games was coloured in bright green: a boy who carried Detroit Kovas flag gave me five dollars for a photo that I handed him when we met. My first honorarium in cash! As my aunt Zita (currently living in Detroit) found out, his name was Tadas Baukys. The euphoria did not last long. Shots were fired at the Lithuanian boarder and the crowds moved to Vilnius: again, for a funereal.

Read more
Kestutis Jakstas Aleksotas
 

Aleksotas


Kęstutis: „Augau Aleksote, S.

*Kęstutis*: „Augau Aleksote, S. Dariaus ir S. Girėno gatvėje. Gyvenome kieme, kuriame stovėjo du namai ir vienuolika lietuvių šeimų. Tad vaikų buvo daug, kokie septyni panašaus amžiaus berniukai. Po pamokų kieme daugiausia žaisdavome futbolą. Vakare kieme vyresni žmonės susėsdavo grupelėmis ir lošdavo kortomis. Todėl mes turėdavome ieškoti kitos vietos. Netoli buvo aerodromas, didelės pievos, eidavome tenai. Žaisdavome visokiausius judrius žaidimus: tinklinį, krepšinį, futbolą... Aerodrome prie mūsų prisijungdavo ir kiti vaikai. Visi ėjome į 17-tą vidurinę mokyklą, vieni kitus pažinojome, ne taip, kaip dabar... Buvo laikas, kai S. Dariaus ir S. Girėno gatve nevažiuodavo autobusai. Naudodavomės funikulieriumi, nusileidę pėstute per tiltą eidavome į miestą. Kai buvau paauglys, jau eidavome į šokius Pergalės gamykloje, J. Gruodžio muzikos ir Medicinos seserų mokykloje prie Gertrūdos bažnyčios, Klamkėje – net nežinau, kodėl taip vadinome – prie Muzikinio teatro... 17-toje mokykloje taip pat būdavo šokiai, bet ne tokie įdomūs, nes ten įleisdavo tik mokinius. J. Gruodžio mokykloje visuomet grodavo gyvą muziką, kitur – įvairiai. Žiemą ateidavome su paltais. Turėdavome atsisegti ir parodyti, ar dėvime švarką ir ryšime kaklaraištį. Tuomet įleisdavo. Jeigu būdavai su megztiniu – ne. Eidavau į kino teatrą „Pašvaistė“, kuris stovėjo šalia bažnyčios. Ypač gražūs buvo spalvoti filmai „Vargdieniai“, „Paryžiaus katedra“, „Trys muškietininkai“. Į kiną eidavo labai daug žmonių. Į kavinę užsukdavau retai. Jų nebuvo tiek daug: „Metropolis“, „Tulpė“, „Orbita“. Tai suaugusių žmonių vietos. Nors atsimenu, kad kavinėje „Vakaras“ sukdavosi grindys. Studijų laikais eidavome į Spurginę šalia Senamiesčio, ten būdavo ir skanu, ir nebrangu. Vis dėlto, reikia įvertinti, kad lankymasis kavinėse labai priklausė nuo finansinės padėties. Pokario metais pinigų nebuvo. Būdami vaikai stovėdavome per naktį prie parduotuvės laukdami miltų, cukraus, duonos... Ryte ateidavo tėvai ir mus pakeisdavo. Žaisdavome futbolą prie aerodromo ir matydavome, kaip atvažiuoja duonos mašina. Mesdavome viską ir lėkdavome jos pirkti.“ (2019 m.)

Read more
dainuslenis rimante1
 

Dainų Slėnis (The Song Valley) of Kaunas


K.

*K. Laurinaitytė: *I remember Dainų Slėnis since I was six, because this was when I started singing in the choir and participating in the Song Festivals. I have been spending time here since childhood, so this place seems so natural and maybe even commonplace, yet pleasant.

Read more
3. Solveiga Lukminaite. Kauno Laisves al. fontanas 1996 m. vasara
1994 / 1998

Fountain in Laisvės Ave


Solveiga Lukminaitė: My memories related to Laisvės alėja (Avenue) are only positive ones.

*Solveiga Lukminaitė: *My memories related to Laisvės alėja (Avenue) are only positive ones. It is the main central street of Kaunas, popular not only among its residents, but its guests as well. In my opinion, the fountain at Laisvės Avenue is the main symbol of the city. At the same time, it is its central point, a popular place for meetings and dates to start off. This place has remained important for me since an early childhood. Back them, I would go there often with my parents on weekends, and, of course, stand in front the fountain for a while to enjoy the spray of water during the heat, or look at a Christmas tree around the Christmas time. We would often take photos in front of the fountain. I would usually be the main character captured in these photos, of course. Back then, photographers would stand next to the fountain with big toys and invite to have your photo taken for a small fee. It was a great attraction. So, I still have more than one photo from my childhood with a giant toy next to the fountain in Laisvės Avenue. Even now, while I still study, the fountain is an important place where I come almost every day. It is a place, which I cross going to my classes almost daily, also it is a place where I meet my friends. (2015)

Read more
...
1990 / 2000

Partizanų street


Street, yard, house. I still remember where a turn should be taken in order to find myself next to the nine-store house, which was my most favourite place in my childhood.

Street, yard, house. I still remember where a turn should be taken in order to find myself next to the nine-store house, which was my most favourite place in my childhood.

Read more
Paradas 11 07 Janonio Vienybes a. Kaune apie 1950 m
 

Parade in Janonio (Vienybės) Square


Alvydas Vaitkevičius: I found this picture at booksellers next to Merkurijus without any inscriptions or signs...

*Alvydas Vaitkevičius: *I found this picture at booksellers next to Merkurijus without any inscriptions or signs...

Read more
...
 

Neries krantinė


Audronė: „Prie Neries nevyko nieko įdomaus.

*Audronė:* „Prie Neries nevyko nieko įdomaus. Ten eidavome žvejot. Kol nepastatė Heso, būdavo gražūs, didingi ledonešiai. potvyniai. Bet per krantinę nesiliedavo, užliedavo tik tą stadioną, dabartinį parką. Ten buvo nuožulnus kraštas, nebuvo dabartinio pylimo. Kokio dydžio ledai būdavo! Žiemos kaip reikiant, pilną aikštę privaro ledų ir paskui jie tirpsta vos ne iki gegužės mėnesio.“ (2019)

Read more
parke 3
 

Vytautas Park


Neringa: In childhood, our parents would bring us to Vytauto Park.

*Neringa: *In childhood, our parents would bring us to Vytauto Park. Back then, the roofs of Orbita looked like the caps of amanita mushrooms. This carousel was perceived as big children entertainment. So, what was left for us? The slow-paced Saulutė. In my early memories, children's festivals would take place in the park; it was possible to buy cotton candy and ride a pony. When the travelling American amusement park arrived at Kaunas, my mother protested our desire to go there and pay more than needed for our screams and flashing lights, so she brought us to Vytauto Park. She said that we would stay here just for a little while. The silence in the park was sometimes disturbed by tiny cars driven by its visitors. Right then, five minutes in a ship turned into an hour full of the simple joy of wind, and nothing better could have happened at that moment. I feel so thankful for her incredible patience watching her daughters from the bench. I come back here every spring for more than five years. Every time, I bring some people for whom this is a discovery. Now in my memories I see carousels, big ones, lots of slow conversations, Lithuanian music playing on the summer stage on weekends, with old ladies wearing starched collars waiting for the dancing on the little stage. Vytauto Park can be described as a little universe with its own spirit. But its crown does not belong to the carousels, their ancient demeanour and wild atmosphere, but rather to Regina, the employee who oversees a part of the park. I remember her presence in this space all the time and cannot imagine it without her. Without her, it would be a simple attraction. She somehow fills the space. Even when she stopped dyeing her hair orange and started to ignore the greying effect of time, she remained just as energetic: painted ladybugs on carousels, and if she recognized us, she would reproach us (“Why do you come so late this year?”). Sometimes she would wink and let us ride Orbita free of charge. This once, when I brought a group of foreigners, she got excited and started telling about her youth, when once at night, at Kaunas Botanical Garden, she caught a glimpse of a blossom of a large-flowered cactus that blooms once a year, and the other time, she told us about the real tree of knowledge: something about a walnut tree growing nearby and squirrels. Things like this helps you understand that sharing is good. Only each time, you return to the park as an old, somewhat guilty acquaintance, but not a conspirator enough for this to last for a little bit longer. This photo is for Regina. I have always wanted to give her this. (2014)

Read more
1962 Jonas N
 

Lions of the War Museum


Jonas: “At the beginning of July 1962 and after graduating the 1st High School of Ukmergė (now the High School of Jonas Basanavičius), My classmate Vytautas Juknys and I, Jonas Navikas, arrived at Kaunas for the first time (!).

*Jonas*: “At the beginning of July 1962 and after graduating the 1st High School of Ukmergė (now the High School of Jonas Basanavičius), My classmate Vytautas Juknys and I, Jonas Navikas, arrived at Kaunas for the first time (!). After submitting our documents to the graduate admissions committee at the Central Office of Kaunas Polytechnic Institute (KPI) to enroll in the programme of radio engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, we reached a beautifully-shaped building on the other side of K. Donelaičio Street, which was then the History Museum. After looking around for some time, we noticed that individuals or groups usually take photos next to the lions. Having a photo camera at our disposal, we took photos of one another unaware of the fact that this place symbolizes the city of Kaunas. After coming back from Kaunas, you could show it with pride as a proof that you have visited Kaunas... These were the hot topics back then, when television was only making its first steps in Lithuania, and sightseeing tours were popular among both adults and school students. It is difficult to compare with contemporary technologies that have entered our daily lives...

Read more
All memories

SITES OF MEMORY

1 Projects 114 12 Routes
bottom quote
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.
Post your memory here