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About Kaunas Region

Kaunas Region – the third largest region by the area covered, it is subdivided into eight municipalities of Birštonas, Kaunas city, Jonava district, Kaišiadorys district, Kaunas district, Kėdainiai district, Prienai district and Raseiniai district.

Located in the very centre of Lithuania, Kaunas Region is the only one that has no external borders with foreign countries, but is bordered by six of the ten Lithuanian regions: Alytus, Vilnius, Panevėžys, Šiauliai, Tauragė and Marijampolė.

The current territory of the region was demarcated in 1996; however, we were first mentioned in historical sources in the 15th century.

The population of the region is more than 600 thousand people with Lithuanians accounting for as much as 93.88 percent, which makes us the most Lithuanian region in the country. Furthermore, it is the only region populated by all four ethnic groups of Lithuania: aukštaičiai (Highlanders), dzūkai, sūduviai (Sudovians) and žemaičiai (Samogitians).

You can arrive in Kaunas by all possible means of transport: land, rail, water and air. The international airport in outer Kaunas ranks first in the Baltic States by the total amount of cargo handled. From here, transit cargos are shipped to various directions by all means of transport.

In Kaunas Region the main national and major European motorways (the Via Baltica among others) and railway lines (the I and IX trans-European transport corridors) intersect. An European-track railway section connecting Warsaw and Kaunas is being built currently and will be finished till December 2012. Passenger travel and cargo shipping is also possible by water in Kaunas Region: from Kaunas river port up to the Klaipėda Seaport.

The Kaunas region is attractive to foreign investors. A convenient geographical location, the Free Economic Zones of Kaunas and Kėdainiai, Kaunas Public Logistics Centre, qualified specialists and their experience, fast development of science and technologies, a multitude of enterprises competing at the international level, the main junction of transport and river arteries and the advantage of the international airport attract foreign investors from Denmark, Great Britain, Estonia, the USA, Norway, Finland, Germany and elsewhere. Kaunas is the second largest region by the amount of direct foreign investments in the country.

Sales of industrial production in Kaunas Region make 20.3 percent of whole country’s sales of industrial production. 18.8 percent of the Lithuanian production is exported to other countries. Traditional industries in Kaunas Region include food, beverages, furniture and textile. Some specific industries such as the repair and maintenance of gliders and helicopters and the extraction of mineral water are also cultivated.

Major industrial enterprises in the region include Joint Stock Company Kauno Grūdai (a mill), JSC Kraft Foods Lithuania, JSC Stumbras (a producer of strong alcoholic drinks), JSC Volfas Engelman (a brewery), agricultural company Nematekas, Closed Joint Stock Company Kėdainių Konservų Fabrikas (a tinned food factory), CJSC Taneta, JSC Kaišiadorių Paukštynas (a poultry), JSC Audimas, JSC Drobė (clothing manufacturers), JSC Kauno Baldai and CJSC Vesiga (furniture manufacturers), JSC Sportinė Aviacija and Co, JSC Kėdainių grūdai, CJSC Vikeda (producer of ice-creams), JSC Nordic Sugar Kėdainiai, JSC Achema and JSC Lifosa, leading producers of fertilisers in the Baltic States, JSC Birštono Mineraliniai Vandenys ir Ko (extraction, bottling and trade of Birštonas mineral water). In Prienai, CJSC Stakliškių Midus is the only company in Europe, which produces traditional alcoholic drinks with natural honey. The production of the above enterprises has made the name of Kaunas Region and Lithuania famous worldwide. The produce in the majority of these enterprises complies with the ISO standards.

The seat of the region, Kaunas city has a huge impact on the economy of Lithuania. About 12.1 percent of the nation’s industrial output is produced in Kaunas, and 19 percent of the GDP is created here as well.

Kaunas has been able to take pride in its electronic and light industry production for many years. Information technology and telecommunications (ITT) as well as the pharmaceutical sector are also developing very fast. The hub of logistics, as it is often called, Kaunas is capable of attracting the best IT and high-technology specialists.

Meanwhile, Kėdainiai are proud of the first in the country building materials factory “Sakret”, which was built in the Industrial park of the town. The first Lithuanian crematorium, which had a difficult path to construction, can also be found in Kėdainiai.

There are nine universities (2 faculties), several colleges and a multitude of other schools and teaching centres in the region, with a total enrolment of 55,703 thousand local and foreign students. Since 1922, when Lithuanian University, the first higher-education school was established in independent Lithuania, Kaunas Region has been known as the nation’s seat of education and science. Thus the majority of the region’s citizens hold a university degree. The region is famous for its doctors, scholars, IT professionals, agricultural specialists, sportsmen and coaches.

Scientists and scholars from regional universities are in the avantguarde of the world’s scientific community, producing astonishing research results, innovations and discoveries. Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Aleksandras Stulginskis University, ISM University of Management and Economics, Veterinary Academy and Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education along with other higher-education schools in the region are famous for their educational and scientific achievements. KTU is the biggest technical university in the Baltic States while LSMU is Lithuania’s largest university for training health practitioners that combines studies, science and healthcare. Ultra-complex surgical operations and organ transplantations are performed at the Clinics of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.

The Science and Technology Park “Technopolis” is an area created by the cooperative initiative among business, academic and local government institutions for the encouragement of technological innovation and development. STP “Technopolis” was established with a view to promoting the development of innovation in the city of Kaunas, concentrating a critical mass of innovative companies and uniting them under one roof in the pursuit of mutual benefit.

Kaunas city also has two integrated science, studies and business centers (the Valleys) named “Santaka” (Confluence) and “Nemunas”. “Santakos” Valley is designed for carrying out public and private research, setting of knowledge-intensive businesses and to provide value-added, knowledge-intensive services. “Nemunas” Valley serves as an integrated science, studies and business center for the development of Lithuanian agriculture, forestry and food sector.

Kaunas Region is famous for cherishing cultural traditions and events in Lithuania and far beyond it. Kaunas Musical Theatre, Drama Theatre and Puppet-Show Theatre foster national and classical traditions, while Pantomime Theatre and Modern Dance.

Theatre follow new artistic trends. The region is famous for carillon music concerts and worldwide famous international jazz festivals, Kaunas Jazz and Birštonas Jazz, the ballroom dancing competition Gintarinė Pora (Amber Couple), the traditional country band festival Grok, Jurgeli! (Play, Georgie, Play), the bard festival Akacijų Alėja (The Avenue of Acacias) in Kulautuva, or St. Jonas Day celebrations in Jonava, as well as the days of regional towns offering all kinds of amusement, harvest shows, craft fairs and other funfair entertainment.

On the shores of the Kaunas Lagoon, one of the most valuable baroque architectural buildings in Eastern Europe, the Pažaislis Convent, is situated. The International Pažaislis Festivals of Classical Music here started more than ten years ago.

Kaunas Region is well known for its artistic, historical, urban and natural heritage. Cosy old-town spaces and urban monuments in Kaunas and in one of the oldest and historically prominent Lithuanian towns Kėdainiai attract foreign and local travellers.

The most popular tourist attractions in Kaunas include the M. K. Čiurlionis Museum which features works by the visionary 20th century Lithuanian painter and composer, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, the Museum of War, the Museum of Jewellery (gemmology), the art gallery named after Mykolas Žilinskas, the famous Lithuanian collector, the Botany Garden and the Kaunas Zoo (the only one in Lithuania), to name a few. Foreign visitors adore the Museum of Devils, which has accumulated the biggest collection of devils in the world. The Skriaudžiai Museum of Calendars plays host to more than 4 thousand exhibits, ten of which are especially valuable, as they are the only copies in the world! After Independence, one of the first Lithuanian sacred art museums opened its door in Birštonas. The Open-Air Museum of Lithuanian Ethnic Culture, Scansen, is the only one of its kind in Lithuania.

The residents of Kėdainiai feel proud of J. Monkute-Marks Museum-Gallery, the regional museum of Kėdainiai and the Multicultural center where lots of exciting and beautiful events take place.

Kaunas Region is deemed one of the most beautiful regions in Lithuania. The most scenic Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas, the Neris, the Nevėžis, the Dubysa, the Verknė and the Jiesia meander through the region.

There are 29 nature reserves and 7 regional parks in the region. Some spots of nature, with natural abodes, rare plants and wild animals, are enlisted into the European ecological net Natura 2000.

Unforgettable views open from the rock exposures of Balbieriškis and Žiegždriai; Lake Kaukinė, which is of a meteorite origin, puts you into a mysterious mood; mineral water springs in Birštonas and Darsūniškis wish you good health.

The region’s only royal healthcare and tourism resort Birštonas town became an associated member of the European Resorts in 2006.

The region has the biggest man-made water reservoir, the Kaunas Lagoon. 63.5 square km large and 80 km long, the lagoon was formed when the Nemunas river was dammed up to build a hydroelectric power station. Now citizens and guests are particularly fond of this place because of its sandy shores, steep slopes, impressive rock exposures and white yacht sails seen from afar as well as the towers of the Pažaislis Convent. A wide range of entertainment by the water and in the open air is offered. The beauty of this place leaves every visitor spellbound.

The Kaunas region is proud of internationally renowned people who were born or worked here. Many distinguished scientists, artists, politicians, public leaders, sportsmen, entertainment and business celebrities were born, studied, lived, created or are still studying, living and creating in Kaunas Region.

Kaunas Region is homeland to many international luminaries such as the Nobel prize laureate and writer, Czeslaw Milosz, diplomat and the last Foreign Minister of the inter-war period of independent Lithuania, Juozas Urbšys, one of the most famous Lithuanian poet of all times, Jonas Mačiulis-Maironis, one of Lithuania’s brightest personalities, Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevičius, and the so-called Fluxus Godfather Jurgis Mačiūnas, who showed the world how to make art of everyday things, and many more others.