Pazaislis Monastery (Pažaislio vienuolynas ir bažnyčia)

Pazaislis Monastery



Location: 7 km (4 mi) East of Kaunas  Map

Found: 17th century

Open: 10am- 5pm Mon- Sat


Roman Catholic Pazaislis Monastery is located 7 km (4 mi) East of Kaunas. This beautiful Baroque abbey is surrounded by Kaunas Sea (Kauno marios) an artificial lake that was created after damming the Nemunas river. Originally Pazaislis Monastery was found in the 1662 by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Great Chancellor Krzysztof Zygmunt Pats who devoted the monastery to the Roman Catholic Order of Camaldose Hermits.


Pazaislis Monastery was badly damaged during the Northern War (1700- 21) and Napoleonic Wars of the the early 19th century. Nevertheless it managed to rebuild its walls and recover from damages. Through its turbulent history Pazaislis Monastery changed hands several times. After failed rebellion (1831) against the Russian Empire Pazaislis Monastery was converted to Russian Orthodox monastery in 1832. The abbey was eventually transferred to the Russian Old Believers, a sect that separated from the main body of the Russian Orthodox Church. Later it was passed to the Catholic Church again in 1920 once Lithuania became independent for brief two decades. Sisters of Saint Casimir congregation from Chicago moved here and settled the abandoned complex. During Soviet period the monastery housed a psychiatric hospital and in 1966 it was converted to art gallery. Today the monastery is returned to its rightful owners and several nuns live here.


Main monastery church was designed by Pietro Puttini in 1712 and named in honor of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has majestic interior with beautiful frescoes adorning its walls and 50 meter high main cupola. Pink and black Polish marble further adds beauty to the interior of the church. One of the best times to visit the monastery is summer months then Pažaislis Music Festival are held here. It usually lasts from June to August with total of about 30 concerts. Concert admission is about 2-3 US dollars or 6- 10 litas.