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Kaunas in World War I

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Lithuania belonged to the Tsarist Russian Empire.

Due to its strategic location, Kaunas, following the order of Tsar Alexander II, was chosen as a place to build a first-class fortress.

By the beginning of World War I the fortress determined the pace of life of the entire city. Administrative and sacral buildings were equipped and adjusted to their new functions; both radio and pigeon post stations were fully operating; airfields as well as military towns of Šančiai and Panemunė were throbbing with life. 

By the beginning of World War I Kaunas Fortress became the main target of the German army penetrating deep into Tsarist Russia and so the city was vastly devastated. Not only forts and barracks but also some of the downtown buildings suffered from bombing. Retreating to its native lands and trying to slow down the Kaiser’s army, Russian tsarist troops destroyed strategically important objects on their way, such as, for example, the bridge across Nemunas or Kaunas Railway Station.

In the postcards from Germany and Lithuania, war photographers captured the sights of Kaunas city and its surrounding areas as well as streets, architectural monuments and other objects during World War I.


Postcard "Pantoon bridge across the Nemunas river. Kaunas"

Early 20th century

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