Ninth Fort

Ninth Fort, Kaunas: Hours, Address, Ninth Fort Reviews: 4.5/5

Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks
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Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
466 reviews
Excellent
302
Very good
128
Average
29
Poor
3
Terrible
4

&Tilly
Bratislava, Slovakia159 contributions
Jul 2020 • Couples
You can walk around the place even if the musem is closed. It takes at least 30 min to see everything just from the outside - and it’s nice to go after hours - less crowded and you get to see it anyway.

The area is large, clean and cared for. From the top of the fort (it looks like a little hill) there is a nice view over the city, though it’s a very sad place, knowing that tens of thousands souls ceased the exist here, and the remains lay under your feet.

P.S. Dogs are not allowed at all, and there are no trash bins on the site.
Written July 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve_Grant1
Oldham, UK1,322 contributions
Nov 2021
Went here on the bus from Kaunas. Make sure that you get the one that goes to the site. We did not, the other buss on the route stop short so Google maps was a god send. The site is historic and a must visit alongside the monunent.
Written December 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

gtsak
Vrilissia, Greece578 contributions
Oct 2020
This place is a must when visit kaunas.A fort-museum is very impressive and smells death...This is one more place that Nazi’s killed many people. You can spend many hours there walking around the park and visiting the fort museum.A great statue is there to remind us those very bad years.
Written October 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Audrey F
kirkcaldy,scotland410 contributions
Oct 2021
We went here by bus from Kaunas centre, hourly service. Very informative and tragic that this was used as a prison and execution place for Jews during the Occupation. The memorial is very significant and brings hope for the future, an amazing structure.
Written November 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Genady B
Haifa, Israel57 contributions
Apr 2022
Visited April 22. We had booked the tour named "THE HISTORY OF THE NINTH FORT". Our guide was Olga. Very interesting tour that covers place history from Tzar till Holocaust. Olga showed deep knowledge of the subject and answered our questions beyond the tour content.
Written April 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

snabjab
Brooklyn, NY23 contributions
The Ninth Fort is an essential stop for anyone visiting Kaunas with an interest in the Holocaust and/or Lithuanian history. The Soviet built museum had had a makeover in terms of content and the recently done exhibits have many interesting artifacts on display (and, importantly, descriptions in English). The focus of the main museum building is on the suffering of Lithuanians (and Lithuanian nationalists in particular) at the hands of the Russians. The comparatively short section on the Holocaust (bear in mind that here I am referring to the main museum building) does not do justice to that period of Lithuanian history. Of course the subject is always a challenging one and the surrounding exhibits' focus on Lithuanian victimhood makes for a difficult intersection with the the history of the Holocaust (considering the participation of Lithuanian antisemitic nationalists). In any case, artifacts from the Germans' Lithuanian Jewish victims and the Russians' victims put the groups' suffering in human terms. The second part of the museum is housed in the fort itself and the focus of most of the various exhibits is the Holocaust. The exhibits do an excellent job of conveying the horror. The history of the Ninth Fort also lends itself well to investigating the international scope of the Holocaust; French and German Jews murdered here have special sections devoted to their stories. Those interested in looking at every exhibit in great detail could easily spend 2-3 hours at the site. The grounds don't offer much beyond the gigantic monument as there is not much left of the fort apart from the building housing the second part of the museum. Beware: the Ninth Fort is challenging to find. This is partly because none of the official sites offer directions, and partly just because of it's awkward location amidst a highway interchange. In any case, do not make my mistake and assume it will be easy to find without having the proper directions or a map which actually includes the Ninth Fort (the maps included with In Your Pocket Kaunas do not). If you call, as I did, the museum personnel will tell you in their very basic English to take the 23 or 35 bus to the 9th fort museum bus stop. The buses I was on all had displays indicating which stop you're at, making this the easy part. The challenge is finding the museum once you're there. To do so, cross the street (assuming you got off the bus coming from the center of town rather than the outside of town) and walk back in the direction you came from. You won't walk far before you're back at the crazy highway interchange that you passed through while on the bus. The road continues straight ahead underneath an overpass, but you should instead follow alongside the road which turns off to your right (it is a ramp onto a major highway and there is no sidewalk, so be smarter than me by looking at the satellite photo to find out how to do this without walking next to the highway). A few hundred feet later you're get to a set of stairs taking you to a tunnel which takes you underneath the highway straight to the museum. I would strongly advise looking at the satellite photos on Google Maps ahead of time if you want to find it with no doubts about where you're headed. I have found Lithuanians to be exceptionally friendly and helpful in general but you can't count on them having the English necessary to give difficult directions. To locate the site with a satellite image, locate the confluence of the Neris and Nemunas at the center of town and then look directly north a ways for the snarling mess of a traffic interchange. The fort is just northwest of this spot and the bus will drop you off on Vandziogalos gatve in Sargenai. No signs there will indicate where to go and the woman with surprisingly excellent English selling fruit not 500 meters from the museum (and DIRECTLY at the 9th fort museum bus stop!!!!!!) may assume you're thinking of the fort two bus stops in the direction you came from and send you there (even if you show her a sheet of paper with the name of the fort written in Lithuanian).
Written May 18, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hawk470
Baltimore, MD2,545 contributions
Oct 2019
The Ninth Fort, completed by Tsar Nicholas II in 1913 as the final piece in the Kaunas defensive perimeter, tells a tragic history of endless oppression. The walls cry out in anguish from Communist torture and the courtyards and surrounding fields echo from the streams of Fascist gunfire slaughtering men, women and children. Political undesirables under the Tsar, prisoners sentenced to hard labor between wars, Socialists, Liberals, Intelligentsia, Lithuanian political prisoners and clergy readied for shipment to the Gulag under the Soviets; all experienced the wrath of their oppressors within these walls. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, from its completion on the eve of World War I until the Nazi conquest in 1941 and the unspeakable mass murder which followed. And after the war, new rounds of Soviet oppression.

Under German occupation, Jews from Lithuania and elsewhere in Europe were lined up and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators here. Row upon row, day after day. 45,000-50,000, largely from the Kaunas Ghetto, but also decorated German-Jewish veterans of World War I and Jews from as far away as France; nearly 10,000 on October 29, 1941 alone, including more than 4,200 children. Who can fathom such evil? How can one make sense of the many tragedies permeating one place?

Perhaps it can only be expressed through art. Designed by A. Ambraziunas and erected in 1984, the massive twisted and tormented metal memorial sculpture reaching skyward from the killing ground embodies the boundless pain and perhaps offers a modicum of grace through its commemoration of those who met their tragic fates here.

The Ninth Fort contains two main exhibit structures – the museum building and the fort. Each tells several stories – all informative, most moving and profusely illustrated with photographs, installations and text in Lithuanian and English.

In the museum building you learn about the fort itself, and then the mass deportations, murders and terror of the first Soviet occupation of Lithuania 1940-1941 as a result of the non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin and the post-Second World War Soviet reoccupation of Lithuania. According to the exhibit, more than 115,000 Lithuanians were deported to Siberia during the first and second occupations and about half returned to Lithuania. The Nazi imprisonment of Lithuanian political leaders and others is described in this section as well.

The fort itself contains recreations of the prison cells and exhibits about what happened to various groups deported here, including the Kaunas Ghetto in Viljampole and its liquidation, the “Great Action” of October 29, 1941 when thousands were murdered, and Convoy 73 -- the May 15, 1944 deportation of 878 French Jews, including 66 teenagers, from the Drancy concentration camp outside Paris to the Baltic states. 600 were unloaded in Kaunas and murdered in the Ninth Fort. The photos of the murdered and the captions almost bring them back to life. Some of their final inscriptions, as well as those of other prisoners, are still visible on the walls. 22 of those deported from Drancy survived. The fort also has an extensive exhibit about the Chiune Sugihara and other Righteous Among the Nations – Lithuanians and from other European countries -- who saved Jews from their horrific fate, as well as the post-war lives of some who survived

Outside the exhibit area, you pass through the prison courtyard lined with Kaunas native Nehemia Arbit Blatas’ astounding and gripping bronzes of the stages of the Holocaust and make your way to the vast killing field where 50,000 are buried in mass graves. From there, you approach A. Ambraziunas’ monumental memorial sculpture.

If you are fortunate, as we were, you may be lucky enough to see everything under glorious Baltic clouds. They do not diminish the memory of those murdered, which is vitally important to keep in mind, but the sky and the clouds will show that there still is beauty in the world; even one in which so much evil has found a home.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Me_n_my_rucksack
Yorkshire, UK5,971 contributions
Firstly despite studying Google earth and having a car it took ages to find the place, despite it being close to main roads - websites or advertising could do so much more in the way of directions.

The attraction is in three parts.

Firstly a large soviet era, soviet style museum which was built to commemorate the evil doings of the Nazis. The staff, still endowed with a Sovet mentality were incredibly miserable and for some reason could or wouldnt issue a ticket for my camera, and walked around 5 ft behind us ensuring I didnt take photos in the concrete coffin of a museum.

Secondly there is the fort its self which is a marvelous intact example of Tzarist millitary archetecture. The equally miserable staff here went hyper that I did not have a camera pass - if I didnt really want to see the place I would have left - quite insulting treatment ! A real throw back to the soviet attitude where the individual is an embuggerance to a well ordered system. BUT a wonderfull English Speaking tour guide employed by the fort appeared, smoothed the situation over and gave us a fantastic tour of the fortress - cannot praise this young man enough - enthusiastic knowledgeable funny - the whole package. The fort on its own is a wonderfull attraction but this chap really brought it alive. The building has fascets of Russian Lithuanian and German history - wonderfull well maintained well presented displays.

Thirdly there is a massive soviet (ie unsubtle but nontheleee imprssive) memorial to the victims of Nazi attrcities at the site. A moving and solemn spot.

So a mixed bag really. Some of the worst, and the best, I have come across in touring !
Written February 27, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jayfromma
jayfromma28 contributions
The Ninth Fort is a must stop if you have any interest in world history. If possible, hire a tour guide to show you around.

A couple things you must do at the Fort to gain more appreciation:
-Go through the tunnels under the fort
-Be locked in the room beneath the main staircase and have some run up and down the stairs
-Climb the look out towers

Don't go in the winter, as there is no heat and some sections may be closed. The summer offers the best experience.
Written November 22, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

joepa50
Pennsylvania4 contributions
Not that anyone needs another reason to hate the Nazis but add this to the list. I visited in the first week of June at the end of a ten day tour of Lithuania. The monumental statuary is incredible. What appears to be wood is actually concrete. Some 50,000 plus were slaughtered here.
Written July 25, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Ninth Fort is open:
  • Wed - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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