The Panemunė route is 300 km long and is often called the most beautiful route in Lithuania. If you travel by car, you hardly need to get off to witness the history, culture and nature of the Neman, the father of all Lithuanian rivers. The route is perfect for those interested in the history of wars as you will pass many castles and hillforts reminiscing the times of battles against the Teutonic Order. The route also passes by the settlements of the Neman which are rich in cultural objects, such as manors, churches and other cultural places speaking of the history of the region. The route ends at Ventė Cape with its bird migration routes and stunning vistas of the lagoon.
The Ninth Fort of Kaunas. In 1890, the City of Kaunas was surrounded by eight forts and nine artillery batteries. Since 1924, the fort had been used as a hard labor prison in Kaunas. It was also a place of mass murder during the time of occupation by the Nazi Germany.
Kaunas Castle is the first masonry castle of Kaunas and the oldest masonry castle in Lithuania built in the 14th century. Legends say that the castle lady Bona Sforza kept a large army which was buried underground. To this day, the army is waiting for misfortune to befall Kaunas so that it can rise up to defend its city.
Legends have it that Barbora Radvilaitė herself ordered to lay the foundation for Raudondvaris Manor. In 1819, Counts Tyszkiewicz purchased and renovated the manor and constructed additional buildings, such as the orangery, barns and stables, and established a park.
Veliuona Church and Hillfort. Veliuona hillforts comprise a complex of hillforts and defensive reinforcements on the bank of the Neman River valley. The hillfort is often called the Grave of Gediminas, Gediminas Hillfort or the Treaty Hillfort. Here, the Treaty of Melno was signed in the local castle built in 1411.
Raudonė Castle. The first castles were built by the Neman River sometime around the year 1300 as a defensive outposts against the attacks of the Teutonic Order. Though their importance diminished after the Battle of Grunwald, the castles regained their popularity in the 16th–17th centuries, when the Neman became a trade route. Raudonė Castle is categorized as a second-generation representative castle of Panemunė.
Panemunė Castle was at first called thus after the manor on the land of which it stood. Later, the castle was taken over by the Gelgaudai Family and renamed to Gelgaudai Castle. Following the change of owners after the Uprising of 1831, the castle gained the name of Zamkus Castle. When the Vytėnai Village was established nearby in the beginning of the 20th century, the castle received the name of Vytėnai. Presently, it carries its original name.