The Wall 2
History At the end of the 18th c., when Kaunas became the border post of Russia, the Tsar decided to transform the city into a fortress, but the idea materialized only in 1871. Germany got finally united, and there was a need to strengthen the western borders of the empire. In 1880, Tsar Aleksandr II ratified the Kaunas fortress plan, covering the area of 25sq.km. The work started in 1882-89, but the construction went on until 1915. Stages of construction Construction was carried out in several stages. First, a defence circle consisting of 7 forts and 9 batteries, and central fortifications were built. Construction of administrative buildings in the city centre, reconstruction and refinement of fortifications were executed later. In 1903, construction of the 9th fort was planned, followed by the second defence circle (65 km2) in 1913-1917, the construction of which was interrupted by World War I. Fortress Characteristics The fortress consisted of forts, batteries, and the central defence system. The second group of buildings included storehouses for war ammunition, gunpowder, weapons, and spare parts, as well as bombshelters. There were also food and grain storehouses. Barracks for soldiers were built in Šančiai, Panemunė and Freda.Probably most known barrack complex is in Šančiai district, before 1990s used by the so-called 7th airborn (“Kaunas“) division. The 7th Guards Airborne Division (second formation) was established on 15 October 1948 in the Belorussian Military District and being relocated to the cities of Kaunas and Marijampole, Lithuanian SSR. In recent years Žemieji Šančiai military center was partly privatized. Some of the buildings were rebuilt and transformed into apartments and commercial spaces but some of them are still in the ruins.