Kaunas Museum for the Blind – Kaunas, Lithuania - Atlas Obscura

Kaunas Museum for the Blind

Museum deep in the catacombs of St. Michael the Archangel Church is explored by touch, sound, and smell. 

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There isn’t much to see at the Kaunas Museum for the Blind, and that’s by design. In fact, the museum, which opened in 2005, is dark and housed in the catacombs of St. Michael the Archangel Church. 

While the museum was originally intended for the blind, it has morphed into a place where the sighted can experience an hour in a blind person’s shoes. Its exhibits indulge the aural, olfactory, and tactile senses, providing the sighted with the experience of blindness.

Sculptor Robertas Antinis spearheaded the project of converting the church’s catacombs into a museum. Students from the Kaunas Institute of Technology worked on the project as part their “Catacombs of the 21st Century” project. 

Signs in the museum feature Braille and Lithuanian alike. Visitors experience strange textures, soundscapes, aromas, and other sensory objects. Some of the textures, sounds, and smells act as navigational cues as visitors roam through the catacombs.

   

Know Before You Go

You need to call ahead to arrange a visit to the exhibit, which is usually only open on weekdays. The telephone number is listed on the information booth, immediately to the right after the main entrance of the church. It is also possible to get help with booking at the Kaunas City Information, just a few metres down the road, they will call ahead for you and get in touch with a suitable time to visit.


Beware that the experience is not accessible (spiral staircases are at the entrance and exit) and decidedly unsuitable for anyone who might be claustrophobic or has high levels of anxiety. There are very tight passages and unexpected obstacles to negotiate, all in the complete dark, which might feel frightening.

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