Žaliakalnis Funicular Railway – Kaunas, Lithuania - Atlas Obscura

Žaliakalnis Funicular Railway

The oldest funicular in Lithuania has been climbing this steep hill since 1931. 


Every day, charming banana-yellow cable cars chug up and down the oldest funicular in Lithuania, which is also among the oldest still-operational funiculars in the entire world.

The railroad has been saving pedestrians from a 466-foot uphill trek since 1931. Today, it sends weary-legged tourists zipping along the hill between the Vytautas the Great War Museum and the Basilica of the Resurrection.

When it was first built, the funicular only had one active car. The other was filled with heavy stones and served as a platform to balance its mobile counterpart. The bottom end of the railway didn’t even have a shelter until a year after it opened.

Thankfully, interest in the funicular boomed and it was expanded and improved a few years later. The original cars were replaced with larger models and the bottom station finally received an actual shelter so passengers no longer had to wait while exposed to the elements.

Now, the funicular serves as both a mode of transportation and an entertaining dose of nostalgia. Tourists enjoy boarding the brightly colored cars and zooming to their destinations just as locals have been doing for decades.

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April 4, 2018

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