Kaunas Castle is the oldest stone castle in Lithuania built in the 14th century to resist crusaders’ attacks. A settlement started forming around this Gothic defensive building, growing into the present-day city. The castle was first mentioned in written records in 1361 when it was destroyed by the crusaders. The castle was rebuilt several times but lost its significance when Kaunas was granted the Magdeburg rights in 1408 and town activity moved to Market Square at that time. In the sixteenth century there was a prison in Kaunas Castle and the castle is said to be haunted by prisoners’ spirits which have not found peace yet. At present a branch of the Kaunas City Museum operates in Kaunas Castle and every year cultural city events take place in its vicinity. Santaka Park which is next to Kaunas Castle is called the heart of Kaunas. Here you can see the confluence of the rivers Nemunas and Neris and many places of interest: the altar where pagan rituals took place, Pope Hill visited by Pope John Paul II where he celebrated Mass in 1993, the Statue of Pope John Paul II, St. George the Martyr Church and Bernardine Monastery.