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Hill Of Crosses
Hill of Crosses
Owner: Olivier Vuigner
Kryžiu kalnas, Lithuania. 1995
Owner: Francisco Santos (xuaxo)
Hill of Crosses
Owner: Adam Sichta
Almost each and every country has a pilgrimage center that is the central hub for many centuries. In Lithuania one of the most important pilgrimage centers is the Hill of Crosses. It is a depiction of Christianity and literally looks like its` name suggests - it really is a hill of crosses.
Only 12 km North from Šiauliai city this amazing hill lies. The Hill of Crosses glorifies the faith that people have in Christianity. Crosses put there are not by Lithuanians alone, but by people from all over the world. Dimensions of the Šiauliai Hill of Crosses are determined to be nearly 60 meters long and nearly 40 to 50 meters in its width. In fact, cross crafting is a unique Lithuanian art branch known as an important part of Lithuanian culture. The kind of craft is even included into the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The origin of these thousands of crosses here still remains a mystery, though most people believe it must have occurred after the uprising and rebellion in the year 1831, when people fought against the then ruling Tsarist government which did not respect their wishes of honoring their God. After another uprising in the year 1863, the popularity of the crosses increased and they also became more numerous in their overall total number.
The Hill of Crosses has seen a lot of damages throughout its lifetime. It was rebuilt and damaged and again brought to its current condition. The crosses made of wood were burnt to cinders many times and these made of metal or stone (concrete crosses) were broken to bits and buried by the Soviet government. There were even times when Soviet militia blocked the pathways and roads leading to the Hill of Crosses. Soviets were not happy about the national self expression demonstrated in this saint place.
In 1993 September the 7th pope John Paul II himself visited this historic site. The event then was of an incredible amount. Hundreds of thousands people came to this place to attend the Mass there then. The Pope then blessed Lithuania and all the Christian Europe. Nowadays people can visit his own crucifix erected there one year later after his visit. Seeing and experiencing saint things in a saint place is a wonderful experience. Do not bypass the Hill of Crosses as it is one of the best Lithuanian sights.
Hill Of Crosses Video
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Šiauliai Cathedral is an outstanding monument of renaissance in Lithuania. In addition, it is one of the most visited pilgimage sights once even visited by pope John Paul II.
Cross crafting is one an important object not only of Lithuanian, but also of World immaterial heritage objects. Variety and beauty of crosses in Lithuania astonishes everyone, especially those who visit the famous Hill of Crosses.
Šiauliai is the forth largest city in Lithuania. In written sources first time mentioned in 1236. Today Šiauliai has a population of about 130 000. Šiauliai is important industrial centre of Lithuania.
Šiluva town is a place attracting pilgrims from all Lithuania as well as from other countries. Šiluva is claimed to be one of 5 places in Europe where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared for people. In 1993 the Pope Paul II visited Šiluva.
Tytuvėnai Church and Monastery is a unique architectural monument of baroque and gothic styles in North East Europe. Also it is an important pilgrimage center, thus is attracts boths - culture lovers and prayers from all over the world.
UNESCO World Heritage. Even 5 Lithuanian masterpieces are included into UNESCO World Heritage list. The unforgettable Vilnius Old Town, beautiful Curonian Spit, art of cross crafting, inimitable tradition of song and dance celebrations and Kernavė representing disappeared culture.