Hill Of Crosses


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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