The Hill of Crosses is an amazing site in Lithuania which you should try to visit if ever in the country. Funnily, when we had decided on our Lithuania roadtrip, we had a meeting with our bank clerk (on bank matters mind you) and turned out he’d just been to Lithuania! He went on tell us all about his visit and what was worth seeing. I think he and I would both agree that the Hill of Crosses should be on top of any visitor’s list.
You will find the hill 12km North of Šiauliai. It is easily accessed by car but taking a bus and walking a bit is also possible.
Legend says that the first crosses were brought here in the 19th Century.
It is interesting to know that during the Soviet occupation, the site was bulldozed but devotees sneaked past guards to plant the crosses again and again in a small act of rebellion.
The Soviets even tried to cover the area in waste and sewage.
It was only in 1985 that the site was left in peace.
It is very interesting to look at the different kinds of crosses there – metal, wood, ornamental, tiny, huge.. You can also see rosaries, statues, crusifixes..
The Pope John Paul II has visited the hill in 1993. He was greatly impressed and rightfully declared it a place of hope, peace, love and sacrifice.
Pilgrims flock to this sacred site.
The hill seems to be in the middle of nowhere.
As the wind blows through the area, the crosses form a twinkling sound.
The Hill of Crosses is a very important symbol of religion and nationalism for the Lithuanians.
Did you know that cross making is a traditional folk art in Lithuania?
Even the Soviets did not manage to root it out of the country.
The hill truly is a tranquil place.
You can, of course, bring you own cross too. Many do, some attached with prayers.
We saw some huge snails along the way. This one had been lucky enough to dodge a crushing tourist foot.
Have you visited the Hill of Crosses?