Šiauliai

- Hill of CrossesThe Hill of Crosses is one of the most mysterious, beautiful, and spiritual places in the country. Decorated with thousands of crucifixes, the Hill of Crosses is a long-standing Lithuanian tradition of individual devotion at a single, sacred place.

The Hill of Crosses is situated in the middle of an arable land, sixteen kilometers from Šiauliai. It is seen from Šiauliai – Ryga highway. The hill is 60 meters long and 40-50 meters wide.

The crosses on the Hill were first mentioned in written chronicles in 1850, but it is believed that the first crosses were put by the relatives of the victims of the rebellion in 1831 as the tsarist government did not allow the families to honor their deads properly. Crosses of the kind became more numerous after the other rebellion in 1863.

In the beginning of the 20th century the Hill of Crosses was already widely known as a sacral place. In addition to many pilgrims visiting, it was also a place for Masses and devotions. The Hill of Crosses became of special importance during Soviet times – this was the place of anonymous but surprising persistence to the regime. The Soviet government considered the crosses and the hill a hostile and harmful symbol.



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