The Hill of Crosses

The Hill of Crosses | Lithuania

The Hill of Crosses

A hillock planted with crosses upon is located in the fields around 12 north from Šiauliai. Well known as the Hill of Crosses. A wooden castle, called Kula, was standing on that mound and was destroyed by the Livonian Army in 1348. From many years, a hill, called Pilies, Maldavimų, a mound of Jurgaičiai, Domantų stood bare. According to local people the first crosses were erected in the mind of the 19th century to pray to God for mercy and health, since people considered that place to be sacred. According to other sources, the first crosses were built in the mid of the 19th century to honour those perished in the 1931 and 1863 uprisings against Imperial Russia. The occupational power prohibited erecting crosses and demolished those already built.

In Soviet power decided to deal with the Hill of Crosses in the spring of 1961. With the assistance of soldiers were burnt, metal crosses were brought to scrap warehouses, those of stone and concrete were laid out in building the roads or buried. However, The Hill of Crosses throughout the period of Lithuania’s occupation has survived as a symbol of heroic resistance and belief in freedom.

The Hill of Crosses gained worldwide fame, when Pope John Paul II visited it on 7th of September 1993. The Pope blessed Lithuania and whole Cristian Europe in the chapel build in front of the Hill of Crosses.

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