Šiauliai

Hill of Crosses

17 Aug 2019
Located approximately 12km north of Šiauliai on what some believe to be an ancient castle mound, the precise origins of the Hill of Crosses (Kryžių Kalnas) are hotly disputed. Some argue that the first planting of a cross dates back as far as the Middle Ages, although no evidence exists of any activity until 1831 when crosses were planted to mark the November Uprising of the same year. The hill only really came into life after the death of Stalin in 1953, when Catholics returning from Siberian exile began planting crosses in memory of those who never returned. Numerous attempts by the Soviets to bulldoze the site during the 1960s failed. In 1993, the late Pope John Paul II visited, and since then it’s become one of Lithuania's major tourist attractions. Visitors are welcome to add their own crosses. Take a bus towards Joniškis, get off at the Domantai stop and follow the signs. By car, take the A12 north out of the city and look for the sign. A one-way taxi ride from Šiauliai costs around €20.

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