It is a site 12km north of the city of Šiauliai in Lithuania, it is a site of pilgrimage and the exact time at which the practise of leaving crosses began is unknown. The practise most likely came from around the two uprisings of the Polish and Lithuanian people against the Russian authorities. The Russian Empire took control in 1795, two uprisings from 1831 and 1863 left many perished rebels with their bodies unclaimed and never returned to their family. The crosses are symbols of the fallen and represent the endurance of the Lithuanian Catholocism.

During 1944 – 1990 people continued to travel up the hill, displaying an allegiance to their original identity. It was a venue of resistance and the occupied Soviet Union tried to remove crosses and even bulldozed it three times.

7th September 1993, Pope John Paul II visited, he declared it a place for hope, peace, love and sacrifice. As the hill remains under nobody’s jurisdiction people remain free to build crosses as they see fit.

Kryžių_kalnas_(Góra_Krzyży)

 

Kryžių kalnas (Góra Krzyży)” by Pudelek (Marcin Szala) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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