One of the strangest and most memorable sights in Lithuania is the small Hill of Crosses in Northern Lithuania. Devout Catholics from all over the world have brought thousands upon thousands of crosses of all sizes there, as well as crucifixes and statues of Jesus and Saint Mary. We didn't have time to count the crosses but different sources claim there are between 30 000 and 100 000 of them! The tradition of placing crosses dates back to the the year 1931 and has been a form of peaceful resistance during times of foreign occupation, most recently during Soviet times.
In Soviet times the occupation forces burned down all the crosses three times during the 1960s and 1970s. Each time Lithuanians and pilgrims erected new ones to replace them, risking severe consequences.
If you get inspired by the atmosphere and develop a sudden urge to place your own cross on the hill, don't worry. There are a couple of souvenir stands selling crosses big and small by the parking lot.
General view of the Hill of Crosses.
One might call this view a "forest of crucifixes" and it
wouldn't be an overstatement.
Three giant crucifixes.
Two old women walking down the hill.
Statue of Jesus. The text in the cross is in Latin and means
"In this sign you shall conquer"
Statue of Saint Mary on top of the hill.
The Hill of Crosses offers dramatic views at dusk.
One final note: the hill is a deeply significant and sacred place for the believers, so it is preferable not to take close-up photos of them.
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