Just outside of the city of Siauliai in Lithuania, lies the Hill of Crosses or Kryzių Kalnas, as it's called in Lithuanian. The city of Siauliai was founded in 1236 and occupied by Teutonic Knights during the 14th century. The tradition of placing crosses dates from this period and probably began as a symbol of Lithuanian defiance against foreign invaders. Since the medieval period, the Hill of Crosses has represented the peaceful resistance of Lithuanian Catholicism to oppression and become an historic monument and place of pilgrimage. The Pope John Paul visited the Hill of Crosses in the fall of 1993.
It is estimated that there are over 100,00 crosses adorning the site today, from small pendants to some three metres in height. Rosaries, pictures of Jesus and the saints, and photographs of Lithuanian patriots also decorate the larger crosses.
|Photo credit: Jordi Bernadó|
|Photo: Dalla Motik|
|Photo by Carlos Pecuch|
|Crosses and rosaries - photo by J.Pemberton|
|The Franciscan monastery ay the base of the hill of crosses|