pilgrimage site

the hill of crosses: a photo essay

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Looking around, we see fields and fields of green grass! And then we see a hill. And on that hill, we see thousands and thousands of crosses.

Hundreds of thousands of crucifixes of all different varieties: wooden ones, metal ones, miniscule ones and gigantic ones.

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The Hill of Crosses is quite a remarkable sight. We felt a great reverence for those who have had a cross placed here for them as we walk through the narrow paths lined with crosses. This is a sacred pilgrimage site and we can certainly see why. There is a strong spiritual feel and a sense of peacefulness. Its location probably helps as it is rather removed from the hustle bustle of a major city.

The information behind the origin is all very hazy but it is believed that relatives placed crosses here for those who were killed during the 1800s uprising between Eastern Europe and the Russian Empire. Over the years, it has become a symbolic “grave” for anyone that has passed away.

During the Russian Occupation of Lithuania, this was the Lithuanians show of their unity, faith and identity.

The last thing we see during our visit is a stone that is inscribed with the words of Pope John Paul II following his visit. This really was a fitting summary of what we saw!

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We found this a moving place to visit.

Have you been to the Hill of Crosses? 

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