The Hill of Crosses

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Comments (173)

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Jan Sognnes on January 8, 2012

Very impressive composition! Like & Favorite

Greetings, Jan

Boris Boris on January 8, 2012

The Hill of Crosses (Lithuanian: Kryžių kalnas is a site of pilgrimage about 12 km north of the city of Šiauliai, in northern Lithuania. The precise origin of the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is uncertain, but it is believed that the first crosses were placed on the former Jurgaičiai or Domantai hill fort after the 1831 Uprising. Over the centuries, not only crosses, but giant crucifixes, carvings of Lithuanian patriots, statues of the Virgin Mary and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims. The exact number of crosses is unknown, but estimates put it at about 55,000 in 1990 and 100,000 in 2006.

Over the centuries, the place has come to signify the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism despite the threats it faced throughout history. After the 3rd partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, Lithuania became part of the Russian Empire. Poles and Lithuanians unsuccessfully rebelled against Russian authorities in 1831 and 1863. These two uprisings are connected with the beginnings of the hill: as families could not locate bodies of perished rebels, they started putting up symbolic
crosses in place of a former hill fort.

When the old political structure of Eastern Europe fell apart in 1918, Lithuania once again declared its independence. Throughout this time, the Hill of Crosses was used as a place for Lithuanians to pray for peace, for their country, and for the loved ones they had lost during the Wars of Independence. Most recently, the site took on a special significance during the years 1944–1990, when Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. Continuing to travel to the Hill and leave their tributes, Lithuanians used it to demonstrate their allegiance to their original identity, religion and heritage. It was a venue of peaceful resistance, although the Soviets worked hard to remove new crosses, and bulldozed the site at least three times (including attempts in 1963 and 1973). There were even rumors that the authorities planned to build a dam on the nearby Kulvė River, a tributary to Mūša, so that the hill would end up under water. On September 7, 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the Hill of Crosses, declaring it a place for hope, peace, love and sacrifice. In 2000 a Franciscan hermitage was opened nearby. The interior decoration draws links with La Verna, the mountain where St. Francis received his stigmata. The hill remains under nobody's jurisdiction; therefore people are free to build crosses as they see fit.

Boris Boris on January 8, 2012

Jan, thank you very much, my friend!

With best wishes from Latvia,

  • Boris .*
lana maria miranda on January 8, 2012

Yes .. after reading the comment I can understand ... A sad story, but perseverance wins! Thanks for the nice explanation ... and also the fantastic shot!


Gotele on January 8, 2012

wonderful, fav

annaclub on January 9, 2012

A fantastic place!!! Why there are all these crosses??? -lk- A dear regard, Anna

Boris Boris on January 9, 2012

Lana ! I am happy that this shot left an impression on your mind, thanks for the kind comment!

Best wishes from Latvia,

  • Boris .*
Boris Boris on January 9, 2012

Gotele ! Thank you for your friendly visit!

Best wishes from Latvia,

  • Boris .*
Boris Boris on January 9, 2012

Anna ! These crosses symbolize the sea of ​​love!

Best wishes,

  • Boris .*
Alex Bazhan on January 9, 2012

Царство мертвых! Впечатляет.

Boris Boris on January 9, 2012

Спасибо,Алексей! Но только это не кладбище, можете перевести мой комментарий.

С приветом из Риги,,


Bermard Agulo on January 9, 2012

Interesting place, a great place to visit, impressive shot!

F3 + L5

best wishes,


**(^^)**petitparis**… on January 9, 2012

Hello Boris

It's... a sad with a hopeful hill...!

I pray for Lithuanians and their peace.


All my best wishes,petitparis

*natalia* on January 9, 2012

Υπέροχη φανταστική!Χαιρετισμούς natalia

*natalia* on January 9, 2012

Awesome! Fantastic! Dream! I like! Greetings NATALIA

Majka44 on January 9, 2012

Great place,interesting photo.


Best wishes from Slovakia


Alina Sbitneva on January 9, 2012

Интересный комментарий № 2.

Like Aлинa

Oleg Timofeev on January 9, 2012

Потрясающее место - надо будет крестик оставить )))

Dimitris Liapopoulos… on January 9, 2012

Interesting photo of a historic district.

Like 11

Warm greetings, Dimitris

Boris Boris on January 9, 2012

Bernardo, petitparis, natalia, Majka, Dimitris, Thank you for your compliments!

Greetings from Riga,

  • Boris .*
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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 8, 2012
  • Attribution-No Derivative Works
    by Boris Boris
    • Camera: SAMSUNG EX1
    • Taken on 2012/01/07 15:13:46
    • Exposure: 0.001s (1/1500)
    • Focal Length: 12.30mm
    • F/Stop: f/2.300
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash