Haunted “Hill of Crosses” in Siauliai – Lithuania | European Attraction

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Lithuania's national treasure, the Hill of Crosses, has a troubled and mysterious history. The Soviets repeatedly tried to destroy it. Now, it's become a symbol of the nation's struggle and spirituality. The Hill of Crosses — a small mountain of approximately 100,000 crosses — is a curious phenomenon. No one manages or organises it — it just is. The Soviets razed it again and again, only to have the crosses reappear. As Prof Viatanis Rimkis explains: "During the struggle for our freedom, the crosses became a weapon that was invincible."

hill of crosses, siauliai, lithuania, tourism, europe, documentary, visitors, tourist attraction, mysterious, baltic states

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.

 

hill of crosses, siauliai, lithuania, tourism, europe, documentary, visitors, tourist attraction, mysterious, baltic states

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. It is estimated that there are over 100,000 crosses on the hill.




 

hill of crosses, siauliai, lithuania, tourism, europe, documentary, visitors, tourist attraction, mysterious, baltic states

Sources vary as to when the crosses first started appearing on the hill near Siauliai. One story is that in the thirteenth century, when Lithuania was mostly Pagan and before it had been Christianized, a group of Pagans burned down a church on that spot.

 

hill of crosses, siauliai, lithuania, tourism, europe, documentary, visitors, tourist attraction, mysterious, baltic states




The remnants formed two hills and as a memorial to the priests of that church people started placing Crosses there. Many variations to this story exist, such as two Christian crusaders were passing by and were killed at that spot, as opposed to there ever being a church there.

 

hill of crosses, siauliai, lithuania, tourism, europe, documentary, visitors, tourist attraction, mysterious, baltic states

The site was first mentioned as early as the 14th century. In more recent times, the Hill has become a source of national pride. This occurred during 1831 and 1863, when anti-Soviet uprisings occurred, and once again during the 50 year Soviet occupation of Lithuania, which began with the second world war.

 




hill of crosses, siauliai, lithuania, tourism, europe, documentary, visitors, tourist attraction, mysterious, baltic states

The Soviets bulldozed the hill three times and dug a ditch around the hill to stop anyone from entering this site. Yet people continued to plant crosses. Planting a cross was considered a punishable crime by the Soviets, yet crosses continued to appear.

 

hill of crosses, siauliai, lithuania, tourism, europe, documentary, visitors, tourist attraction, mysterious, baltic states

In 1991, with the advent of Lithuanian independence, the Hill of Crosses became a national symbol of the fight for independence. At that time, an estimated 35,000 crosses were already laid, varying in size from a few centimetres to 4 meters. The Pope John Paul II paid homage to the site in 1993 and donated a statue of the crucified Christ.




 

hill of crosses, siauliai, lithuania, tourism, europe, documentary, visitors, tourist attraction, mysterious, baltic states

Today, the crosses number in the hundred of thousands and is visited by many thousands of visitors and pilgrims from all over the world.


YouTube Video Of Hill of Crosses – Lithuania

[youtube width=”800″ height=”500″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0nX9PGRW64[/youtube]


[youtube width=”800″ height=”500″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBMyWTGy7Yk[/youtube]

 

Tell us more about your favourite places in comments below!


H/T: Wikipedia.com

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