Photographer's Note

The Hill of Crosses, located near the town of Siauliai in Lithuania is one of the landmarks of Lithuania. No one really knows the exact number of crosses people leave on and around the hill but it is still growing and must be counted in millions. There are small wooden crosses, or huge figures and altars.

No one owns or runs the Hill of Crosses. There are no tickets to buy or opening hours.

There are claims that the first crosses were planted in the Middle Ages, but the first written record is from 1850, and may refer to crosses planted in memory of victims of the 1831 rebellion against the Russians, whose burial places were unknown by loved ones. The number of crosses swelled after another rebellion in 1863. In the early 1900s, when we next have a record to refer to, there were about 150 crosses. Numbers dropped a bit after the First World War (we don’t know why – cross casualty?) but were up to around 400 by the late 1930s. Then things really took off.

By 1961, when the Soviet government of the time decided that religious sentiment had gone a bit too far, they had over 5,000 crosses to contend with. This they did with the aid of a bulldozer. In an attempt to stop crosses reappearing, the area was guarded by the KGB, rumoured to be infected with various ‘epidemics’, and there were even discussions about flooding it. But the crosses kept reappearing.

Despite all the restrictions, the bulldozers had another 1,200 crosses to crush in 1975. Thus the Hill of Crosses now is not just a site of religious significance, but a bristling testament to Lithuanian defiance and independence.

info taken from Lithuania In Your Pocket

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Kris Romanski (amstel) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 661 W: 48 N: 361] (2388)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2008-08-07
  • Exposure: f/4, 1/250 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2008-08-11 12:41
Viewed: 2152
Points: 10
  • None
Additional Photos by Kris Romanski (amstel) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 661 W: 48 N: 361] (2388)
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