Hill of Crosses
Hill of Crosses information
One of Lithuania's most awe-inspiring sights is the legendary Hill of Crosses. The sound of the thousands of crosses – which appear to grow on the hillock – tinkling in the breeze is wonderfully eerie. Planted here since at least the 19th century and probably much older, the crosses were bulldozed by the Soviets, but each night people crept past soldiers and barbed wire to plant more, risking their lives or freedom to express their national and spiritual fervour.
Some of the crosses are devotional, others are memorials (many for people deported to Siberia) and some are finely carved folk-art masterpieces.
The hill is 12km north of the central city of Šiauliai along Hwy A12 near the village of Jurgaičiai. From the highway, it's another 2km east from a well-marked turn-off ('Kryžių kalnas 2'). From Šiauliai, take a Joniškis-bound bus (€1.20, 10 minutes, up to seven daily) to the 'Domantai' stop and walk for 15 minutes, or grab a taxi (around €18).
Šiauliai is reachable by bus from Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda. For accommodation, consult the Tourism Information Centre .