The Hill of Crosses is a powerful symbol of hope, faith, and liberty. It has now become one of the must-visit destinations for pilgrims in Lithuania. In this article, we will be sharing all the information that you should know about the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania and why you should visit this sacred place.


    Hill of Crosses in Lithuania
    Hill of Crosses in Lithuania


    Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

    History of Hill of Crosses

    The tradition of planting crosses at this location started in 1850 or earlier. This purposeful gesture is a way to remember the victims of the Tsarist government's 1831 insurrection. After the second insurrection in 1863, the number of crosses increased. Shortly after, the Hill of Crosses gained a reputation as a sacred site, and pilgrims began to flock the area, notably during the Soviet era.

    As the Soviets began to regard the hill as a symbol of resistance to their authority, the crosses were burned, destroyed, or used as scrap metal. Despite that, Lithuanians covertly continued to plant crosses as a show of solidarity until a total of about 500 crosses were erected on the hill by 1973. The Soviets demolished the crosses once again and immediately dispatched soldiers to the hill to prevent any additional peaceful protests. Undeterred by the presence of the soldiers, many courageous Lithuanians continued to visit the hill in the dead of the night, adding fresh crosses every day to show their defiance and resistance to oppression.

    The Hill of Crosses were swamped with crosses after Lithuania declared its independence. Today, you can see crosses in all shapes and types: big, small, metal, wooden, stone, and nearly every other material conceivable.

    Hill of Crosses in Lithuania
    View of the Hill of Crosses from above
    Hill of Crosses in Lithuania
    Discover crosses in all shapes and types: big, small, metal, wooden, stone, and nearly every other material conceivable.
    Hill of Crosses vilnius
    After Lithuania declared its independence, the Hill of Crosses started to gain popularity.


    What to see and expect

    The Hill of Crosses is an eerily magnificent destination. The path through the maze of crosses is marked by little trails. The freezing Lithuanian wind whips across the exposed location, and the crosses jingle in the breeze, giving it a surreal appearance. It is understandable when people have a divided view of this place – some will say this place is unique and others might think it's spooky. However, keep in mind that these are just crosses that people plant – and it is not a burial ground. You can even bring your children to explore this place with you. As you discover the smaller, hidden trails, you are allowed to take pictures as well.

    It is said that a figure of Jesus sitting under a roof is the most iconic statue at the location. The monument is claimed to represent Jesus worshipping in secret, and it dates back to a time when religion was illegal in Lithuania. When Pope John Paul II visited the site in 1993, he proclaimed it a place of hope, peace, love, and sacrifice, emphasising its religious significance. On the summit, he celebrated mass and dubbed Lithuania the "Country of Crosses."

    Hill of Crosses Šiauliai
    This figure represents Jesus worshipping in secret during a time when religion was illegal in Lithuania.
    Hill of Crosses Šiauliai
    Eerie or beautiful? You decide!
    Hill of Crosses Lithuania
    Every corner at the Hill of Crosses is a sight to behold


    How many crosses are at Hill of Crosses

    There are over 200,000 crosses that have been brought to this tiny, sacred hill. Visitors continue to leave crosses at the site to pay homage to their loved ones or to make a plea. Therefore, the number of crosses is constantly increasing until today.

    Hill of Crosses history
    There are over 200,000 crosses at the Hill of Crosses
    Hill of Crosses travel guide
    The number of crosses continues to increase until today as visitors bring new ones from all around the world


    Entrance fee

    There is no admission fee to enter the Hill of Crosses as it is an open space.


    How to get to Hill of Crosses

    The Hill of Crosses is located approximately 12 kilometres outside of Šiauliai. Šiauliai is easily accessible from Vilnius by train and bus, or Riga and Kaunas by bus.


    Contact Information

    Address: Jurgaičiai 81439, Lithuania
    Opening hours: Open 24 hours
    Contact number: +370 41 370860

    A visit to the Hill of Crosses is a must whenever you are in Lithuania. Here, you can experience the indescribably spooky yet magical feeling of being surrounded by thousands of crosses with thousands of stories that will definitely give you something to think about. This hill is a place of “hope, peace, love and sacrifice" - and it definitely lives up to its claims.

    Don't forget to share your travel & dining moments with us on Instagram by tagging @rollinggrace or #RollingGrace. Happy travelling!