"The hill has quite magic..." Siauliai Things to Do Tip by vysnaite
Siauliai Things to Do: 67 reviews and 183 photos
The hill has quite magic history.. it seems to be eternal and impossible to destroy. The first crosses must have appeared there in 1831 in this year they were marking Lithuanian upraising spirits against Russians that year. The flourishing began after death of Stalin, when many people returning from gulags began placing crosses in the memory of those who have never returned. Soviet government tried to stop it not once (catholic faith was illegal) : 'On one occasion, the Soviets flooded the place, turning the Hill into a virtual island. The Communists exhausted themselves in designing new ways to stop the faithful from planting the symbols of resurrection. They dug ditches, closed bus stops, posted signs, punished trespassers, and blocked roads.'
On the whole communistic government bulldozed the hill three times , but every night the new crosses rose up. <Br>
'In Spring 1961 the Soviet government decided to finish with the Hill of Crosses for good. It was simply bulldozed, the wooden crosses were burned, the iron crosses were taken to the scrap metal store, the stone crosses were buried into the soil. But no matter the governmental efforts, new crosses appeared overnight in memory of Stalin's unbearable torture, and of those who died for their country's freedom. A real War Of Crosses burst out and lasted for more than ten years. The Soviet government went so far as to flooding the place, blocking the roads and turning the Hill of Crosses into an inaccessible island. But all was in vain, new crosses always appeared overnight,'
The last try was in 1975 after that they stopped trying to do something about it.
Now on the hill there's millions of crosses from every corner of the world: Japan, Europe - you name it!(and hey, don't forget Lithuania is independent country and not a part of Russia, here is mentioned only one period of Russian occupation !)
In 1990 after collapse of communism it was declared a sacred place. In 1993 Pope John Paul II held there a Mass, since then it became even more pilgrimage spot. A new monastery is built near it now.
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