The Jurgaiciai mound, the so called Hill of Crosses, is situated 12 kilometers from Siauliai – Riga highway and railway. Local people refer to it us the Hill of Prayers, Begging, Castle, Sventakalnis, and Pilius. It is believed, that there once stood a castle, which was called Kule, or Kulan, which was burnt together with three other castles by the Swordsmen in 1348. Most likely, the name of the castle comes from the name of Kulpe river, which runs nearby. TThe crosses were first mentioned in written chronicles in 1850, though most often there are appearance is related with the suppression and repression of the rebellion of 1831. This is what the famous historian L. Krzywicki was told at the end of the XIX century by local people. At that time were 130 crosses on the hill and a brick chapel.
In the beginning of the XX century, the Hill of Crosses was already a well known place; in addition to vvisits from many people, it was also a site for masses and religious festivals. The Soviet government considered the crosses and the hill to be a hostile symbol. In 1961, for this reason, they started to destroy the Hill of CCrosses. But each time the hill was torn down (four total) the crosses would reappear. In 1988, with the fresh wind of revival, the Hill of Crosses gained a different status. At this time, it became both a Lithuanian and world phenomenon. Today, there are over 50.000 crosses, statuettes, pictures of saints, and poles with the statuettes, many adorned with numerous rosaries. The hill is decorated with beautiful ornament of crosses. People of all faiths and nationalities visit the hill to find peace, and to be head by God.
The Hill of crosses is a real shrine of spirit, and a unique cultural and historic monument. The Hill of Crosses is a living of silent witness to wars, occupations, exiles, rrepressions and other disasters. The fates of the earth and its people, nations and nature appear to combine together into a mighty anthem, which echoes the words of love and respect, said by the Pope John Paul II in 1990 in ...
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