Nearly 185 years ago, Lithuanians placed the first crosses on this hill which has become a sacred pilgrimage site. After researching the Hill of Crosses, we’d like to tell you the story of the people and site as it’s become a symbol of hope, of religious perseverance, of faith and even of freedom for Lithuanian people.
Hill of Crosses on a sunny day in Lithuania. Some estimates say there are 100,000 crosses on this hill, but that seems like a low estimate for this pilgrimage site that is packed with crosses, statues, carvings, rosaries and other offerings and mementos
“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there,” ~ quote by Clarence W. Hall. During Easter week, the Hill of Crosses pilgrimage site is especially busy; the first crosses were placed here 184 years ago by Lithuanian relatives of victims killed during an anti-Russian uprising in 1831. An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 insurgents lost their lives in the uprising. Many loved ones placed a cross on the hill if they could not find the bodies. From that time to 1975, Soviets tried to destroy this site over and over again; yet Lithuanians continued to place crosses here.