Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Hill of Crosses


No matter how many years I've lived I find there are still wonderful surprises waiting around the corner...
and on a hill in Lithuania, of all places. 

Have you ever heard of The Hill of Crosses?


The practice of placing crosses on a hill near Siauliai, Lithuania is thought to have started in 1831 as a memorial to people lost in the Polish-Russian War. It has continued since then, even though the practice was greatly discouraged during the long years (1944-1990) 
of the Soviet occupation.

The Soviets bulldozed the hill several times and, rumor has it, planned to build a dam to flood the place. Guards were assigned to watch the area, but the faithful snuck in anyway and planted crosses in defiance. I like to think that some of the guards put crosses there themselves or willingly turned a blind eye to those who did.

Despite those efforts to plow it under, the hill remains to this day and has grown to an estimated 200,000 crosses in the ground and who knows how many buried underneath 
by those who tried to stop it.

33 comments:

  1. Pope John Paul II visited this place :)

    I read it all started in 143 when a first chapel was built there to commemorate the baptism of Samogitia (Žemaitija) as this region of now Lithuania is called ;)

    1831 is not so much a year of a Polish-Russian war (I know that this term is used but it is a bit misleading)as the year of the so-called November Uprising, against the Russian Empire which was one of the oppressors of the Polish people...

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    1. Thank you, Agaja! I saw that online about the November Uprising, but it also referred to it as the war. It was confusing and I didn't quite know which to call it. Thank you for clearing it up!

      143...wow! It gives me chills that it went back so far and continues to this day. Seeds planted and prayers prayed by people long ago touch us today.

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  2. How very interesting! Never heard of it. It sounds like a very unique place. I suppose it has become a site of intense pilgrimage and tourism.

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    1. I had never heard of it either. Yesterday I saw a video on You Tube about it.

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  3. A beautiful history. The cross has the role of defending the place of evil.

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  4. I've heard of The Hill Of Crosses Sandi but have never seen photos of it. I'll have to check out that YouTube video. Have a day of blessings my friend.

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  5. Wow, crosses of every kind. I did not know about this. I am glad that someone stood up for it, and it was not destroyed. It is powerful!

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  6. The Pope visited Lithuania this year. It sounds like a place with a lot of history to it. What a sight this must be with the crosses on the hill. And it got to me, as I am part Polish myself. : )

    ~Sheri

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    1. I saw a picture of him at the hill. I think he was praying.

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  7. Incredible piece of Christian history.
    "Defiance" - I love that word :}

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  8. Sandi thank you dear for sharing this wonderful piece of history. The photo of the crosses is beautiful too. Have a blessed day. Hugs!

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  9. I had never heard of the Hill of Crosses, Sandi, so am so glad you wrote about it here. What a testimony to Christian faith!
    Blessings!

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  10. Hello dear Sandi.
    I haven’t heard about the Hill Of Crosses before.
    Very interesting and sad story. Thank you for sharing.
    Have a lovely day!
    Dimi...

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  11. I was in Lithuania and I know the Hill of Crosses.
    An unusual place.
    Greetings.

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  12. Sandi!

    There is a similar place in my country.


    https://bialystoksubiektywnie.com/blog/2017/01/06/grabarka-prawoslawna-czestochowa/

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    1. Thank you, Lucja-Maria! I looked at the website this afternoon. Wow!

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  13. I have seen it recently on another blog from someone who visited it while in the area. I was already aware of it- I first saw it in a documentary.

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  14. Wow. Thank you for writing about this! Beautiful.

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  15. Hi Sandi,
    this story reminds me that it does not matter how hard this world might try to wipe out the truth of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the Word of God - it will REMAIN. Thank God for Jesus, the sacrificial lamb.

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  16. I was astonished to know a history has not been hidden by a giant political power and.

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  17. I never heard of this before...now I need to know. Thank you for sharing this with us and educating us to what is an amazing show of perseverance of the saints of God through the years.

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  18. I've never heard of this, thanks for sharing.

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  19. Muy interesante lo que nos muestras, gracias por compartir. Feliz fin de semana

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  20. Thank you for sharing this story. I had no idea.

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  21. I've never heard of the crosses and what an amazing story.

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  22. 200,000 crosses? Wow. What an amazing memorial.

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  23. I love YouTube. That looks like an amazing place.

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