Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Kryžių Kalnas, Šiauliai - LITHUANIA
The last postcard Anton sent me shows one of the most peculiar places in Lithuania. Nobody knows why or when people started to leave crucifixes on this hill, but these days (specially since the Pope John Paul II visited and blessed the place) the Hill of Crosses has been growing fast. I saw a TV special about this place on National Geographic some time ago and it is quite impressive - they estimate that more than 200.000 crosses are on this hill. Thank you so much Anton for this big swap. This postcard took 6 days to arrive!
Kryžių Kalnas (The Hill of Crosses) is a site of pilgrimage about 12 km north of the city of Šiauliai, in northern Lithuania. The precise origin of the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is uncertain, but it is believed that the first crosses were placed on the former Jurgaičiai or Domantai hill fort after the 1831 Uprising. Over the centuries, not only crosses, but giant crucifixes, carvings of Lithuanian patriots, statues of the Virgin Mary and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims.