What You Should Know About the Hill of Crosses, Lithuania?
Hill of Crosses (Kryžių kalnas) is located 12 km north of the city of Šiauliai in northern Lithuania.
From Vilnius to Hill of Crosses – 221km (around 3h by car) Map.
From Riga to Hill of Crosses – 123km (around 2h by car) Map.
Facts About the Hill of Crosses
1. The Hill of Crosses currently has over 100,000 crosses from all over the world. There are actually too many to count.
2. The first cross was put there in the 1800’s.
3. There are two stories that go with the hill – a story of faith and healing & a story of nationalism and the fighting spirit of the Lithuanian people.
History of the Hill of Crosses
The first story is that a Lithuanian farmer had a very sick daughter who was going to die. He tried every kind of medicine and went to every doctor he could find. No matter what he did, her health just got worse. Every night, he sat by her bedside, holding her hand, wishing she would get better.
One night, while sitting by her bed, he fell asleep. That night he had a dream. In his dream, a woman dressed in all white came to him and told him that if he wanted his daughter to get better he had to follow her instructions. He was told to build a large wooden cross. He was then to take the wooden cross across the country and place it on a hill. It would be a sign of faith and love for God, and if he did this his daughter would be healed.
He had no other options at this point and decided to build the cross. He carried the cross 13 hours each way to Siauliai. Here, he put the wooden cross up on the hill. Tired and worn down, he started his long journey home.
When he finally reached his hometown, his wife and daughter were both waiting for him. They had amazing news – his daughter had somehow been cured of her illness! She was out of bed, awake, and joyfully awaiting his return!
The story of the miracle hill spread throughout Lithuania. People would pilgrimage to the site and place a cross on the hill hoping it would also cure their sick loved ones. It became the Hill of Crosses that performed miracles!
The second story: For those of you who do not know a lot about Lithuanian history, they have a long and sordid past with the Soviet Union dating back to the 1800’s. In the 1800’s, Lithuania had been occupied and were under Russian regime. The official religion was Russian Orthodox, and the official language was Russian. They were forbidden to practice any other religion, hang any crosses, or speak any other language other than Russian in public.
How to get to Hill Of Crosses?
- You can rent car and visit Hill Of Crosses from Riga (around 2 hours, one way) or Vilnius (around 3 hours, one way). From Vilnius you can have day trip Hill Of Crosses and Siauliai. From Riga you can have day trip to Hill of Crosses and Rundāle palace.
- Other option is if you are visiting Riga and Vilnius in your trip. Then you can have transfer with sightseeing stops in Hill of Crosses and Rundāle Palace. Both directions – Vilnius-Riga or Riga Vilnius. Here you can find our offer for transfer. Price starting from 70 EUR/PAX
- Also you can have private day tours from Riga or Vilnius. Here you can find tour from Riga. Prices starting from 60 EUR/PAX