6 hour tour to the Hill of Crosses
The real reason for the Hill's existence lies buried in Lithuania's history. Over the centuries, the place has come to signify the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism despite the threats it has faced throughout history. Invaded by Russia during the 1795 partition of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth Lithuania disappeared altogether from the map of Europe. When the old political structure of Eastern Europe fell apart in 1918, Lithuania once again declared its independence. Throughout this time, the Hill of Crosses was used as a place for Lithuanians to pray for peace, for their country and for the loved ones they had lost.
Most recently, the site took on a special significance during the years 1944-1990 when Lithuania was officially part of the USSR. Continuing to travel to the Hill and leave their tributes, Lithuanians used it to demonstrate their allegiance to their original identity, religion and heritage. Although the Soviets worked hard to remove new crosses, and bulldozed the site at least three times, the new crosses continued to appear and by 1985 the authorities had given up.
7th of September, 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the Hill of Crosses, declaring it a place for hope, peace, love and sacrifice.
This is a 6 hour tour and can be organized from Vilnius, Kaunas or Klaipeda.
This tour can be combined with visit to Rundale Palace in Latvia which is 1 hour drive from Hill of Crosses.