Tour to the Hill of Crosses
The Hill of Crosses, near Siauliai, is an unforgettable, emotional site. It is located 12 km North of Siauliai on the road to Meskuciai. Despite Soviet attempts to destroy the site, thousands of crosses stand on this sacred spot. The crosses with handwritten messages, reveal much about the history of the Lithuanian people and testify to their strong will and faith. Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass at the site in 1993.
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. The Hill of Crosses was a place for Lithuanians to pray for peace, their country, and the loved ones they had lost.
Most recently, the site took on a special significance during 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.
On the 7th of September, 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the Hill of Crosses, declaring it a place for hope, peace, love, and sacrifice.
Daily tour to the Hill of Crosses
Departure every day from Vilnius at 9 o’clock
Starting point: Free pick up from your hotel in the central part of Vilnius (please inform in advance at the time of your booking if you require a free pick up).
Duration 8-9 hours
On this tour, you will visit a unique landmark in Lithuania – the Hill of Crosses. You will learn about the cross-making craft – one of the most unique Lithuanian crafts included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
On request, there may be a stop for lunch at the local food restaurant on the way back.
Price: 89 €/person*
The price includes transport and an audio guide in English.
*The minimum number of 2 participants apply. The tour can be cancelled if there are not enough participants to meet the requirement. In the event of this, you will be offered an alternative solution.
Hill of Crosses tour can be combined with the visit to Rundale Palace in Latvia which is about one and half hour drive from the site.