On today’s Hill of Crosses, near Šiauliai, there was an ancient castle burned down and destroyed by the Teutonic knights.
People began to erect crosses on the hill in the mid-1800s in memory of the dead and as a health appeal.
The crosses were carried by pilgrims who came here to pray, but also by talented artists and craftsmen.
Many attempts were made to destroy and burn the Hill of Crosses especially in Soviet times, but it survived as a sign of freedom.
In 1993 Pope John Paul II came to visit this hill and later made numerous references to this place in his speeches and donated a crucifix to Lithuania.
Lithuanian art, which survived the austere Soviet period, is included in the list of cultural heritage of UNESCO.