Three Crosses Monument – Vilnius

As a protector of the city of Vilnius, at the top of the hill, stands the Monument of the Three Crosses high. 

Today the Hill of Three Crosses is one of the most recognizable places in all of Vilnius, surrounded by dark woods and legends, this hill is the remnant of an ancient castle.

There are some legends about the construction of the Three Crosses Monument. 

The most popular is that of the 14 Franciscan monks invited to Vilnius during the fourteenth century. The visit of the monks and their public preaching of the Gospel infuriated the citizens as the pagan creed was widely alive among the inhabitants of Vilnius, with the consequence that all 14 friars were killed. Seven of them were beheaded on the hill where the Three Crosses Monument is located. 

According to historical references, the Three Wooden Crosses were located on the hill until their collapse in the second part of the nineteenth century.

At that time, the Russian tsarist authority did not grant permission to rebuild them. 

Later, during the First World War, the German army occupied Vilnius, and the German authorities granted the reconstruction of the concrete crosses.

With the Soviet occupation the monument of the Three Crosses was demolished. 

During Lithuania’s reform movement, they were rebuilt again as a symbol of Lithuanian identity and resistance to the oppression of the Soviet Union.

The remains of the Three Crosses destroyed by the Soviets are located at the entrance of the new memorial.

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