Think of 400 thousand crosses, of all kinds and size, wiped out on a hill.
An image that might appear at least curious.
And yet, it is only at the end of the journey that leads to the Jurgaičiai hill, which can be understood the meaning of profound devotion that pervades the whole place.
When the first crosses appear on the hill.
Behind each there is a small story. The memory of a family member. A friend. A martyr or a fall in war.
A memory of which, in all probability, the one who has planted him in the ground will be guardian.
A ritual far in time that, despite the ostracism of some adverse governments, managed to continue. And to strengthen thanks to the contribution of the faithful.
Some crosses are undoubtedly of great bills but, overall, you will not find monuments worthy of note. Neither great religious temples. Only hundreds of thousands of crosses of all sizes and materials.
And yet, today, the Hill of Crosses is one of the most suggestive religious places in the world. A real monument of national identity.
It is no coincidence that in 1993, Pope John Paul II returns to this place during his visit to Lithuania.
The place of pilgrimage is located exactly in Jurgaičiai, near the Lithuanian city of Šiaulai, along the E77 from Kalingrad to Riga.
Šiaulai is the reference base to reach the destination. The hill is located about 11 kilometers from the town center.
The car is the best way to arrive. A large car park is located near the information center, where you can also find a souvenir shop. Take the A12/E77 for about 8 km and turn on the road 4033. The indications are present but a support navigator is always preferable.
Parking costs €1. In a few minutes walk you arrive at your destination.
You can alternatively use Šiauliai urban bus – Joniškis. You go down to the domantai stop, about 2 km away
The curiosity that could push you to visit this place, gives way almost immediately to the sacredness of the place.
There is no accuracy, scheme or logic, in the arrangement of the crosses. There is no homogeneity in size and materials. Some crosses are wooden, and others of plastic or iron. Some small, and other immense. Crosses accompanied by photos or messages.
And it is precisely the spontaneity to make the hill of crosses even more unique.
At the foot of the hill is the crucifix donated by his father during his visit.
The site is open all day.
No admission ticket is provided. The entrance is free for everyone.