Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
Religious fervour abounds in northern Lithuania, where, on a hillside not far from Šiauliai, crosses and crucifixes tower over all, a breath-taking sight, but one that can leave visitors feeling somewhat unsettled.
The precise number of crosses here is unknown (their number is growing all the time), but there are more than 100,000 dotted all over the hillside, filling all available spaces and forever jostling for position. The authorities in Lithuania have, on occasion, tried to clear the site, but to no avail. The crosses always return, ever greater in number.
Their precise origin is a mystery, but with crosses thought to have first appeared following the 1831 uprising, this is a custom that has long persisted. The Hill of Crosses has come to represent the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholics, but as the dangling rosaries chime and jingle in the breeze here, it can sometimes leave sightseers with a deep sense of unease.
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