Up on a hill, 12km north of the town of Šiauliai, 188km northwest of Vilnius and 170km east of Klaipėda, lies the Hill of Crosses (Kryžių Kalnas), an ever-growing, awe-inspiring collection of over 200,000 crosses, statues and effigies. There are many myths surrounding the Hill’s origin, some dating back to pagan times, although the most plausible is that it was to commemorate rebels killed in nineteenth-century uprisings against the Russian Empire. In the Soviet era, they were planted by grieving families to commemorate killed and deported loved ones, and kept multiplying despite repeated bulldozing by the authorities. Today, crosses are often planted to give thanks for a happy event in a person’s life.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Lithuania features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 reasons to visit Lithuania this summer

7 reasons to visit Lithuania this summer

Stuck for summer holiday inspiration? Lithuania has loads to offer, from wild, dune-backed beaches to even wilder festivals. And, with the country gearing up t…

20 Jun 2017 • Monica Woods insert_drive_file Article
A first-timer's guide to Central and Eastern Europe: 10 places to visit

A first-timer's guide to Central and Eastern Europe: 10 places to visit

Central and Eastern Europe are among the culturally diverse parts of the world, preserving a plethora of deep-rooted traditions. What’s more, large tracts of …

12 Dec 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
10 great winter destinations in Central and Eastern Europe

10 great winter destinations in Central and Eastern Europe

Forget the plummeting temperatures and long dark nights, winter is a hugely rewarding season in which to visit Central and Eastern Europe. Frozen rivers, frosty…

28 Nov 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month