The Hill of Crosses has been accumulating crosses since the 14th century, when Teutonic Knights of the Holy Roman Empire occupied the nearby city of Šiauliai. New crosses tend to appear during periods of occupation or unrest as symbols of Lithuanian independence. The size and variety of crosses are as impressive as their number. Beautifully carved out of wood or sculpted from metal, the crosses range from three meters tall to countless tiny examples hanging profusely upon the larger crosses. An hour spent upon the sacred hill will reveal crosses brought by Catholic pilgrims, Orthodox devotees, and barefoot women in search of miraculous cures for their children. A careful observer will also notice that some wooden crosses have rotted away, while others are quite new.
The Christian Cross is a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus and His glorious victory over sin and death. It is a symbol of the atonement and a vivid reminder of God’s love in sacrificing His own Son to redeem man from his sins.