They say there are 55,000 in total, but I really wonder if it is more than that. One can easily get lost in the sea of relics on display at the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania. I had seen pictures before setting out on the 3 hour bus ride to the small town of Siauliai, but none will ever do the site justice.
It is said that people started leaving crosses here as early as the 1831 uprising against Russia. Crosses were left at this site when they couldn’t find the bodies of loved ones. Later, when occupied by the Soviet Union, Lithuanians would continue to travel here to leave crosses in remembrance of their cultural identity. The Soviet forces even bulldozed the site at least 3 times, so it is even more amazing to see how many crosses have accumulated in this location since then.
Some people might dismiss the site since it sounds to be a huge religious site, but it is truly so much more than that. The history and cultural significance of the Hill of Crosses make this site a must-see in Lithuania.