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Photographer's Note

This is from the Hill of crosses, Kryių kalnas, in northern Lithuania, a short distance from the city of iauliai. The hill is not very high and in this picture it's hidden behind the huge number of crosses.

It is not entirely known for how long Lithuanians have had the tradition of erecting crosses in this place. Some say it goes back to medieval times. It seems to have been started on a larger scale in the 19th century, when locals who had lost family members in uprisings against Russian rule came here to pray for their loved ones whose bodies they could not retrieve.

During the many years of Soviet rule the Hill of crosses gained a strong symbolic significance as an expression of resistance to what was perceived as a foreign occupation. On a number of times Soviet troops tried to clear the hill, bulldozing the crosses, but as soon as they left the locals came back with new ones.

Today the hill is entirely covered with crosses, large crucifix and statues of various kinds, some beautiful, others less so but all of them expressions of a strong faith that can move even a dedicated non-believer.

Nobody knows the number of crosses here. According to Wikipedia they were estimated at 100 000 in 2006, and probably tens of thousands have been added since then. People come here all the time, and this has become one of the major attractions of Lithuania.

I will add a couple of workshops.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10303 W: 523 N: 19935] (87575)
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