Hill of Three Crosses, Vilnius

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  • Look up towards the Three Crosses
    Look up towards the Three Crosses
    by gordonilla
  • Gordon and Raimundas
    Gordon and Raimundas
    by gordonilla
  • The Monument
    The Monument
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  • Carletto76's Profile Photo

    The 3 Crosses

    by Carletto76 Written Nov 29, 2004

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    Climbing up Gediminas hill you can have a look at the Hill of Three Crosses; it is a memorial place to remember the torture seven Franciscan monks were by the pagans.
    When the Grand Duke Algirdas was absent, some pagans tied the monks up the hill and threw them down to the river Vilnele saying: ‘Swim with the idol you order us to worship’. Since that day the hill was named "of the Three Crosses" as three crosses were erected there to commemorate the sad event.

    The Three Crosses

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Blown up by Soviets :-( and rebuilt :-)

    by matcrazy1 Updated May 31, 2004

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    Look eastwards from the top of the Gediminas Tower. I could see higher hill called the Hill of Three Crosses. There was white, cement monument of the Three Crosses there. Nowadays, the crosses, two of them well seen from the old town below, are a symbol of Lithuanian mourning and hope. Excuse, I didn't visit them, next time...

    The legend says that the first wooden crosses were put there in 14th century to commemorate seven Franciscan (Christian) monks murdered by pagans. They were destroyed when Vilnius was occupied by Russia in 19th century (after uprising against power of Moscow tsar in 1863) and rebuilt in 1916 under German occupation.

    Hmm, does it prove that Germans were more tolerant to religious feelings of Lithuanians than Russians? Probably yes, although Germans didn't support putting the crosses back. In 1951 Soviet, communist authorities ordered blowing the Three Ceosses and they did it "secretly" at night. They were reconstructed and put up again at the end of Soviet occupation in 1989. I was told that the opening ceremony was a big event and patriotic demonstration for Lithuanians fighting for independence under Soviet occupation.

    By the way, very many old, catholic churches and chapels were blown up in the Eastern Europe by orders of Soviet, communist authorities in 40' and 50' of 20th century. Luckily not in my country of Poland where a lot of old, wooden churches survived.
    It seems very strange that a lot of amazing culture was destroyed forever during "peaceful" times in the heart of 20th century Europe :-(((, yes, yes, the heart of Europe. The geographical center of Europe lies very close to Vilnius.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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  • ania70pl's Profile Photo

    Hill of Three Crosses

    by ania70pl Written Oct 6, 2003

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    The legend says that long ago seven Franciscan monks were crucified here. Crosses originally were erected in the 17th century but Stalin had them removed and buried and in 1989 were they rebuilt according to the original plans. The crosses are a great symbol of both Lithuanian mourning and hope.

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  • SandiMandi's Profile Photo

    Nice views

    by SandiMandi Written May 7, 2008

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    For some really nice views of Vilnius Old town, climb up to the hill of three crosses. It's a steep hill, but it's definitely worth it!

    The three crosses on the hill Vilnius Old Town
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Singles

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  • tim07's Profile Photo

    Hill of Three Crosses

    by tim07 Updated Oct 16, 2007

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    This can be reached via a walk up through Kalnu Park. The free view from the top takes in the Old Town, Cathedral Square, Gediminas Tower & in the distance the Television Tower.

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