Tourism and business information center of Šiauliai district

The history of the Hill of Crosses since the ancient times up to the present day


Languages of the guided tours: Lithuanian, Russian, English, etc.

Length: up to 1 hour.

During this guided tour you will find out about the history, legend of the Hill of Crosses, story about apparition of St.Mary, recollections of local people and many other surprising facts. You will also find out how this hill of prayers was tried to destroy during Soviet times and we will reveal fates of the people involved in the destruction, visit of Pope John Paul II cannonized as Saint in the Hill of Crosses as well as His dream.

Additional information

In the autumn of 1993, two weeks after his return from Lithuania, Pope John Paul II visited the Franciscan Sanctuary of La Verna in Italy and encouraged the Franciscan friars to build a monastery at the Hill of Crosses. The Franciscans immediately responded to the Pope’s urging. The project of a hermit of Franciscan Brothers was designed by the architects Angelo Polesello and Nunzio Rimmaudo; the construction was administered by A. Jukna, Chief Architect of Šiauliai District. The cornerstone of the monastery was cut out of Mount La Verna and consecrated by Pope John Paul II. The founding documents of the monastery have been encapsulated in the stone. The Franciscan Brothers of the Province of Tuscany contributed to the construction of the building standing 300 meters away from the Hill of Crosses.

The monastery was solemnly consecrated on 8 July 2000.

The monastery has several cells, a chapel, and a library. The chapel is decorated with the stained glass by Algirdas Dovydėnas, representing the history of the Franciscan friars, an expressive altar, a tabernacle and a pulpit (author: painter Rimantas Sakalauskas). The reliefs of the altar reveal the links between the Hill of Crosses and Mount La Verna. While he was praying on the Mountain of Verna, St. Francis received the Holy Stigmata, the wounds of Christ.

A novitiate of the Lithuanian Franciscan Province of St. Casimir was founded in the sanctuary of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM, Franciscans). The Franciscan Brothers at the same time serve as custodians of the Hill of Crosses. The monastery can shelter worshippers wishful of quiet moments of concentration.