The Rules for the visiting of the Hill of Crosses

         

THE RULES FOR VISITING, MAINTENANCE AND ERECTION OF CROSSES ON THE HILL OF CROSSES  - JURGAIČIAI, DOMANTAI MOUND WITH A SETTLEMENT

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

1. The procedure for the public use, visiting, maintenance and erection of crosses, visitors‘ rights, obligations and limits of liability is established by these Rules for Visiting, Maintenance and Erection of Crosses on the Hill of Crosses (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) – Jurgaičiai, Domantai Mound with a Settlement (unique number in the Register of Cultural Property – 23879) (hereinafter referred to as the Hill of Crosses).

2. The Hill of Crosses is the object of cultural heritage of national significance (the level of significance – national), the monument of cultural and public significance, the nature of the valuable qualities thereof is sacral (determining its significance, importance), sightseeing, archaeological (determining its significance, importance), of cultural expression (determining its significance, importance), mythological (determining its significance, importance), historical (determining its significance, importance). It is a place of remembrance wrapped in a shroud of legends, full of artistic and ethnographic valuables, the symbol of the nation’s suffering, hope and resistance of the 20th century, the open-air museum which became famous all over the world after the visit of the Holy Pope John Paul II on 7 September 1993. One of the most prominent objects of the way of pilgrims of John Paul II in Lithuania.

3. The territory of the Hill of Crosses (6.3786 ha, unique number of the land plot 9134-0011-0051), the objects of cultural heritage therein (the Chapel of the Hill of Crosses (unique number in the Register of Cultural Property – 36136), the mound (unique number in the Register of Cultural Property – 3295) and the settlement (unique number in the Register of Cultural Property – 23880) constituting the complex, its cultural landscape are preserved, maintained and used in compliance with the regulations of the Law on Territory Planning of the Republic of Lithuania, the Law on the Preserved Territories of the Republic of Lithuania, the Law on the Protection of the Immovable Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Lithuania, the detailed plans of the Hill of Crosses approved by Resolution No. 47 „On approval of the detailed plans of the Hill of Crosses“ of the Council of Šiauliai District Municipality on 01 June 2000 and Resolution No. T-308 „On approval of the Detailed plan in Domantai village, Meškuičiai subdistrict, Šiauliai district“ of the Council of Šiauliai District Municipality on 27 October 2011 (hereinafter referred to as the Detailed plans), the Regulation on individual protection of the cultural heritage object (hereinafter referred to as the Regulation) approved by act No. LRŠ-170(1.9-Š) of Šiauliai Territorial Unit of the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture on 09 December 2020 and taking account of the norms of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Convention.

4. The maintenance of the Hill of Crosses and public use in accordance with the purpose thereof shall be ensured by Šiauliai District Municipality Administration (hereinafter referred to as the Administrator). The Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture shall be liable for protection of the object of cultural heritage.

5. Natural persons and legal entities (hereinafter referred to as the Visitors) performing activities on the Hill of Crosses shall be obliged to comply with the requirements of the Law on the Preserved Territories of the Republic of Lithuania, the Law on Environmental Protection of the Republic of Lithuania, the Law on Protection of the Immovable Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Lithuania and other laws and legislation regulating activities in te preserved territories, the solutions of the detailed plans as well as the requirements of these Rules drafted in compliance with order No. ĮV-237 „On approval of typical rules for visiting the objects of cultural heritage belonging to the municipality and the state“ passed by the Minister of Culture in 2005.

6. The visitors of the Hill of Crosses shall have an opportunityof a free access to these Rules.

CHAPTER II

REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS FOR VISITING OF THE HILL OF CROSSES

7. The Hill of Crosses may be visited for cognition and public use by individuals and groups of visitors in compliance with the procedure established by the present Rules.

8. The visitors of the Hill of Crosses shall be entitled to:

8.1. visit the Hill of Crosses at any time of a day;

8.2. use the existing infrastructure and provided services;

8.3. park their transport vehicles in special parking places, i.e. parking lots equipped for this purpose and marked with road signs;

8.4. erect crosses, crucifixes, pillars in compliance with the requirements of Chapter III of the present Rules.

8.5. take photographs and (or) shoot videos on personal (family, wedding, photo-shoots, etc.) occasions;

9. In the territory of the Hill of Crosses, the visitors of the Hill of Crosses are prohibited to:

9.1. drive motor transport vehicles within the territory of the Hill of Crosses and to park them at locations not intended for such purpose or not marked with respective signs;

9.2. ride bicycles, scooters, skateboards and roller skates in the territory of the Hill of Crosses;

9.3. set up camping sites and make fires in any non-designated, not equipped and not marked areas;

9.4. burn candles, smoke, thus creating a fire hazard;

9.5. destruct and damage stands, signs and information indices, guidelines, designated to the marking of the Hill of Crosses, security equipment, milestones, to damage information and exposition equipment as well as to destroy infrastructural facilities;

9.6. litter and polute the environment, leave waste outside rubbish bins;

9.7. leave prayer books, images and (or) any other religious articles on the Hill of Crosses;

9.8. arbitrarily cut or damage trees, bushes, to devastate lawns and flower beds, pick, uproot or remove decorative plants, destroy and dig the surface of the ground, destruct and pollute natural environment, pollute the river waters and banks;

9.9. make noise or otherwise disturb the visitors and pilgrims of the Hill of Crosses;

9.10. beg or collect money otherwise;

9.11. without the Administrator‘s permit, to organise events, without the Administrator‘s approval to shoot videos and take photos for commercial purposes;

9.12. play music using audio equipment and (or) musical instruments (except for the cases during organised events);

9.13. disturb peace during pilgrimage processions and other ceremonies and spread interfaith discord;

9.14. impede any ongoing operations of heritage management and scientific research;

9.15. destroy or otherwise damage existing constructions in the territory (crosses, crucifixes, pillars, etc.) as well as to change their location, to appropriate the aforementioned or to use for own purposes;

9.16. carry out actions which may cause erosion of the ground surface, dig, plough the ground, damage the valuable properties of the Hill of Crosses.

9.17. walk dogs and other animals in the territory of the Hill of Crosses, except for assistance dogs.

10. Upon receipt of the Administrator‘s approval and having agreed in writing with the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture beforehand, it may be permitted in the Hill of Crosses:

10.1. to use temporary constructions, equipment or technical means;

10.2. to carry out the works of cultural landscape, scientific reseaches and maintenance works on the objects of cultural heritage;

10.3. any other activities corresponding to the Regulations and specified in the Detailed plans and these Rules.

11. Taking of photographs and (or) shooting videos in the Hill of Crosses for commercial and other purposes, except for those specified in subpoint 8.8 of these Rules, shall be agreed with the Administrator. Request to take photographs and (or) shoot videos is submitted to the Administrator in a free form by no later than 14 days prior to intended photography and (or) video shooting. Description of the planned activities, intended equipment and other relevant information shall be provided along with the request. The requests received shall be analysed by the Administrator and, where required, the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture, Šiauliai Diocesan Chancery may be approached. Organiser of photography and (or) video shooting shall be liable and shall ensure compliance with the heritage protection requirements set out in the Regulations as well as activities‘ and conduct requirements established in these Rules and other regulating legislation.

12. Any events in the territory of the Hill of Crosses shall be organised by observing the Rules on organisation of events within the territory of Šiauliai District Municipality. The request to organise an event shall be submitted to Meškuičiai Municipal Office of Šiauliai District Municipality Administration. When organising an event and expecting that a number of visitors would exceed 100, the approval from the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture shall be submitted along with the request to organise an event.

13. It is allowed to sell religious articles, crosses, souvenirs and other tourism articles in the territory of the Hill of Crosses solely in the specifically designated areas, in compliance with the Rules for trade and provision of services in public areas of Šiauliai District Muinicipality as well as current laws and other legislation of the Republic of Lithuania. Permits to natural persons and legal entities engaged in trade at the Hill of Crosses are issued and their activities are supervised by Meškuičiai Municipal Office of Šiauliai District Municipality Administration.

14. The visitors of the Hill of Crosses are obligated to:

14.1. preserve the Hill of Crosses, its natural environment, landscape, and cherish the valuable properties;

14.2. when visiting and carrying out any acivities in the territory of the Hill of Crosses, to observe the conditions and the restrictions set out in the Regulations.

14.3. comply with the requirements stated in the present Rules and in the existing stands and signs;

14.4. respect the rights of other visitors;

14.5. notify the Administrator if any cases of destruction of the objects of cultutral heritage are noticed;

15. Being liable for protection of the Object, the Administrator may restrict visiting and use of the Hill of Crosses, where its visit intensity makes harm to its valuable properties, and cause direct threat to damage the object of cultural heritage.

CHAPTER III

PROCEDURE OF THE ERECTION OF CROSSES ON THE HILL OF CROSSES

16. In order to maintain the authenticity of the Hill of Crosses, the traditions for erection of crosses and the general aesthetical image of the Hill of Crosses, visitors shall have a right to erect wooden crosses, crucifixes, pillars up to 2 metres high without prejudice to the existing constructions and sacredness, without destroying any earlier erected objects.

17. Erection of any constructions (wooden crosses, crucifixes, pillars and etc.) higher than 2 metres (above the ground) and selection of the location for such construction shall be agreed with the Administrator and Šiauliai Territorial Unit of the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture. The request in a free written form for erection of such constructions shall be submitted to Meškuičiai Municipal Office of Šiauliai District Municipality Administration by no later than 10 calendar days prior to erection of the construction. Height, materials of the construction and method of erection, size of the foundation (if necessary) and (or) any other relevant information shall be specified in the request. Visual information may be provided together with the request (model photography, visualisation, etc.).

18. It is allowed to restore, renew any already erected crosses as well as to erect other objects (constructions) not listed in point 16 within the territory of the Hill of Crosses only having agreed with the Administrator. The request regarding these works is submitted in writing in a free form to Meškuičiai Municipal Office of Šiauliai District Municipality Administration.

19. The visitors of the Hill of Crosses are prohibited:

19.1. to arbitrarily destroy, destruct, re-erect any earlier erected objects of the Hill of Crosses;

19.2. to erect crosses from cemetery with the name of the deceased or crosses remaining from the grave of a deceased after the funeral;

19.3. to erect crosses on paths and in the open site.

CHAPTER IV

LIABILITY FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE PRESENT RULES

20. Within the territory of the Hill of Crosses, natural persons and legal entities shall comply with activity and behaviour restrictions established in the present Rules, the laws specified therein as well as any other legislation.

21. Any visitors having caused any damage to the Hill of Crosses, the valuable properties of the territory and safety zones thereof shall be obliged to compensate the damage as much as possible in kind (to restore the initial condition of the valuable property or the territory) as well as to reimburse direct and indirect losses in compliance with the procedure erstablished by the laws and other legislation of the Republic of Lithuania.

22. Crosses, other constructions, erected in violation of the present Rules or laws may be destroyed and the costs of demolition presented for compensation of the erector.

23. Any visitors having violated the requirements of the present Rules shall be liable in compliance with the procedure established by the laws of the Republic of Lithuania.

CHAPTER V

FINAL PROVISIONS

24. In order to ensure the public order and safety, the territory of the Hill of Crosses shall be monitored by video cameras.

25. The Rules shall be published on the website of Šiauliai District Municipality Administration and on the information stand of the Hill of Crosses.

26. Any supplements, amendments or new wordings of the Rules shall be approved by the Council of Šiauliai District Municipality.