This is a tour in two parts, the culmination of which is the visit to the hill of crosses, where tens of thousands of crosses symbolize hope and sacred beliefs.
No one is left unimpressed when visiting this ‘monument’ including believers of any faith and agnostics alike. It all began back in 1847 with one cross erected asking for better health. The second part of the excursion is the visit to Siauliai, whose name hails from the word Sun and is first mentioned in historic texts from the 13th century by association of the ‘Sun City’ where a big battle broke out between Lithuanians and the Crusaders. Although the city has been practically wiped out of any historical buildings after numerous wars and battles, a few must visit attractions remain. These include – Siauliai sundial, Siauliai cathedral that remains in tact by a miracle, an impressive factory owner Chaim Frenkel’s vila, a cozy foot path and a chocolate factory Ruta – operated since 1913 and currently run by the original owners grandchildren.
This full-day excursion (one way trip from/to Vilnius takes about 2-3 hours depending on season).
||Pick up from Your hotel|
|WEAR||Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Tour operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
|PRICE||From 36 € to 250 € per person (depends on number of travelers) – use “Book the tour” form (on the right) and find exact price for your tour by selecting number of travelers
If you’re traveling in a group of more than 8 people – contact us for a special rate
On this road you will see:
- Hill of Crosses
- Shiauliai Cathedral
- Gold boy and “golden girl”
- Iron fox
- Shiauliai Pedestrian street
- Chaim Frenkel Villa
- Ruta chocolate factory
- Room of cents (only on workdays)
- Rooster clock
- Shiauliai panorama from the roof of Photography museum
Though one can find various reviews on this sightseeing object, major part of visitors agree: it doesn’t matter if you are catholic, christian or if you don’t believe in God – just visit it! If you are religious, you will be inspired by the story of people expressing their faith. If you aren’t religious, you will be awe struck by the vision of crosses of every size and material, growing ever more dense as you make your way into the heart of the hill.
Though the name is very explanatory – it is a small hill, covered in crosses, the word ‘covered’ doesn’t seem big enough to do it justice though – you can’t really imagine so many crosses in one place, so densely packed. It has to be seen and experienced to be appreciated. It really is extraordinary and a dream for photographers, as everywhere you look is something interesting and no part is the same.
A visit to one of these museums is included (please select one from the list):
- Frenkel Chaim Villa – an Art Nouveau gem – one of the most significant buildings (built in 1908) that miraculously survived. It presents not just family history, but also in Lithuania provincial manors culture – recommended!
- Chocolate Museum, that occupies premises of chocolate factory “Rūta” (Lithuanian word for Rue);
- Cat Museum (private), that contains over 4,000 exhibits, tons of good mood and positive emotions;
- Bicycle Museum – after all, Siauliai has its own bicycle factory!
- Photography Museum;
- Angels Museum (private);
- Railway museum;
- Miller’s homestead in a windmill that introduces traditional Lithuanian customs and crafts.
After intensive walking for the evening we offer to stop, sit and taste Lithuanian craft wine, that is produced here. This is a great opportunity to have some sips of exceptional fruit and Lithuanian grape wines as well as to have a talk with winemaker himself and get a glimpse of place where these wines are born.
Additional cost for wine tasting is 200 euros per group. Other mentioned tastings vary from 100 to 25 euros.
If you are non-drinker, you can choose (on request) one of these tastings: chocolate, tea, oil or Jewish dishes* (* this one must be ordered a month in advance)! Your choice!
It was by accident that we discovered the existence of The Hill of Crosses, but once we learned about this holy place, we knew we must make the pilgrimage. We searched for a private tour company that offered the trip, and we were not disappointed in any way. Vilnius In Love responded to our inquiry from Pennsylvania quickly and with advice to make our trip from Vilnius to Siauliai, the location of The Hill, a smooth one. As it turned out, our flight into Vilnius was cancelled, causing a day’s delay for us. We were able to contact our tour guide, Renata, who willingly switched the day for our trip to Siauliai. Renata arrived at our hotel in Vilnius and immediately started us on a walking tour of the city, taking us to many important locations and teaching us the history of beautiful Vilnius. She also surprised us with a ride up the hill to see the Hill of Three Crosses, also very meaningful. We were so very pleased to have the experience of this portion of the tour. In the afternoon we began the 2&1/2 hour drive to The Hill of Crosses. If you have the opportunity to visit, do not miss this beautiful, moving, sacred place. You will not believe what you see. Renata made sure that we had all the time we needed to walk all over the hill and place the crosses we had brought from the USA on behalf of ourselves, our family and friends. She is a photographer as well, and took photos of us during the visit, and then sent them to us. Those photos mean the world to us.
Renata was delightful, knowledgeable, and so very willing to show us what we wanted to see. She made sure that our experience was unforgettable, and we thank her so much for all she did throughout the day. We feel very blessed.
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