Kryziu Kalnas started out like any other old Lithuanian hill: green and hilly, not too creepy. But beginning around 1831, the mini-mountain somehow became a hot spot for remembering failed uprisings, lost independence and how much the Soviet occupiers sucked. After years of conflict with the Russian empire, the family members of fallen soldiers turned the little mound into a sort of memorial to their loved ones. And what do you do when you want to memorialize someone? You plant a cross, of course. Or two or three or four.
After 100,000 crosses and crucifixes, shit can start looking creepy.
Today Kryziu Kalnas is a home to enough religious imagery to resemble the universe’s cemetery. And the Soviets didn’t help matters when they bulldozed the place twice, guaranteeing the Hill of Crosses will be nice and haunted for all eternity. And every time the Soviets bulldozed, the Lithuanians rebuilt with a holy vengeance. Kryziu Kalnas ultimately became a symbol of enduring Lithuanian Catholicism, in spite of the heavy hand of the Soviets. In fact, in 1993, Pope John Paul II came out and blessed the place.
As if it needed it.