Friday, July 15, 2011

Hill of Crosses

Today I will present you a unique sight you MUST visit if you come to Lithuania. It’s the Hill of Crosses. I have never heard about other place like this on Earth…

As you probably know, we, Lithuanians, are Catholics. We are a very godly nation. So in 19th century some devout people started building crosses on the hill not far away from the city of Siauliai. The origin of the tradition to leave a cross on the hill is not known. But it is thought that it is connected to the Lithuanians uprising against Russians in 19th century. Families did not know where the bodies of some dead rebels were, so they started building crosses in a place of a former hill fort.

During the times of Soviet occupation Russians tried to destroy the Hill of Crosses three times, but Lithuanians did not stop bringing crosses to the hill. Only in 1985 the Soviets finally left the Hill of Crosses in peace.

In 1993 Pope John Paul II visited the Hill of Crosses.

Now hundreds of thousands of crosses are on the hill. Actually, the hill is too small for so many crosses so nowadays they are built around the square near the hill. The variety of crosses is amazing! If you come to the Hill of Crosses leave the cross there too and ask for God’s blessing for your family.

Here are some photos of the Hill of Crosses I made this summer:

Hill of Crosses

Crosses near the path to the hill

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Festival "Summer of Naisiai"

Last weekend I visited my grandparents. They live in a small town near Siauliai called Naisiai.

In Naisiai

Cherries in Naisiai

Sunset in Naisiai

Sunset in Naisiai

A few years ago Naisiai was one of hundreds small towns in Lithuania no one knew. Naisiai was just a cozy village with about 600 residents. When I was a child I spent great summers there. Naisiai was always special because people there were very active, friendly and hard-working.

A few years ago Naisiai became famous in Lithuania! Rich farmer from Naisiai and the member of Lithuanian Parliament Ramunas Karbauskis had an idea – to make TV series “Summer of Naisiai”. Now “Summer of Naisiai” is on TV for 2 years and it is one of the most popular Lithuanian TV series. Now everybody in Lithuania knows the name of Naisiai! Moreover, you can buy milk, butter and cheese called “Summer of Naisiai” all around Lithuania! And you can watch the life of storks in Naisiai online 24/7! And there is a modern paintball center in Naisiai.

Storks in Naisiai

Friday, July 1, 2011

Klaipeda (part 2): sights you must see!

In my last blog post I presented you 3rd largest city in Lithuania – Klaipeda. In this blog post I present you most interesting sights in Klaipeda.

Klaipeda old town

The old town of Klaipeda is small but very cozy and very beautiful. It is very different from other Lithuanian towns because Klaipeda was a part of Prussia and German at the times the old town was built.