Šiauliai (pop. 106,800 ) is the fourth largest city of the country located in Northern Lithuania. The Hill of Crosses, one of the most famous symbols of Catholic Lithuania attracting crowds of visitors from all over the world, is located in close proximity to Šiauliai. People started placing crosses on this hill, in a form of a saddle, after the suppression of the Lithuanians’ liberation uprising in 1831. People are place crosses here ask for heavenly graces
or as a sign of gratitude or to commemorate some significant events in their personal ife. The hill features a diverse panorama of crosses ranging from the most expressive sculptural compositions decorated with wood carvings to austere ascetic ones; some of them are 3-4m high, others – of human height (
over 20,000), and an infinite variety of tiny ones placed by tourists wishing their dreams to come true. Presently, the Hill of Crosses is the most frequented sacral site in Lithuania. In 1923, the famous Aušros museum was founded in Šiauliai, presently holding several interesting branches, including the museums of Photography, Bicycles and others as well as the complex exposition of “Country Mansion” installed in Frenkelis’ Mansion. Previously it displayed some of its exhibits in international exhibitions in New York and Paris. It is worth visiting the old cemetery of the city where people of different beliefs are buried, or walk along an ecological path, 5km long, around the lake of Talša. Those who love extreme experiences are offered to go on a tour to the former Soviet military airport of Zokniai.
History of Šiauliai
Šiauliai history dates back to the victorious Battle of the Sun, which took place on 22 September 1236. In the course of its history, the city was devastated by wars, plagues and fires many times. The only architectural object that survived from the ancient times is St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in a Renaissance style, with a tower that is visible from afar, 70m high, is the landmark of Šiauliai panorama. The tower houses the survived unique solar clock. In the 2nd half of the 18th century, the rearrangement of the city according to the principles of classicist architecture was started. Only several buildings have survived from that period. Located on the crossing of roads and railways the city would greatly suffer during all battles and wars.