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Three Crosses

Vilnius, Lithuania

It is believed that the three crosses were first erected here in the 17th century to commemorate a group of monks from a nearby monastery, who were martyred in the 14th century. According to legend, seven were killed and seven were tied to wooden crosses and floated down the Neris River, with the instruction to return to the west from whence they had come. The monument has changed many times. The current one was built by the architect and sculptor, A. Vivulskis in 1989 at the beginning of the Rebirth movement. It was built to replace the one that had been removed by the Soviet authorities in the 1950s, pieces of which still remain on the slope on the far side. The Hill of Three Crosses is also known as Kreivasis (crooked) Hill, or Plikasis (bare) Hill or Tauro Hill (the gleaming white monument marks the site of the former Crooked Castle, which is believed to have stood there (in Latin, referred to as the curvum castrum).

The easiest way to reach Kalnų Park is from T. Kosciuškos Street. Having climbed the hill, you will find yourself on the stage. In summer, a number of different concerts and festivals are held here. The area of the Park is adjacent to adjoins Užupis (Krivių Street) and the Vilnia River. Kalnų Park is made up of several hills. The most magnificent of them is the Hill of Three Crosses.

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