The Hill of Three Crosses is a symbol on the skyline of Vilnius. These three crosses represent the triumph of Lithuania over its invaders. The current crosses data from 1990 and replaced the previous three crosses that were destroyed during the Soviet occupation, which themselves were erected in 1915 to commemorate the Russian withdrawal from Vilnius. Incredibly, these three crosses replaced three that were destroyed by the Russians in the mid-1860s in retaliation for an uprising in Vilnius. If ever you require a symbol of the ability of a nation to outlast its invaders, these three crosses represent that symbol. It made me admire the persistence of Lithuania to be an independent nation. For a similar story of cross-related persistence, albeit on a vast scale, visitors should go to the Hill of Crosses in northern Lithuania – a perfect day trip from Vilnius.

julian200Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734