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Vilnius Calvary

In 17th century the decision was made to establish Calvary hills in Verkiai in order to show gratitude to God. Verkiai district hills, which bore such names as Golgota, Mary, Sion Hill and Mount of Olives, as well as a rivulet, reminding Cedron, flowing through Jerusalem, perfectly fitted for this sacred place. The Calvaries were created as an exact reflection of Jerusalem so that worshippers, who were unable to visit the Holy Land, could repeat the last trip of Jesus. The founder was archbishop of Vilnius Jurgis Bialozaras.

Calvaries of Vilnius stayed intact up till the Soviet times and had always been visited by worshippers who had come there in big numbers. How popular they had been we could find from the book printed in 1838 called „Guide through Vilnius’ Calvaries“, greatly favored by the pilgrims. Regretfully, by the order of the Soviet government 31 chapels were destroyed in 1963 and only after Lithuania gained independence the reconstruction works started. The works lasted for 12 years and in 2002 during celebration of Shavout all the chapels were solemnly consecrated. Presently the ensemble of Calvaries consists of St. Cross Discovery Church and 35 Martyrdom path chapels.