Standing atop the hill that bears its name, the Three Crosses memorial consists of three white reinforced concrete crosses that are visible from afar. Climb the hill and you’ll see vast panoramas of Vilnius Old Town. Plus, the Bernardine Garden and Vilnele River are right at the foot of the hill. This 12-metre tall monument has become a symbol of national identity, but the crosses themselves are often illuminated in different colours to commemorate special events for Lithuania and the world. So whenever you can see the monument while walking around the city after dark, take a look to see if it’s lit up in special colours.
A wooden castle was built on the hill in the 12th and 13th centuries, and a settlement was later established in its place. The hill got its name after Franciscans died as martyrs when pagans tied them to crosses and threw them down the hill. The three crosses were erected to commemorate this event. The current monument was created by architect and sculptor A. Vivulskis in 1916 and rebuilt in 1988.