Explore religious values while taking the Way of the Cross. Many foreign guests and pilgrims are attracted to Vilnius Kalvarijos, a unique urban architectural ensemble representing the Way of the Cross that also blends into the natural landscape. Visitors can follow the 7-kilometre Way of the Cross by visiting 35 stations in Vilnius Kalvarijos. These are the so-called Didžiosios Kalvarijos with 35 stations: 19 stone chapels, 7 wooden gates, 1 stone gate, a wooden bridge over the Cedronas (Baltupis) Creek and a chapel standing on it, as well as the Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross. Many people love the shorter part of the way (about 2 km) called Mažosios Kalvarijos.
The peak of the ensemble is the Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross – the symbolic mountain of Golgotha. In a deep ravine near the Way of the Cross, close to Station XIII, flows one of the largest and most interesting springs in the Verkiai Regional Park. For a long time, residents and visiting pilgrims have drank the waters of this spring, which is believed to have healing powers.
Far from the city centre, near Kalvarijų Street, the towers of the Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross can be seen while driving towards the Regional Park. It is a late Baroque cross-planed, two-tower, three-nave basilica. The religious ensemble consists of a church, a monastery building and chapels. While driving along Verkių Street, another church attracts attention as well. It is the Church of Trinapolis with its monastery ensemble standing by the Neris, next to the Baltupis (Cedronas) Creek. The two-tower church has five altars with a generous interior space.
Travelling along the Neris River, you can stop and rest at a historic mill that has been in existence for over 150 years. The restaurant Vandens malūnas, where special attention is paid to both cultural and culinary heritage, is also located here. The old mill’s mechanisms are preserved and used in the restaurant’s interior. Visitors can admire the naturally formed waterfall of the water mill.
The Verkiai Regional Park was established in 1992 to protect the natural complexes of the Green Lakes and the cultural complexes of the 18th century neoclassical Verkiai Palace, Vilnius Calvary, and the Trinitarian cloister in Trinapolis. According to legend, the territory was named because a crying baby was found in an oak tree in Verkiai Regional Park. The baby grew up to be the famous prophet Lizdeika, who foresaw the founding of Vilnius.
The Vilnius Calvary was established in the 17th century, originally consisting of 22 stations. By 1962, almost all of them were destroyed, but the entire complex has since been reconstructed and proclaimed an architectural monument of national significance.