Three Crosses, Vilnius, Lithuania

Saturday Scenes: Three Crosses in Vilnius

Crosses were originally erected high on this hill in Vilnius, Lithuania, in the 17th century in memory of three monks who were killed on the spot. The Soviets razed the original crosses after World War II, but the people of Lithuania later rebuilt them as they are seen today.

Five Favorite Things in Vilnius

Spending nearly two weeks in Vilnius, I felt like I had a great chance to get to know this Baltic capital and it quickly became my favorite of the three. I was also fortunate to be provided with a 72-Hour City Card from the Vilnius Tourist Information Centre, which gave me the motivation and opportunity …

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Minsk building

How I Got My Visa to Belarus

I began my quest to get a Belarus visa back in early October.  According to the website of the Belarussian Embassy in the United States, I would need a letter of invitation from a registered travel agency – similar to the invitation requirement for Russia.  On the other hand, rumor had it elsewhere that nothing …

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Soviet Bunker, Vilnius, Lithuania

Into a Soviet Bunker

I exit my taxi and walk up a short gravel driveway in the middle of a forest outside of Vilnius, facing nothing but a two-story concrete building and a lot of trees.  I cautiously enter the building, where I see several dozen people milling around, all in bulky blue jackets.  Soon, a man tells me …

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Hill of Crosses, Siauliai, Lithuania

The Hill of Crosses

No one really knows when the first crosses started appearing on this small hill just outside of the city of Siauliai in Lithuania, but some trace them back to uprisings against Russian rule in 1831 or 1863. Over the years, it has been a place for Lithuanians to pray for peace and their country and …

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Vilnius in 72 Hours

I haven’t had many crazy sightseeing days on this trip yet – mainly because I have been traveling relatively slowly, giving me the luxury of just checking out one or two sites each day. But when the Vilnius Tourist Information Centre offered me a free 72-hour Vilnius City Card, I decided to make the most …

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