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Cathedral-basilica of SS. Stanislaus and Vladislaus Chapel of St. Casimir (Royal Chapel)Wayside crosses, chapels, religious statues characterized Lithuanian landscape especially in previous centuries, and still do now. Lithuania was therefore known as the Country of Crosses. The Hill of Crosses, being the unique pilgrimage site, justifies the ancient title of the country. Another title, the Land of Mary, originated from the widespread cult of the Blessed Virgin among Lithuanian people. One of the oldest Marian shrines is in Trakai. The miraculous image of Our Lady of Trakai was venerated for the special protection of Lithuania. Among the numerous churches, dedicated to Our Lady, the Sanctuaries of Šiluva and the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius are the most famous. The traditional indulgence feasts in Žemaičių Kalvarija focus on the meditation of the Stations of the Cross and traditional Marian devotion. The famous Stations of the Cross in Vilniaus Kalvarija were recently rebuilt after the devastation in Soviet times. The Marian shrines in Pivašiūnai and Krekenava are known far beyond the boundaries of the dioceses. The diocese of Vilkaviškis is famous for the places related to the Blessed Archbishop Jurgis Matulaitis. The relics of the Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis are being venerated in Marijampolė. The mentioned sanctuaries and pilgrimage places in all the 7 Lithuanian dioceses were chosen by Lithuanian bishops as main Jubilee 2000 pilgrimage sites.

Tytuvėnai. Church of the Virgin Mary and the Bernardine MonasteryMany other Lithuanian churches, chapels and monasteries are famous as monuments of history, architecture and art. Most of the existing churches in Lithuania were built in the 19th century, few survive from the 18th century. The wooden village churches with valuable decoration made by native folk artists are considered to be the treasure of the country’s culture. Still older churches, from the 17th century have mostly undergone considerable reconstruction. The first Christian churches in Lithuania were built at the end of the 14th century. One of the most ancient churches is St. Nicholas (Lith.: Šv. Mikalojaus) church in Vilnius. The beginning of the construction is dated back to ca. 1320, before the baptism campaign of Lithuanian nation. Ensemble of St. Anne and Bernardine churches in Vilnius represents the brilliant example of late Gothic style.

Pažaislis. Church of the Visitation and the Camaldolese MonasteryThe movement of Counter-Reformation challenged noble sponsors and benefactors, who built ornate Baroque churches and monasteries. SS. Peter and Paul church in Vilnius and the Pažaislis monastery near Kaunas are the most beautiful examples of that époque. The Archcathedral of Vilnius, a monumental Classicist building of the 18th century, was reconstructed on the place of earlier church buildings from the times of Christianization. The relics of St. Casimir, the patron of Lithuania, are venerated in St. Casimir chapel in the Archcathedral of Vilnius. The church of St. Casimir in Vilnius was built in honor of the canonization of Lithuanian prince. The church building has experienced dramatic meanders of history. During the Soviet occupation it was turned to the “Museum of Atheism”. The church of Resurrection in Kaunas, commemorating the revival of Lithuania in the 20th century, was used as factory in Soviet times. The memorial church Of resurrection was consecrated after reconstruction in 2004.

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