Find out more
In the 17th century, a decision was made to establish Calvaries in Verkiai as a gratitude to God for his help in defeating the Russian army. Both the Verkiai district hills, which were renamed to Golgota, Mary, Sion Hill and Mount of Olives, as well as a stream reminding of Cedron flowing through Jerusalem were perfectly suited for this sacred place. The Calvaries were created as an exact reflection of Jerusalem so that worshipers who were unable to visit the Holy Land could repeat the last journey of Jesus. The founder was archbishop of Vilnius Jurgis Bialozaras.
The Calvaries of Vilnius remained intact up till the Soviet times and had always been visited by many worshipers. The popularity of the Calvaries is also proven by a book printed in 1838 called the "Guide through Vilnius’ Calvaries" which was greatly favoured by the pilgrims. Unfortunately, 31 chapels were destroyed in 1963 under the order of the Soviet government, and were rebuilt only after Lithuania regained its independence. Construction works of these chapels lasted 12 years. All the chapels were solemnly consecrated in 2002 during the celebration of Pentecost. Today, Vilnius Calvaries ensemble consists of the Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross and 35 Stations of the Cross.
In 1990, the reconstruction works of these chapels began under the project of Brigita Radavičiūtė. The facade of the church was repaired in 1969 and 1983 under the care of parson Vaclovas Aliulis. The church was reconstructed in 2006.