Lithuanian crosses and the spirit of place: Transmitting the spirit of place

Mikneviciene, Giedre and Nemuniene, Marija (2008) Lithuanian crosses and the spirit of place: Transmitting the spirit of place. In: 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Finding the spirit of place – between the tangible and the intangible’, 29 sept – 4 oct 2008, Quebec, Canada. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

Various types of crosses, roofed pillar-type crosses, miniature chapels have been built in Lithuania since the ancient times. They used to be errected in cemeteries, churchyards, at crossroads, by the way sides, near farmsteads, on river banks, etc. In Lithuania cross crafting evolved into specific type of folk art. Little hills of the rural cemeteries with tall wooden crosses greatly contributed to the formation of the Lithuanian scenery. Single crosses, located all over the country, used to give peculiar spirit to the places. The Hill of Crosses near Siauliai is a phenomenal relict of this tradition. Everyone who visits the place, confirm that they really can feel a genuinely strong, mystical spirit there. During the years of the Soviet occupation, cross crafting was supressed and prohibited. At that time, in oder to keep up with the tradition, folk artists used to make carved pillars. However, the mystical spirit of the place was lost. Having declared the Independance, the tradition of cross crafting in Lithuania was let out like a genie from the bottle. The Lithuanian scenery is once again decorated with marvelous sacral works by Lithuanian folk artists, giving a special spirit of suffering, struggles and survival of the nation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Mikneviciene, Giedre
Nemuniene, Marija
Languages: English
Keywords: crosses; pillars; chapels; memorials; monumental crosses; spirit of place
O. INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 19A. Places of religion and ritual
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2008, 16th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2010 07:44
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2023 13:50
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