Vilnius Calvary Way of the Cross

36 Sites

7 Kilometers

3 Hours

Vilnius Calvary Way of the Cross is a sacred architectural ensemble, recognized as one of the largest European Ways of the Cross. It consists of the Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross and 35 Stations of the Cross. The Church is the primary location for Pentecost celebrations in the Archdiocese of Vilnius.

The Calvary Way of the Cross was constructed and dedicated in 1669 as a sign of gratitude to God for the victory against the tsarist Russian army. Dominicans, with the support of noblemen and prominent religious figures, built the Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross and 20 new chapels here in 1772. Up until the 20th century this architectural ensemble didn’t change much, though some damage was done by the army of Napoleon. Vilnius Calvary suffered the most destruction during the Soviet era, when one night in 1962 most of the Stations of the Cross were blown up. Their reconstruction began when Lithuania regained its independence in 1990.

The overall length of the Way of the Cross and the distances between Stations correspond to the distances and the topography of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. For that reason, Vilnius Calvary is called “The City of Jerusalem”. The Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross is located at both the geographical and ideological center of Vilnius Calvary. The Church, built on a high hill in Calvary, topographically corresponds to the Golgotha Hill. The main altar, also known as the Crucified Jesus altar, is the most important Station of the Cross, dedicated to the remembrance of our Savior’s death. The sculpture of the Crucified Jesus is considered miraculous by the faithful. At the altar of Our Lady of Sorrows a relic of the Holy Cross is displayed under glass. Church walls and vaulted ceilings are decorated with impressive frescoes, dating to the late 18th century.


Descriptions, photos and details

The beginning of the way of Our Lord Jesus Christ

I. The Last Supper

II. On the Way to the Mount of Olives

III. Gethsemane

IV. Jesus Arrested

V. Crossing the Kidron Valley

VI. Disciples Flee Jesus before the Gate of the Town

VII. At the First Gate of Zion

VIII. Jesus Taken to Annas

IX. At the High Priest Caiaphas

X. Jesus Imprisoned in the Basement of Caiaphas’ Palace

XI. The Second Time at Caiaphas

XII. At the Second Gate of Zion

XIII. Jesus before Pilate for the First Time

XIV. The First Time at the Iron Gate

XV. At Herod’s

XVI. Jesus Ridiculed by Herod for the Second Time at the Iron Gate

XVII. Jesus Taken to Pilate through the Second Town Gate

XVIII. At the Second Town Gate Jesus Found Worthier of Death than the Rebel Barabbas

XIX. Jesus Flogged at the Gate of the Town Hall

XX. At the Fourth Gate of the Old Town

XXI. Jesus Sentenced to be Crucified

XXII. Jesus Takes His Cross

XXIII. Jesus Falls for the First Time

XXIV. Jesus Meets His Mother

XXV. Simon from Cyrene Forced to Help Christ with the Cross

XXVI. Veronica Wipes Christ’s Face with Her Veil

XXVII. Jesus Falls for the Second time

XXVIII. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

XXIX. Jesus Falls for the Third Time

XXX. Jesus Stripped of His Garments

XXXI. Jesus Nailed to the Cross

XXXII. Jesus Dies on the Cross

XXXIII. Jesus Body is Taken down of the Cross

XXXIV. Jesus Laid in the Sepulcher

XXXV. The Finding of the Holy Cross