In 1669, the Bishop of Vilnius created a replica of the Way of the Cross in the hills outside the city.  The route with its 36 stations follows Jesus’ route through Jerusalem on the day of his death and is designed to replicate the layout and distances of Jerusalem.  The chapels marking the stations were destroyed by the Soviet authorities in 1962.  They were re-built after Lithuania re-gained independence in 1991 and consecrated in 2002.  The path is located in what is now a regional park on the outskirts of Vilnius.

On Saturday afternoon, I walked most of the route with three other people from the International Church of Vilnius, an English-language congregation based at the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  It was a warm, sunny day and small purple flowers were blooming on the ground in the forest.   Most of the chapels have paintings depicting the scene represented at that station.  The trail ends at the Church of the Holy Cross, where the Easter vigil service was beginning just as we arrived.  It was a meditative way to spend the Saturday of Easter weekend.

A gate and a chapel on the Way of the Cross

A gate and a chapel on the Way of the Cross

At the chapel marking Christ's first fall

At the chapel marking Christ's first fall

The Way of the Cross route map

The Way of the Cross route map