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20th – 21st centuries

Yet the closing of the monastery did not break the tradition of visiting the Stations of the Cross. On the contrary, such visits became even more popular in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. 18th century complex, with its church, monastery and 35 Stations of the Cross, remained little changed until 1962, when, according the direction of the Soviet government, the chapel- stations, except the four of them built closest to the church were dynamited over night. They were completely demolished in 1963. The pilgrims’ landmark at the Green Bridge- the shrine with a figure of Christ carrying the Cross- was destroyed even earlier.

After Lithuania regained independence in 1990, work to rebuild the chapels was begun. Thanks to the efforts of pastors Julius Baltušis, Raimundas Varaneckas and Kęstutis Latoža, as well as the offerings made by many benefactors, the chapels were completely rebuilt and solemnly consecrated at Pentecost in 2002. During 12 years 16 masonry chapels, 7 wooden and one masonry gates , a bridge with a little wooden chapel over the Kidron stream were built.

The Calvary of Vilnius, where the picturesque and moving nature of a ‘Garden of Prayer’ unites in a subtle design, with an unsophisticated yet expressive architecture, is a feature distinguishing it from the other European ensembles of that type. On the other hand, the Stations of the Cross integrate uniquely into the entire architectural and spiritual space of Vilnius. Historically, the ensemble relates closely with the Vilnius Diocese, which has constantly yielded very special donators and patrons of the sacred place. Today the Calvary of Vilnius is an integral part of the regional Verkiai Park.

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