Believed that the first crosses were placed on the former Jurgaičiai or Domantai hill fort after the 1831. Over the generations, not only crosses and crucifixes, but statues of the Virgin Mary, carvings of Lithuanian patriots and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims.
The exact number of crosses is unknown, but estimates put it at about 55,000 in 1990 and 100,000 in 2006. Over the generations, the place has come to signify the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism despite the threats it faced throughout history.
Poles and Lithuanians unsuccessfully rebelled against Russian authorities in 1831 and 1863. These two uprisings are connected with the beginnings of the hill, as families could not locate bodies of perished rebels, they started putting up symbolic crosses in place of a former hill fort.