The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania started during the Soviet era as a sign of resistance to the Soviet regime. Crosses would go up and they would be torn down. It is not a shrine as such, rather a sign of identifying Lithuania as a Christian land. There are no rules, people merely leave a cross, either free standing or nailed or hung over an existing cross. There are thought to be over 200,000 crosses on the hill which is just in a field. Since popes John Paul II and Benedict the XVI both visited the site it has become a bit more of a pilgrimage site.
Palanga (a popular seaside township) on the northern border of Lithuania. The museum is located in a former palace surrounded by the Palanga Botancial Gardens. The museum holds nearly 30,000 pieces of amber of which about 15,000 pieces contain specimens of insects, spiders and plants. During the soviet era Palanga produced thousands of KG of amber each year. Most of the Lithuania's best amber of course went to Moscow and never returned.
Amber is either "tree" or "drop" amber. Tree amber comes from tree resin secreted, heated by the sun and which hardens as it runs down the trunk. This explains why there are many different shades of tree amber. Drop amber is formed by resin running down icicles. Drop amber can be either rounded, deformed or flattened.
The type of pine tree that secreted the resin grew only in the Baltic area. The resin loss from these types of trees was abnormally high and eventually led to the trees extinction.