They symbolise gratitude, misfortune or even crime: They are called field- or wayside crosses, wayside shrines or holy shrines.
A cross on the wayside is a symbol of the Christian faith – but why do people put them up?
Wayside crosses are small monuments that were usually built for a reason. Sometimes it is to guide pilgrims, but in most cases something has happened there. Sometimes an accident has occurred or sometimes the cross is there for protection or to get heavenly help. In many areas, people still believe in it.
On this special cross is a little plaque, which says the following:
What does the cross that stands by the wayside want to say to the wayfarer who passes by, the great word of hope, the cross will carry you to heaven.
These small monuments can be subdivided into:
- Wayside shrines, simple monuments made of wood or stone, which invite people to pause and pray.
- Memorial crosses as reminders of misfortunes or crimes
- Wayside crosses, which serve as markers and orientation for pilgrims
- Holy huts that house statues or pictures of saints.
Here is a small collection of my wayside crosses that I have discovered on my walks: