Behind Russian monumental wayside crosses
First of all, the tradition to establish monumental crosses outside the temple comes back to ancient times. Made of stone or wood, they have a height of several meters. Such crosses call for prayer and worship of the Savior, and therefore called worshipers. Put for various reasons, the first worshiping crosses appeared in apostolic times. According to their spiritual significance, they were missionary. In particular, Nestor the chronicler in the “Tale of Bygone Years” mentions the installation of crosses by the holy apostle Andrew the First-Called on the Kiev mountains. And also on Valaam after the overthrow of the idols of Perun and Veles.
Meanwhile, the aim of wayside crosses differs – from thankful, or memorable, to providing safety, from used as chapels, and to primitive (navigation). However, the division of crosses into different species (as well as many other divisions) is rather arbitrary. Often the same worship cross could be both a vowal, a boundary, and a protective one.