The mystery of the stone cross in the village of Kamai

The mystery of the stone cross in the village of Kamai


Sculpture, monuments, memorials

Though the village of Kamai in Postavy district of Vitebsk region is small in its size but it has a great importance both for the culture and the history of Belarus. It is situated on Lake Kamayskoe. Not far away, there are some other lakes as well as the resort village of Naroch.  

More than 400 years ago

Why should we visit the village? Surely, many of you will ask this question. Indeed, the value of the main attraction of the village is so great that it is unforgivable to ignore it. The thing is that the Church of St. John the Baptist was built on the territory of the village in 1603-1606. You will say that there are many Churches in Belarus. Probably you have already seen some of them. But you just think over this figure: that Church was built more than 400 years ago! Moreover, it is a church of a defensive type, and buildings of this kind are rare for Belarus. It is also interesting that this temple has always been working.  

The cross of stone

But let’s draw our attention to a stone cross that stands in shadow of trees across the road, 30 meters from the Church. Who put it there and what mysteries does it hold? There are a lot of theories about it and the locals of the village might tell you how it appeared here.

A sign has been put in front of the cross in our times. It is written that the Stone cross of Kamai village was built in the 15-16th centuries. However it is only a supposition. There are no any documents about the origin of the cross. By the way, many researchers suppose that it had been installed shortly before the Church was built in the village of Kamai, or maybe at the same time with the construction of the temple. However, this fact also has not been proven for certain, and it is just a supposition.  

Three versions of the origin

The official version of the origin of the cross of the village of Kamai can be found in one of the volumes of the famous book “The code of monuments of the history and culture of Belarus. Vitebsk region”, or in such a book, as “Memory. Postavy district”. In the first case, it is talked about the construction of the cross in the 15th or 16th centuries, and in the second book, the authors claim that the stone cross appeared in Kamai at the same time with the construction of the Church. And it is about 1603-1606. But there is a third version which is shared by the historians I. Zemchenok and Y. Drevnitsky. According to their researches, the construction of the cross was dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the Church, and it was 1803.

The appearance of the cross

It is possible that the researcher has come to this conclusion because it is this date that is engraved on the cross.  The attraction of the village of Kamai has a rather interesting appearance. Surely, you will be surprised when you will see the cross as its height is 2.5 meters. The cross is 0.7 meters wide and its thickness is 0.6 meters. There is a niche in the shape of a triangle on the cross, there are barely noticeable signs right beneath it. Still, the time has left its mark... However, you can see an engraved circle on the cross, a sign in the shape of an umbrella and the famous inscription “R 1803”.  Besides, the letter “V”, probably carved by someone, has been preserved on the cross.  

Probably, the stone from which was carved the cross was brought from Scandinavia. A huge boulder of pink granite rapakivi appeared in Kamai about 17 thousand years ago.

The spirit of researches

How diverse and beautiful Belarus is all the same! It is so good that there are mysteries which are left us by the time.  Numerous tourist groups and individual travelers, who come to Belarus, look for places shrouded in mystery, let them remain forever in the memory.

me-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman" posthumously awarded the Order of Lenin.

Nowadays, the area of the former outpost of Usov is a functioning border zone, it is required a special permission for visiting. It is strategically important since it is located at the junction of the Belarusian, Polish and Lithuanian territories. There is a museum dedicated to military operations in 1941.

Map location

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