The Catholic Church of St John the Baptist in the Village Kamai

History of the Church of St. John the Baptist in the village of Kamai

You will find an extraordinary monument of Belarusian architecture - the Church of St. John the Baptist - in the center of the village Kamai, located in the Postavy district of the Vitebsk region.

This unique church of defensive type was built in 1603-1606 at the expense of the owner of the village Kamai Jan Rudomino-Dusyatsky. This extraordinary church-fortress combines elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, and was designed by a local architect.

The uniqueness of the historical sight of the village of Kamai

Built on the riverbank, 2-meter thick walls of the church performed a defensive function.

Indeed, the church-fortress in Kamai participated in numerous military operations. Cannonballs from the Russian-Swedish war, placed in the walls of the church on the orders of Peter Rudomino, are a reminder of the terrible events that took place a long time ago.

The church in Kamai is unique because it survived numerous wars and stood in difficult times for all Christian churches during the Soviet regime. When numerous churches were destroyed, the doors of St John the Baptist church were opened for the parishioners. During the war, the local priest Bulka hid the famous guerrilla here, that’s why the authority treated the cathedral favorably.

In Soviet times, the church was granted the status of historical and cultural value. The interior of the church is well-preserved. Today you can see wooden statues of saints Peter and Paul, the icon of the Mother of God (the beginning of the XVII century), the painting "Jesus and the orphan" of Alfred Romer. It was the last work of the famous Belarusian artist.

You should pay attention to the famous organ of the XVIII century. The famous Polish-Belarusian organist, critic, composer and conductor Bronisław Rutkowski started his career with this old organ. This organ was given to the church on its 300th anniversary.

Why is the village of Kamai included in the program of excursions around Belarus?

Not far from the church there is another landmark of Kamai. It is a large stone cross with a triangular niche for crucifixion in the center – it is a symbol of the village. The cross was carved out of a granite boulder and placed near the church of St John the Baptist. Inscriptions and signs on the cross remain undeciphered to the present day.

The church in Kamai has its secrets too. There are tunnels under the church, which are still unexplored. It is said that during numerous wars and raids the local rich hid gold in the underground mazes. Perhaps, you will be lucky enough to find them if you go with us on a sightseeing tour across Belarus with a visit to the village of Kamai.