Main town square with monument to Antanas Strazdas
|Municipality||Rokiškis district municipality|
|Capital of||Kamajai eldership|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Kamajai is a small town in Rokiškis district municipality, Lithuania. It is situated on the banks of the Šetekšna River, some 14 km to south of Rokiškis. According to the 2001 census, it had 680 residents. The town has a small hospital, library, and hosts annual "Kuc kuc Kamajuos" festival.
The Kamajai manor is known from 1541. The town slowly grew around it. The first wooden church was built in 1635 and a couple decade later Kamajai is referred to as a town. Around 1745 the town was reconstructed according to Classicism ideas. The town has a rectangular plan and in the crossing of four main streets there is the main square, used to be known for its horse trades. The oldest part of the town, especially the street network, is protected by the government as a monument of urbanism.
In 1774 a parish school was opened. During the 1863 Uprising, the town was seized by the rebels led by Antanas Mackevičius. In 1905, during the revolution in Russia, locals created Republic of Kamajai and resisted the tsarist authorities. The new Kamajai church, named after Saint Casimir, was built in 1903 in Gothic Revival style. It has two towers. It is said that one of the towers collapsed during World War II, and the other was severely damaged. The residents, lacking funds for reconstruction, decided to tear down the second tower. To this day the towers are not rebuilt.
Kamajai is known as the residence of poet and priest Antanas Strazdas. He died in the town and was buried in the cemetery, but the exact location is unknown. The cemetery has a memorial cross right in the center. A monument for Strazdas was built in 1933, the 100th anniversary of his death, in the main square of the town. The school is also named after the poet.
- Jonas Zinkus; et al., eds. (1986). "Kamajai". Tarybų Lietuvos enciklopedija (in Lithuanian). II. Vilnius, Lithuania: Vyriausioji enciklopedijų redakcija. p. 193.
- (Lithuanian) Simas Sužiedėlis, ed. (1970–1978). "Kamajai". Encyclopedia Lituanica. III. Boston, Massachusetts: Juozas Kapočius. p. 29. LCC 74-114275.