Kalvarija (pronunciation) is a town in southwestern Lithuania, located in the Marijampolė County, close to the border with Poland. It is the administrative seat and largest town of Kalvarija Municipality

Church in Kalvarija
Church in Kalvarija
Coat of arms of Kalvarija
Kalvarija is located in Lithuania
Location of Kalvarija
Coordinates: 54°25′0″N 23°13′0″E / 54.41667°N 23.21667°E / 54.41667; 23.21667
Country Lithuania
Ethnographic regionSuvalkija
County Marijampolė County
MunicipalityKalvarija Municipality
EldershipKalvarija eldership
Capital ofKalvarija Municipality
Kalvarija eldership
First mentioned1667
Granted town rights1791
 • Total3,971
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

Etymology and names


Variants of the name include Kalvarijos, Kalvariya, Kalwarja,[1] Kalvarye (Yiddish), Kalwaria (Polish), Kalvarien (German), Calvaria, Kalvaria, Kalwariya, and Kalwarya.[2] The town is named so because it was established in the 17th century as a shrine commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus.


Winter synagogue
Old synagogue from the 18th century

In 1705 the first wooden church was built. In 1713, local Jews received permission from King August II to build a synagogue and Jewish craftsmen were first permitted to practice their crafts without having to be members of the craft guilds. In 1791 Stanisław August Poniatowski recognized that Kalvarija had the right to call itself a town and confirmed the municipality's coat of arms. 1840 saw the construction of a new Catholic church, which still stands today. Kalvarija developed rapidly when the new St. PetersburgWarsaw road was constructed toward the end of the 19th century. By the outbreak of World War I, Kalvarija had over 10,000 inhabitants; the destruction of two-thirds of the town during the war caused the population decline. The city was the site of a battle in 1915, during World War I.

During World War II, Kalvarija was under German occupation from 22 June 1941 until 1 August 1944.[3] It was administered as a part of the Generalbezirk Litauen of Reichskommissariat Ostland. In 1941, a mass execution of 38 Jews of the city was perpetrated by Gestapo soldiers and Lithuanian policemen.[4]

International relations


Twin towns — Sister cities


Kalvarija is twinned with:

See also



  1. ^ United States Board on Geographic Names - Kalvarija (54° 24' 00" N, 023° 14' 00" E). Accessed 2009-11-19.
  2. ^ "Kalvarija, Lithuania". Jewishgen.org. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  3. ^ Освобождение городов
  4. ^ "Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania".