According to some data Kambja was first mentioned in 1330 while a parish of the same name existed as early as 1430. A rebuilt manor house of the Väike-Kambja or Vastse-Kambja manorial estate has been preserved. St. Martin’s Church was first mentioned in 1330 but has been destroyed many times in the history. In 1720, the church was rebuilt again, this time of stone and a transept was added to the old part in 1874. After World War II, the church, which is one of the biggest in Southern Estonia, was in ruins for many years until restoration began in 1989. The old bells which were cast in Moscow have survived. A new organ was donated by the Träsiövi congregation of Sweden.

Symbolic gravestones are placed in the churchyard to Andreas Virginius, Albrecht Sutor, Bengt Gottfried Forselius and Ignatsi Jaak - the developers of Estonian school. There is also a memorial to the 300th anniversary of Estonian public school and an oak planted by the Swedish crown prince Gustavus Adolphus in 1932. Andreas Virginius, who served the Kambja congregation between 1660 and 1710 and his son Adrian Virginius, who was born in Nõo in 1663, were outstanding specialists in the Southern Estonian language. Father translated the New Testament into the Southern Estonian language (1686-1926, it has been reprinted twenty times). Based on the manuscripts of his father, Adrian published a large catechism and a hymnal in the language of the Southern Estonia in Riga in 1684. The mentioned works were essential from the viewpoint of development of the Estonian language.

In 1929, a monument to the War of Independence (sculptor Aleksander Eller) was opened in Kambja. It was restored by the sculptor Aivar Ennet in 1989. There is also a tombstone to a Swedish general dating from the Great North ern War and people say that the man had been buried together with his horse.

Kambja is considered the cradle of Estonian choral singing. It was the pastor A. Sutor (1691-1758) who started the movement of congregations of brethren where much importance was attached to singing. In 1794, a children’s choir was established for both boys and girls. One of the oldest Estonian parish schools was opened in Kambja. Ignatsi Jaak (about 1670-1741), who came from Kavastu, worked here for 40 years. He was one of the two Estonian students of B.G. Forselius who demonstrated their skills to the Swedish king in 1686 and proved this way that an Estonian was also able to acquire education.

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