Žemaičių Kalvarija (earlier – Gardai) was mentioned first in 1253 as a Curonian settlement with a castle, an altar hill and a burial ground.
The town has preserved the network of roads and streets that was characteristic of 9th-13th centuries, and also many archaeological, architectural, art, sacred and other valuables of cultural heritage and nature; the town is known for an impressive relief.
In the 4th decade of the 17th century, the bishop Jurgis Tiškevičius founded the first in the Great Duchy of Lithuania Path of Cross with 19 chapels, built a new church of Mary and entrusted all this to Dominican monks. The custom of unique trips to Indulgenced Feasts, called Didžioji Kalvarija (Great Calvary) that take place in the first decade of July have become popular
immediately together with the custom of Walking the Mountains. The catholic temple has become famous, and the town slowly became renamed into Kalvarija (Calvary). In 1664, the Dominicans opened a school and maintained it properly, this school even reached a gymnasium status at the beginning of the 19th century. Simonas Daukantas, Motiejus Valančius and other enlightened people from Žemaitija used to study here.
In Žemaičių Kalvarija, the memorial museum of Vytautas Mačernis is open to the public, also there is an administration office of the elderate, a library, several stores, a cafe, a bus station. About 800 residents live in this town.

Žemaičių Kalvarija