KAMENZ, chief town of a department in the circle of Bautzen, Saxony, is situated on the Black Elster, about 21 miles north-east of Dresden. It is the seat of a local court, and has a handsome new town-house and a library. The hospital is dedicated to the memory of Lessing, who was born here in 1729. A colossal bust of the poet was placed opposite the Wend church in 1863 ; and a monument was raised to him on a neighbouring hill in 1864. The industries of Kamenz include wool-spinning, and the manufacture of cloth, crockery, and stoneware. In 1875 the inhabitants numbered 6785, including the garrison.
Till the 16th century Kamenz was known by the name Dreikretchain. In 1318 it passed by purchase to the margrave of Brandenburg ; in 1319 it went to the king of Bohemia ; and in 1635, after suffering much in the Hussite and Thirty Years' wars, it came into • the possession of Saxony. In 1706 and 1842 it was visited by conflagration. About 6 miles south-east is the Cistercian monastery of Marienstern.