Jõgeva municipality

Endla Nature Reserve was established in 1985 to protect the central part of Endla mires which is relatively little affected by human activities. The eight mire complexes are separated by rivers, narrow floodplain meadows and swamp forests. Several overlapping hiking trails and the planked path on Männikjärv bog, which takes visitors to a viewing platform, offer an opportunity to observe different bird and plant species. The centre of the nature reserve with an exposition is in Tooma.

Kärde Peace House is located near the park of Kärde. On 21st June 1661, after the negotiations that had lasted for three months, the “treaty of everlasting peace” was signed in the house,. The treaty finished the Russian-Swedish 1656-1658 war and offered 40 years of peace, up to the Great Northern War. The Maiden’s Stone is on the grave of Margarethe Victoria von Stackelberg on Kärde Hill. The young lady drowned and the queer circumstances of her death created folk tales about her unhappy love affair with an ordinary peasant boy. Paduvere Farm Museum offers a display based on the 18th century rural life. Outside the museum there are five figures, made of oak by the sculptor Grigori Azarenkov from St. Petersburg.. The museum has become a place of public cultural events.

Frost Town Jõgeva – Father Christmas’ Home The first settlement at Jõgeva was established by the so-called cobblestone road between the Piibe highway and Jõgeva railway station (1876). In 1938. Jõgeva became a town. The Frost Column was erected in 2003 to point out that in 17.01.1940 Estonia’s official cold record –43,5ºC was measured in Jõgeva. Father Christmas has settled down here and his post office is waiting for letters all the year round. To perpetuate the memory of the writer and translator Betti Alver and the musician Alo Mattiisen a museum was opened where also the history of Jõgeva town is displayed.

Siimusti Pottery.  Joosep Tiiman established the pottery in 1886. The mostly hand-made production is available in  the pottery store. Kassinurme Hills is an ancient cult place with sacrificial stones. Nature trails offer the unique landscape that has induced many legends about Kalevipoeg. A fragnent of the stronghold was recreated. At the present time the place is used to arrange cultural, historical and folkloric events. In Kaarepere some old buildings, such as Kaarepere Apostle Orthodox Church (1898), the former ministerial school (1897), the railway station (1929) and the memorial to the War of Independence (1936, restored in 1990), are the most interesting sights of the place.

Vooremaa, the region of drumlins, is one of the most unique landscape types in Estonia as well as in Europe. It was formed during the last Ice Age and is characterised by ridges of north-western direction and long narrow lakes between them. The ridges were said to be Kalevipoeg’s furrows and the lakes – the drops of his sweat. 10 of the 13 Vooremaa lakes lie in Jõgeva county.

The Luua Arboretum, remarkably rich in species, is formed in geographical principle. The manorial ensemble of Luua is one of the best specimens of the baroque style in Estonia. A renovated manor house, a “gingerbread house” with woodcarvings and a park, rich in species, catch eye. One of the many Kalevipoeg’s slingstones lies on the shore of Lake Prossa. By a legend a wicked landlord lived in Kaarepere. The people complained to Kalevipoeg that the landlord was cruel to them. Kalevipoeg fetched a suitable boulder and threw it towards Kaarepere manor. The stone did not reach the destination but landed at Prossa Lake. The circuit of the stone is 25.5m, the height 2.2m.

Palamuse, first mentioned 1234, is one of the oldest parishes in Estonia, famed by the books of the celebrated author Oskar Luts. Palamuse Church (1234) is one of the oldest churches in South Estonia during the early period of Christianity. The two staircases to the vaults, one in the northern wall of the sanctuary and the other in the western wall of the nave, refer to a shelter on the vaults. The church was frequently enlarged and rebuilt. In the 17th century the vaults of the nave were damaged. In 1929 concrete vaults and a vestibule were built. The pulpit and the altar (J. D. Neuhausen) date from 1696. The three 15th-century tombstones are displayed in the vestibule. Outside, on the eastern wall, a painting, typical of the 14th century architecture, can be seen. In an old parish schoolhouse, which was built in 1873, a museum introduces the life in a parish school in the late 19th century as well as the life and works of the writer Oskar Luts and the history of Palamuse. In the park two wooden sculptures of monks can be seen.

The Oettingen family, who owned the estate of Kuremaa up to the early 20th century, built the classicistic manor house from 1837 to 1843. The manor house was designed by the architect E.J.Strauss from Tartu. Two million bricks, burnt near Kuremaa, were used for the building. The initial building consisted of three sections, joined by galleries. In 1935 a storey was added on the galleries. The manor house served as an agricultural school for decades. Now it is used to arrange conferences. Many outbuildings have been preserved. The splendid terraced park descends towards Kuremaa Lake. The burial ground and chapel of the Oettingen family, designed by W. v. Engelhardt, are located by the Kuremaa-Laiuse road in the forest. Laiuse Church was first documented in 1319. The building was destroyed during the Livonian, Polish-Swedish and Great Northern wars but always built up again. The present church is a nice limestone building. A staircase in the western wall refers to defence functions. In 1766 v. Schwartz’s burial chapel was built and later converted into a vestry. The tower, destroyed in WW II, was recreated in the 1970s. The big lime-tree in the church park is said to be one of the three lime-trees planted by Karl XII in 1701. In Laiuse Straw Museum different techniques of straw work (intarsia, plaiting etc.) are practised and displayed.

Laiuse Hill is the highest drumlin of Vooremaa. On the top of the hill there is the Blue Spring or “Kalevipoeg’s Well”. Long ago people tried to measure the depth of the spring and it was said to be bottomless. The spring was used for rituals concerning weather changes; it was said to cause rain and drought. In the case of long rainfalls the spring had to be covered just as in drought periods it was cleaned of moss. The water of the spring was believed to have healing qualities, especially for eyes. The ruins of Laiuse Order Castle are located by the side of the Jõgeva-Laiuse Highway. The fortress was started at the end of the 14th c by the Livonian Order to protect the eastern frontier. In the late Middle Ages Laiuse castle, the first fortification in Estonia for defence with fire-arms, was completed. In the middle of the 15th c the massive northern tower was completed. A moat and a drawbridge protected the courtyard. The castle was damaged in 1559 and repaired afterwards to accommodate the Swedish free-lance soldiers. At the end of the Swedish rule a showy wooden house was built, the residence of Karl XII and his escort in the winter of 1700-1701. His army was accommodated in the surrounding villages.