The Jõgeva County, speaking of popular tourist destinations in Estonia, is often forgotten – lying in eastern Estonia at the historically significant shore of Lake Peipsi. Many legends are connected to Jõgeva County and the history, culture and nature of the county are diverse – starting from the town of Põltsamaa, over the region of Vooremaa up to the western shore of Peipsi.
The region of Põltsamaa has lots of beautiful and historical manors, Põltsamaa itself is one of the most interesting places in Jõgeva County, know for the ruins of its historical castle as well as the wine capital of Estonia. The square shaped castle of the Holy Order has been conquered and rebuilt many times and been the residence of various masters. The castle was unfortunately destroyed in the, however up to nowadays you can winder through the beautiful rose garden and the baroque castle church. In Kaarlimõisa close to Põltsamaa you’ll find the historically important house of the Estonian Alexander’s School.
In Jõgeva County you will discover many locations linked to the epic Estonian national hero, Kalevipoeg (trans. Son of Kalev). Many of them are various natural objects, bodies of water, moraines, hills, sling stones etc.
Reaching Palamuse, an Estonian will have an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia of the popular “Kevade” movie and its invisible presence. Visit the Palamuse church and the Oskar Luts Parish Museum.
Elistvere animal park is very unique in Estonia, as you can see a lot of different animal and bird species there. There’s a nice lake close by, the Elistvere swamp and the Nava creek. Typically, there’s once been a manor here.
One of the most beautiful manor complexes in Jõgeva County is located in Puurmani; in 1877-1881 one of the most beautiful and impressive manors in the style of neo-renaissance in the whole Estonia was erected there with its octagon-shaped main tower and interesting manor park. There’s not much left of the side building and the manor houses a school nowadays.
In Kursi close at the shore of river Pedja you’ll find the Maarja-Eliisabeti church with its 12 small, arrow-like apostle towers. There are a many interesting legends about the construction of the church.
In Kärde you’ll find a so-called “Small House of Peace”, where according to local legends, the significant Russo-Swedish peace treaty of Kärde was signed. Kärde is located at an old, important postal road, close to Kärde hill with forest-covered Endla marsh behind it. Kärde park, the Peter’s stone and the so-called Peace-ditch are of further interest. Close by are many different lakes connected to old legends, like the lake Männika, which was supposed to be the dwell of Kalevipoeg and lake Endla, where supposedly the daughter of Vanemuine (epic Estonian figure) – Jutta – used to (there’s the Jutta stone at the lakeside).
Laiuse, with its parallel name Sootaga, is a historical site with a former ancient order castle, which has belonged to Germans, Polish, Swedes and Russians. Interesting is that one of the oldest schools in Estonia is located in Estonia. The St. Jüri church in Laiuse dates back to 14th century, the orthodox church of Laiuse in Mõisaküla dates from the 19th century.
The small town of Mustvee at the northwestern shore of lake Peipsi is an interesting manor site grown out of a fishermen village with the historical Russian name Tšornõi (the ‘black’) historically inhabited by Russian old-believers. Visit the original Scales museum and one of Kalevipoeg’s numerous sling stones. On the shore of Peipsi you will find the monument “Mourning girl”. From the historical 7 congregations of Mustvee 4 are today still active, the Apostle Nikolai Orthodox Church, the St. Trinity Church, Mustvee Lutheran and Mustvee Old-believer’s Church. You can also visit the Raja old-believer’s church and the Luua manor.