Thursday, 21.09.2017

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Viljandi county


Viljandi County is also known as Mulgimaa and locals (the ‘Mulgid’) are proud their homeland, not only because of their historical capital Viljandi (Ger. Felllin), but of their special heritage and traditions.


Old traditions and habits are honored in Mulgimaa, starting from their special dialect up to their food, folklore and legends.


Biggest towns of Viljandi County are Viljandi, Mõisaküla and Võhma. Big parts of Viljandi County are located at the beautiful Sakala highlands with its magnificent wild valleys like Viljandi and Karksi. In the east Viljandi County there’s the biggest inland water body of Estonia – Võrtsjärv – rich in fish (famous for its eel) surrounded by swampy forests and meadows. There are great swimming locations and other locations for resting and outdoor activities, also for water sports.


Visit the biggest national park of Viljandi County – Soomaa (trans. Land of Swamp), with Estonia’s biggest swamps, forests and meadows. There’s often high water there in spring, which locals call the 5th season.


Visit the best preserved manor complex in Estonia in Olustvere with its cobble-stone main building and park alleys with ponds in English style by G. Kuphaldt. The castle hill in Lõhavere, also Pilistvere and Suure-Jaani with its land church are of interest.


Heimtal, with its manor distillery from 1832 is a popular place for fares also known for breeding sport horses.


In Karksi-Nuia, visit Õisu manor, the smithy (one of the biggest in Estonia) and the manor park, which of one of the best preserved baroque ensembles in South-Estonia. At Abja manor, there are over 500 cobble stone roads well preserved in the region, with Abja museum worth visiting.


In Halliste you can visit the best preserved old land church in Estonia from the 15th century (St. Anna church). Close by in Hendrikhansu outcrop, you can see the widest of Estonian sandstone outcrops.


The old centre of Viljandi County, the city of Viljandi, was mentioned already in 1154 but it has been inhabited long before this in ancient times. Viljandi has been one of the most important locations in the history of Estonia and Old-Livonia (back then as the Sakala County), also being one of the 4 Estonian Hanseatic cities. Viljandi Orders’ castle was the mightiest fortification complexes in Old-Livonia. The hanging bride and castle hill of Viljandi are one or the most legendary spots in Estonia.


The ruins of the historical Karksi Order’s fortress are one of the pearls of Viljandimaa. A baroque church was erected midst the ruins in the 18th century. You’ll also find an original nature park, primeval valley, ancient trees and blue springs supposedly with healing powers.