A Spiritual and Cultural-Historical Journey
from Pirita to Vana-Vastseliina

Pilgrim’s route

Tsolgo and Joosu

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The next destination is Tsolgo Village. The shortcut from Old Koiola to Tsolgo is 5 km. Soon we will pass the Kommeri Bus Stop and after a while we will reach from Põlva County to Võru County. There are Bus Stops after every ten minutes. It has taken an hour and a quarter of time when Tsolgo appears.

On the other hand, in a small circle via Old Koiola, from JOOSU Village to Tsolgo it is 8 km. The road passes the former Tavern of Joosu Mansion.
The Joosu Knight’s Manor (Waimel-Neuhof) was separated from Väimela Manor in 1731. The future Admiral Ferdinand von Wrangell (1797–1870), Baltic German origin, a famous Russian sailor and Arctic explorer, the Russian Minister of the Sea and the Governor of Alaska, spent his best childhood years here. After him has named the Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean, a mountain, a bay and a cape, a city and a Tribe in Alaska, as well as Roela Kindergarten-Basic School in Lääne-Virumaa. Ferdinand von Wrangell, his wife and children are buried in Viru-Jaagupi Cemetery.

Ferdinand von Wrangell and his wife Elisabeth von Wrangell. EAA.

The long single-decked, early classicist Joosu Manor House with a half-sloped roof, was built in the end of 18th Century. The Hall’s ceilings of the Main Building were decorated with a geometric ornament. Next to the Manor House Front Square was build a Barn and a Trolley-Stable. By now, the Manor House, which had been empty for a long time, has collapsed in several places. Of the Outbuildings, there is only a Barn left.

The TSOLGO Village is probably the most lake-rich Village in Estonia. There are seven lakes in the Tsolgo chain lake: Lauga, Karsna, Pille, Annejärv, Mustjärv, Kõverjärv and Pikkjärv. Mustjärv, located in the middle of the Village, is the fourth deepest lake in Estonia (29.7 m).
The name of the Village is believed to have come from the fact that there was very watery and clay-muddy land here. There was always sounded a „tsollin and tsolgatus” under the horse stepping.
The Tsolgo has been mentioned for more than 350 years ago. The people of Tsolgo have always lived in this swampy and forested natural landscape, quite isolated, away from other settlements. In this way, they have created an own separate cultural center here.

In 1811, on the initiative of the Lord of Timo Manor, a Primary School was opened in Tsolgo, where children were taught to read and write. Later, the school was renamed Timo Parish School.
Already in 1918, the Tsolgo Public Library Society was founded. Tsolgos also had a Charity Society, a String Orchestra and a Women’s Choir. In the Tsolgo Shop you could buy lamp oil, nails, salt, cloth and the wealthier people bought sugar, but all the necessary food stuffs was produced by the local Farms themselves. Until the opening of the Võru Milk Factory in 1969, a Dairy also worked in Tsolgo. The White House opposite the Community Center, is the former Dairy House.
During the Soviet occupation, Tsolgo was the center of the Järve Collective Farm, but after joining the Kirov Collective Farm, the Tsolgo remained on the fringes. Instead of the previous Basic School, only Primary School stayed in Tsolgo.

Life in Tsolgo has not stalled at all. In 2003, the Nonprofit Tsolgo Development Society was established to promote Village life. The Tsolgo Civic Centre was renovated, and there is also a small Singing Stage next to it. Across the road, directly on the shores of Lake Mustjärv, is a long bright yellow house, Tsolgo’s Old School Building, in where acting now a Village House and a Library. In Tsolgo is diligently developing a community cultural life.


Accommodation for pilgrims:
The Tsolgo Civic Centre
Angela Järvpõld (+372) 53268740; Katrin Volman (+372) 56692718;
Tiia Tamm (+372) 51943326
The Tsolgo Library
Library Manager, Vaike Rätsepp (+372) 5621 3180;
Opening Hours in the Tsolgo Library:
Monday and Friday 9.00–14.00; Tuesday and Thursday 11.00–16.00

By Daila Aas, in September 2019