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

Pilgrim’s route

From Peetri to Müüsleri. Ataste teachers’ seminar

Our next destination is Müüsleri. A most important establishment for a traveller stands by the road some distance from Peetri church, an A and O shop.
From the path to the right of Uuetoa farm we can see the ruins of Ataste seminar.

Ataste teachers’ seminar was established here, at Ataste cattle farm, in 1837 by twelve Järva County manor lords led by Alexander von Grünewaldt of the Esna manor. They supported the undertaking financially, renting agricultural land to pay for the school. Here, future village school teachers were taught. According to the constitution, 12 students were admitted every three years. The graduates had to work six years in a school allocated to him by the local lord of the manor. The language was Estonian, the course lasted for three years and was free; to pay for their upkeep the students worked at the school’s agricultural holding. Besides specific subjects the students were instructed in housekeeping, gardening, carpentry and other useful skills. By the time the seminar finished in 1854, about 70 students from a farmer’s family background had graduated as a teacher.

Having explored the ruins of the cattle farm, which does not take long, we continue towards Müüsleri. A signpost soon informs us that we need to cover 3 km. We arrive about one hour and a half after starting at Peetri (including shopping and the ruins of Ataste seminar).

Daila Aas, September 2017