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

Pilgrim’s route

From Meleski to Rannu-Jõesuu

We starting from Meleski bus stop, ahead waiting Emajõgi River and Võrtsjärv Lake. In front of us are great refreshing waters and we will push forward bravely in the unconventional summer heat. Since on left side from the road stays a large Meleski bog, then there is no other way than to walk to Vaibla and thence down to the Jõesuu by road.


The road leads over the Vaibla bridge and starts Vaibla.


After a few hundred meters, we reach the Tartu–Viljandi Highway, where is with high traffic. Let's take direction to the left, to Sangla. Now must we suffer a little bit a traffic noise, there is nothing to do. Soon we are in Vaibla Bus Stop. Across the road, on the North Coast of Võrtsjärv Lake is The Vaibla Recreation Center, where you can stay overnight (phone: +372 58 665 414; info@vaiblapuhkekeskus.ee).

When we have been walking for half an hour thru the Tartu–Viljandi Highway, then comes from forest out a little road (it means from Meleski bog). In once we must to try this road, maybe this is a shortcut which helps to avoid long walking on big highway.
Next Bus Stop is Jõesuu.

From the distance looks the high red bridge arc like a landmark. Now we crossing the road – right in there says hello a 15 meters high bird-watching tower, built in 2008 and the Võrtsjärv’s Visitor Center (phone: +372 50 66 426; anmar@vortsjarv.com), located near to Emajõgi river. There is gest the apartments where until 6 people can stay overnight and great catering with tasty food and drinks.
Our journey from Meleski to Jõesuu lasted for two hours.


Rannu-Jõesuu has two large bridges across the Great-Emajõgi River on Tartu-Viljandi highway and the mouth of the Emajõgi River.
Before the first bridge was in there over 200 years old Rannu-Jõesuu official Emajõgi River Crossing Float Place. Near to the same float place, the squire of Võisiku, Georg Karl Heinrich von Bock (Timotheus Eberhard von Bock’s father), built a tavern in 1804.
At the end of the 19th century on the river was built a wooden floating bridge.
The permanent wooden bridge over the Emajõgi River was designed by engineer Friedrich Werncke from Viljandi, the bridge was completed in 1923.
From 1936 to 1937 instead of a tied wooden bridge was built a steel bridge, the details of which were manufactured at the Machinery Factory of Franz Krulli in Tallinn. The bridge was installed by Finnish company Cyklop.

Jõesuu wooden bridge in 1924 and Jõesuu steel bridge in 1936–37.

During the Second World War, the bridge was partially detonated in 1941, but in 1944 it was completely destroyed, only the bridge’s pillars basis stayed on.
In 1947 was build a new wooden bridge to Jõesuu, designed in Leningrad.
In 1958 it was replaced with the 66-meters long reinforced concrete bridge, build by the Russian engineers project’s and has been in use until now.
In 2009, circa one hundred meters from the concrete bridge, was build a new 90 meters long and 13.8 meters wide steel arch bridge, designed by Siim Idnurm, professor at Tallinn University of Technology.

Daila Aas in July, 2018