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

Pilgrim’s route

From the Aru Mansion to Vellavere

Let’s start journey in Mälgi Village at the Erumäe Bus Stop, which located near to Aru Mansion. Do not turn to grain dryers, but go straight ahead from Roosi farm. On the cross-road with the mail-boxes, where we reach about after three-quarters an hour walking, we’re still going straight ahead. Above Krasna Farm (a nice little sauna stays on the left side of the road) we reach to a little bigger road. Keep left.

In front of the pine trees at the Männiku Farm post box, we turn left, to the woods track. On the right of us is the pasture, on the left fragrant spruces and pines. Then we reach in the forest. The next landmark is the gravel quarry. When the path branch, we go left and very soon we turn right.

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If we find ourselves standing in front of a crossing gate, behind which is a pond and farmhouse (Väike-Lallimäe farm), we’re going under the crossing gate and continue along to the road. After a while is a road branch, from there we turn right, Kuusiku farm stays on the way. After arriving to the asphalt road – this is the Puhja–Elva Highway – we head to the right again. Here, at the Laane Bus Stop we can rest a bit your feet and feed your body. So far, about one and a half hours and we have been walked ca 5.4 km.

Before the Laane Bus Stop, the road turns to Vellavere. Soon is Kalmumägi or Vellavere Kalmakmägi (also Kabelimägi, Kalmatmägi). Based on the findings, the Cemetery has been in use since 13th until 18th Century as a village cemetery. The deceased were buried according to Christian traditions, with heads in Southwest and West direction. From there has been find a horseshoe and ring brooches, knives and three old coins.


It’s a 20 to 25 minutes’ walk from the Laane Bus Stop’s, until we are in Vellavere.

VELLAVERE is an ancient settlement, in the moraine landscape of the lakes and mountainous. Vellavere was first mentioned in the writing in 1582 as Welewer. According to the legend, the Village is named after the bloodshed (blood means vere) of the brother (vend).
On the right side of the road, above Jakob’s Farm was in 1985 discovered the Vellavere Village Core (300 years ago, villages of Southern Estonia consisted of the densely clustered farms). Here was a darker soil than usual, in which containing burnt stone pieces, animal bones and fragments of pottery.
Before the Swedish-Polish War (1600–1611) in Vellavere Village were 5 farms, but then after in 1638, was still there only 1 farm, owner Kegel Andresz. Later, in the heart of the village, three farms  – Jakob, Matsi and Koke – were given to three brothers, who had worked in Aru Mansion (one of them was a chef and another was a gardener). The ancient Vellavere Village buried his deceased in Kalmakmäki.

Today Vellavere is a beautiful vibrant village. The great event of Vellavere, in the summer of 2018, was the Day of the Villages of Konguta, which was held for the fourteenth time and at that time Vellavere once hosted the people of the surrounding villages.
The Vellavere Matsi Farm was home to the renowned weather briefer Vadim Želnin (1909–1996), who was the Chairman of the Vellavere Collective Farm, between 1955 and 1970.


There is really no shortage of lakes in here. There is Lake of Kogre and Lake of Küla, right here is Lake of Vissi and a bit bigger Lake of Viisjaagu.  Thermo-karst origin Lake of Küla is on the respectable 12th place, among the Estonian deepest lakes (the highest depth is 25 m). Külajärv (Lake of Village) was previously known under the name of Mõõkjärv (Lake of Sword). According to the legend, the Lake emerged from the sword strike of Kalevipoeg, when he fought here with the hell forces. The sword penetrated deep into the ground and gave birth to a large hole, that filled with water.

We’re going from Vellavere to the Mosina Watermill now. The road goes up and down in the hill, through a beautiful high pine forest. In the cross-road, by the orange mailboxes at the Viisjaagu Lake (here, in the left side of the road, is an old stead of Viisjaagu Tavern), we keep right. Now you have to be careful, to not miss a modest Signpost, that leads to the Mosina Mill – it’s stays on your left hand, but the text is not in Vellavere’s side.

From the Aru Mansion to the Mosina Mill is just over 9 kilometers. This walking, with breaks and sightseeing, took just a bit over 3 hours.

Daila Aas, in August 2018