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In the scenic Southern Estonia there are a lot the "mosts"! For instance, here is the highest point of the Baltic States – Suur Munamägi, 318 meters high, located in the center of Haanja Upland in Võru County. 

Also, located here is the fourth lake in Europe by its size in area, Lake Peipus-Pskov (3555 km²), Estonia's longest river of 162 kilometers - Võhandu, as well as the deepest lake of Estonia – Rõuge Suurjärv (38 m). In South Estonia have been recorded the absolutely lowest (-43.5 º C) and highest (+35.6 ° C) temperatures in Estonia.   

 

Even the thickest oak tree in Estonia - the 680-year-old and with eight meters in circumference Tamme-Lauri oak is growing here.

 

But it is not just the breathtakingly enchanting natural environment that makes South Estonia special; there is also much more. Here are a few fascinating and funny facts: 

  • The young people of North and West Estonia are taller and they have broader shoulders than the young people of East and South Estonia, and in Western Estonia, Harju County and Southern Estonia, there are more people with light eyes than elsewhere in Estonia. 
  • It was only through the Russian merchants that cotton fabric appeared in Southern Estonian national costumes in the 19th century, especially the red tones, which so far had been achieved locally with complex staining techniques. So far, differently from Northern Estonians, the national costumes of Southern Estonians were of one color.  
  • If there is a rooster on the church tower, you are sure to be in front of a church in South-Estonia (the influence of Riga); crosses, on the other hand, refer to North-Estonia (the influence of Tallinn). 
  • More than twenty years ago, one could determine by the color of the cows grazing on the meadow, where in Estonia you currently were – the red cows were in the South, the piebald (black and white) ones in the North. 
  • In the past, it was possible to guess the origin of a person by his or her first name. A study of the year 1840 reveals that the names Margus, Ebbo, Mango, Toots, Kaabriel, Albert and Jaak could be then considered the names of South-Estonia, whereas in Viljandi,  Epp and Peep were very common.  Out of the names given in the middle of the 20th century, girls’ names Maie, Ene, Anneli, Triin and boys’ names Andres and Tanel may be regarded as names of Tartu.  
  • The names Aivar, Külli, Heli and Kaja became first popular in Võru County, and later they caught on in other parts of the country.  Also, Kalev, Ülo, and Lembit are predominantly South-Estonian names. 

 

Perhaps you also know some other distinctive characteristic customs of Southern Estonians?  Let us know about it!

Go wild!
Rest actively!
Enjoy history and culture!
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