Monument For The Insurrection Of Pühajõe




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Monument For The Insurrection Of Pühajõe / Description

In 1640 landlord of Sõmerpalu built a new sawmill to River Võhandu in addition to already existing grain mill.
Year 1641 witnessed extremely difficult weather conditions, also the spring of 1642 promised nothing good. Harvest threatened to fail for the second year in a row.
April 30 1642 60 peasants from all over the area came to see the landlord Ohm. They promised to wait for eight days and if weather conditions don`t improve by then it was clear that the mill and dam had angered River Võhandu or Pühajõgi (Holy River) as it also was called with the damming up of the water.
On July 8 1642 peasants invaded the mill and burnt it down. Also the dam was destroyed. Goal of the peasants was to placate the holy river, which was thought to be the home of Thunderbolt. It was believed that the river fairy could make rain if the river water was littered or the flow blocked. Three weirs were put in the river to forecast weather, if fish without scales or crayfish was caught in the weir it meant that bad harvest could be on his way. An ox was sacrificed and tried once more to escape the danger. If even a third attempt didn`t give a better omen, it is told that a child was sacrificed.
Insurrection was squashed with the help of army and peasants were severely punished. Riot of Pühajõe was to be the last attempt for Estonians to protect their folk belief in a public struggle.

Monument For The Insurrection Of Pühajõe / Gallery

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