Viljandi is a town and municipality in southern Estonia. This adorable little town hidden deep within southern Estonian forests boasts impressive castle ruins, former home of the ruling Livonian Order. The scenic views of the nearby lake and wooden architecture make Viljandi a place of interest to both nature and culture lovers.
I am from Viljandi. Viljandi is my childhood hometown.
Mulgi- Mulgimaa is an area in South-Estonia, with own culture, traditions, food and dialect.
This area and culture is a perfect example of the globalisation already in 19th of century. During the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 was the lack of cotton and price was very high.
So, as demand for alternatives. South Estonia, Mulgimaa has perfect conditions for the cultivation of linen. Bondage was in Estonia abolished 1816, but still, farmers were very poor and the land was owned by landlords. But because of America and demand for linen, farmers gets enough money to buy from landlords land and farms. And this area becomes rich and successful. This made others little bit jealous and they started to call people and this area Mulgimaa 🙂
Prehistoric hillfort (9th-13th) century AD( was located on Kaevumägi. In 1223 it was conquered by the German crusaders. Stone fortifications were started from AD 1224. The Convent building was erected at the turn of the 13th-14th century.
What to do and see in Viljandi
- ruins of the Viljandi Order Castle
- two lakes
- a lot of modern art
- Viljandi is sometimes referred to as the cultural capital of Estonia and is well known for the Viljandi Folk Music Festival that takes place in July.
- read more about Viljandi
- Practically all Estonians speak or at least understand English. Generation +40 speak and understand Russian. Because of the similarity of languages Estonians are able to understand Finnish. Children learn German, French and some Swedish or Chinese at school
- almost everywhere you can pay with a card. ATM -s are in bigger places and petrol stations.
- and yes, this is not a fairy tale. almost everywhere in Estonia is Wifi
In South Estonia and Mulgimaa:
- check for my blog tag ” Mulgi”. Mulgi cuisine is famous and you should eat Mulgi kapsas, Mulgi puder, Mulgi korbid.
- swim in a forest lake after smoke sauna
- Berries and mushrooms can be picked from July until the first snow falls. And yes, this is very ok, eat wild berries picked from the forest.
Best Souvenirs to buy from Estonia
- Kalev chocolate, liqueur Old Tallinn/Vana Tallinn, Balbiino ice cream and Tallinna spiced sprats (Tallinna vürtsikilu)
- Handicrafts made of linen, wool, wood, juniper or limestone. Haapsalu scarf.
(NB! In Tallinn Viru Street you can find a lot of amber and Matrjoschka. Amber is from Lithuania and Matrjoschka from Russia. Both countries are beautiful and with a rich culture and interesting history. I suggest to visit Lithuania and Russia :))
- for children, everything about and with Lotte.
Estonian Food you Must to Try
- visit Estonian supermarkets and buy some Estonian dairy products: kohuke, kodujuust (cottage cheese), hapukoor (sour cream). Buy Kama and rye bread, handicraft beer
- In restaurants ask for quark cake, soups with dumplings, meatballs or cabbage. Semolina cream, quark cream or bread cream. Local lake fish. Drink kefir, kvass or local beer. Värska mineral water. And Estonian tap water and forest spring water are clean, pure and drinkable.
- check and google timetable for Viljandi Folk, Pärnu Weekend, Jazzkaar, PÖFF or Laulupidu.
- buy movie about Estonian history: ” Nimed marmortahvlil”, ” Tants aurukatla ümber”, ” “Tuulepealne maa”. Or ” Malev”, this is a comedy and pseudo-history, but very good summary about Estonians.
- Music: Pärt ja Tüür. Tõnis Mägi, The Sun; Metsatöll and TradAttack. And read my blog posts. I gave a lot of links for good Estonian music.