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About Muhu Island

Kalmer Saar – Muhu vaade

We have a traditional folk song about Muhu island that says: „On one side there is a large strait and on the other side a small one, you only need half of the day to have the straits done!“ The seemingly small island of Muhu offers a lot to discover while being rich in its nature as well as its historical and cultural heritage.

The nature in Muhu

The nature of the island has remained quite untouched by development activities during the last 50 years. Muhu is a natural habitat for 23 (!) rare orchid species, which is made possible by the landscape diversity characteristic of the island. Wet meadows and tall dry junipers create a favourable, but also a very vulnerable ecosystem for their survival. The island of Muhu is a stop and nesting place for swans and many other migratory birds that find shelter in numerous coastal bays.

DID YOU KNOW that in 1984, the people of Muhu had the opportunity to host pelicans in the waters of the Little Strait, and in 1992 we had black swans. And in 1996 our diligent fishermen in Muhu caught almost three meters of Atlantic sturgeon!

The history of Muhu

Muhu is the third largest island in Estonia, the formation of which began 440 million years ago as a result of the rise of coral cliffs. The first people settled here in 2500 BC, as evidenced by the stone tombs and the rural towns of Päelda and Linnus that have survived since the beginning of the second millennium.

The densely populated island was an independent administrative unit already in ancient times. In 1227, the dramatic final scene of the ancient Estonian fight for independence took place in the Muhu Island country castle. The battle is also recorded in Henrik’s Livonian Chronicle. It is believed that the ancestors of today’s Muhu’s habitants arrived from Courland.

DID YOU KNOW that Muhu has also been known for its travelling labourers for centuries! It was they who laid the foundation for the specific architectural style of Muhu with the skills they received from abroad.

Muhu’s culture and
everyday life

The island of Muhu is sparsely populated, but at the same time, the distances are small enough to create a strong sense of community. Muhu Island is best characterized by active creative people, closeness to nature, peace and the sea surrounding the island. There are probably hundreds of kilometres of old and restored stone walls in Muhu. To this day, the houses have thatched roofs, which are also common for newer buildings.

DID YOU KNOW that Muhu people make a dessert called “warm beer” and sour potatoes are made into a cream called “hapurokk”! Sounds interesting? You have to taste it to know it!

Muhu’s people

The people of Muhu are very active and have an entrepreneurial mindset – this is also reflected in the rich cultural life, numerous joint events, diverse handicrafts, entrepreneurship and the general development of Muhu municipality. In Muhu, old traditions are kept alive and passed on. The famous patterns of Muhu have become bright examples of Estonian folk art, as well as dances and songs. When talking to the people of Muhu, you can feel the pride of the time-resistant community about its island and its spirituality. By the way, the people of Muhu, unlike the people of Saaremaa, also cope very well with the õ-vowel!

DID YOU KNOW that Muhu Island is the best place to live! This is confirmed by surveys conducted in recent years among Estonians to find out how satisfied they are with their place of residence. We live in the best place in the world – scientifically proven!

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