During your visits to Saaremaa, you have certainly been to the museum of meteoritics and limestone in Kaali, walked in the narrow streets fenced with field stones in Kogula village or admired nice stone buildings in Kuressaare. In addition to these, we have many more interesting stony places which, at the first sight, may stay out of attention.
Do you know where Blesta stones are located and the story behind them? The memorial made of stones in Saareküla village of Laimjala municipality was put up in honour of the beautiful Nordic goddess Blesta. The idea of the memorial came from the Sovereign Abali Order, represented by Prince Gregorio, claiming that following to several disasters (Ice Age, floods, etc.) about 30,000 years ago, land started emerging again from the world ocean. One of the first pieces of land that appeared about 12,000 years ago was the island of Saaremaa – the Mother Island.
Myths and legends are also related to another important stone in Saaremaa, the about 4 m high Piret boulder in Kõiguste village. The story goes that Piret, the wife of Suur Tõll, the ancient epic hero of Saaremaa had been carrying stones to build a sauna. The stones were heavy and ripped the apron where she had the stones. One of them fell on her foot and Piret burst into tears out of pain and mischief. Her tears caused a swamp around her, which still today is called the Women’s Swamp.
Quite an interesting sight opens at the seaside in Ohessaare village on Sõrve peninsula. A high section of the coast that is about 500 m long and up to 4 m high reveals layers of limestone. The place has become well-known as people like to use the flat pieces of limestone to build towers on the coast. Some of them are just small and low, some of them pretty high. By the end of summer, the place gets covered with these towers. Rather often they do not resist autumn storms and the building process starts anew next summer. More info on Ohessaare bluff here.
Many have enjoyed the view from the steep coast (21 m high) in Panga village. When you happen to visit the location, take a walk along the waterfront to feel the power of a limestone wall arising from the sea. Also, it’s worth to keep your eyes on the stones as a lot exciting fossils and little stones with holes in them can often to be found there.
A new angle to the world of stones appears in Lümanda Lime Park. A 1.8 km hiking trail gives you an overview of how limestone is turned into lime. The trail goes between ancient lime-kilns and each of them demonstrates a certain phase of the lime production technological process. The trail is equipped with information stands in English, Finnish, Russian, Swedish, German and Latvian, so one can pass it without a guide. After passing the trail, we invite you to watch a short film describing the lime production process in general and possible applications of lime, also some simple experiments with limestone and lime can be made. One of the kilns is operated yet today and if you are lucky, you can see the real process going on.