When driving out from the manor yard, take the direction
to Kärdla, or straight across the Heltermaa – Käina main
road. In about 4.5 km a sign leads you to Suursadam
harbour. Follow the next signs also.
Photo: Toomas Kokovkin / www.fotokogu.com
Suursadam (Deep Harbour), Djuphamn
in Swedish and Tiefenhafen in German,
was the most important trading port and
dockyard in Hiiumaa. This place was
mentioned as a harbour for the first time
in 1593. In the 17th century the port
belonged to J. De la Gardie and Erasmus
Jacobsson Bloedysel, a Dutchman who
rented manors in Hiiumaa. Besides
local ships, many other noblemen's
ships landed in this port. For example
from April 1692 to January 1693, 231
ships and boats stayed in this port. This was an active seafaring period.
The main buildings of Suursadam harbour originate mainly from
the 18th-19th century, but nowadays the complex has lost most of its
original look because of numerous new buildings and reconstruction
work. The most extraordinary one is the harbour storehouse made of limestone.
Presumably the building served as a granary, although it might also have been
in use as a place where ship construction materials
and repair parts were stored. The economic collapse at the beginning
of the 18th century was followed by the new boom at the end of the
century, when Otto Reinhold Ludwig von Ungern-Sternberg started
his business in Hiiumaa. After he bought the Suuremõisa manor and
Suursadam harbour, Hiiumaa became the main shipyard and loading
area for his family. Although a stone storehouse existed in Suursadam as
early as 1799, the imposing building, which stands today, may originate
Unfortunately the sea level in the harbour descended every year
and the sandbanks started to prevent the ships entering the port.
Barque Hioma, the first Estonian ship, which crossed the equator,
was constructed in Suursadam harbour in 1848. The crew consisted
mainly of local Hiiumaa sailors; the captain was one Marcussen from
The seagoing life continues even nowadays in Suursadam harbour.
The port mainly functions as a repair depot for fishing vessels. Young
sailors from Suuremõisa Technical School do their practical training
here. Sometimes foreign yachts stop in the port.
Testimony to better sailing days can be seen in the little museum
room. The engines, life rings, diving suits, and storm anchors in the
storehouse also speak of sailors from the past and their hard work.
From the high banks of Hellamaa you can see a beautiful view of the sea.
It is possible to stop by the Hellamaa windmill that was built in 1848.
You will pass the old Kuri schoolhouse and the ruins of the Orthodox
Church. There is also a memorial stone for the Estonian children’s
writer Julius Oengo, also known by the name Oro.