Useful information
LIGHTHOUSE TOUR book
1. Contract stones and Otimäe stone burial place
2. Pühalepa church
3. Suuremõisa castle
4. Suursadam
5. Soera Farm Museum
6. Kärdla
7. Hill of Crosses
8. Tahkuna lighthouse
9. Reigi church
10. Kõrgessaare-Viskoosa
11. Kõpu lighthouse
12. Vanajõe Valley
13. Sõru harbour
14. Orjaku bird observation tower
15. Exhibits building of Hiiumaa museum in Kassari
16. Sääretirp
17. Kassari chapel and graveyard
18. Vaemla wool factory
 
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Supported by European Union
 
 

SOERA FARM MUSEUM

When driving back from Suursadam harbour, turn right at the first crossroads, in about 2.5 km. When you reach the main road, turn right. After about 1.5 km you are in Palade. Turn right from the bus stand, where there is also a sign pointing to Soera Farm Museum.

Photo: Toomas Kokovkin
Photo: Toomas Kokovkin / www.fotokogu.com

This little museum owned by the commune of Pühalepa, introduces rural life in the past, and was founded in 1979 as a so-called collective farm museum. During its first years mainly volunteers hold it alive. Many people remember Johannes Kokla, the older man from the neighbourhood, who managed the farm houses, told interesting stories about the past and played the concertina. His work was continued by many others, with support from the community. Now the Pühalepa community has leased the museum as a tourist attraction.

Soera Farm's original name was Sooääre (Swamp Edge). The swamps in Hiiumaa are so small that it is even hard to notice them. Houses and backyards, on the contrary, are so big that it's just impossible to pass them. Soera is very much like that. All the old farm's characteristic features have been preserved in Soera: long barn-dwelling, large yard, granaries, a summer kitchen, cellar and a cosy chimneyless sauna. It's true that there is a new dining hall in place of the old barn's ruins, and most of the old fields have lain fallow for years. The central part of the dwelling or the kiln-house originates from the middle of the 19th century. This barn-dwelling, quite typical of Hiiumaa, gives a perfect overview of how country people's life has changed (the kiln-house is still without a chimney and the family room already has a chimney and wooden floor instead of earth floor). Besides the vintage houses, it is also possible to learn about the old tools and commodities in the museum. Or try to figure out, how people could sleep in those short beds and how the women in Hiiumaa softened home-made cloth, got their husbands back home from the tavern and raised their kids. Outside the farmhouse borders is a roomy coach house from the more recent past with bigger work and driving vehicles.

Tip: The delightful Sooääre forest trail is also part of the farm's holdings and provides a wonderful opportunity to take time out, learn about nature and amble through the meadows covered with scattered trees that are so common in Estonia.

Legends and stories

Soera farm has welcomed many famous visitors to Hiiumaa, inspiring countless legends and stories. During the Soviet occupation, the first Vietnamese astronaut came to visit Soera and started looking for the residents, not understanding that it was not a regular dwelling house, but a museum. At the beginning of the new era of independence, the Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt and the Estonian prime minister Mart Laar tasted the village food of Soera and enjoyed a good sauna here. All of Estonia's top statesmen – both presidents (Lennart Meri, Arnold Rüütel), ambassadors and politicians, including foreign ones – have visited the museum.

Surroundings

If you have enough time, you can drive down the village road and find the Kukka stone. On your way to Kärdla you can also visit the crater observation tower or Paluküla church.

 
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