Linte Village

One of the largest villages in Räpina Rural Municipality is Linte. Linte Village covers an area of 11.79 km2 (4.43 % of the total area of Räpina Rural Municipality). By number of residents Linte Village is the largest in Räpina Rural Municipality – according to the rural municipality register there are 253 people living in the village (as of 1 August 2012). Forty-seven households are in use all year round (as of 2006).

Human activity and settlement in Linte Village dates back many centuries. This is proved by the fact that Linte Luhamäe is an ancient site for sacrifices. The first mention of Linte Village (Limita) in the Polish Livonian Land Revision was made in 1582. At that time the village was named Limita. According to the latest data, there had been a mistake made in reading the hand-written texts and the historical name of Linte was actually Linuta. According to legend, the elders of Linte Village went to the local hilltop to predict the future according to the direction of flight of birds. That is where the hill, Arumägi, got its name, Lindemäe (the Estonian word for ‘bird’ is ‘lind’), and the village its name Linde – which later turned to Linte. Later, when people took sacrifices to the sacred woods on Lindemäe hill, a woman named Maarja was the elder, the sacred person there to carry out the ceremony. It is after her that the woods were named Maarjahiid (the Estonian word ‘hiid’ refers to ‘sacred wood’) and the hill became Maarjamägi (the Estonian word ‘mägi’ means ‘hill’). It has been said that Maarjamägi was the location of a former stronghold, but was later also used as a cemetery. Before the Great Northern War, Estonia and Livonia were hit by the Great Famine, which was accompanied by an epidemic. Many people died. The victims of the epidemic were buried in the old cemetery on Linte Maarjamäe. Between the two world wars gravel was excavated from the Maarjamäe hill. During this operation many human bones were discovered in the earth. Finally, the rural municipality administration prohibited the excavation of gravel from the hill. During the Soviet period, gravel excavation was started on the other side of the hill. This is why a large part of Maarjamäe has been scattered about.

In the early 18th century a colony of Old Believers lived on the territory of Linte Village. They established a village school here, with the view of educating the children at the basic level. This means the first known educational institution in the Räpina area was located in Linte. There was a school in the former village centre of Linte, near the current cross-country race track, from 1859 to 1900. Until the end of the 19th century there was an inn near Luhamäe.

The fate of present day Linte has been strongly influenced by the establishment of the Räpina-Linte Ühispiimatalituse (common milk production facility) in 1912, with the centre of activity focusing around the Linte dairy which was completed in 1923.

As the farmers became wealthier, new cow sheds were built and new technology acquired. This all brought about the need to extend the production space. In 1927, the Räpina-Linte Veeühisus (water society) was formed for that purpose. All of the farmers in the area of the future main drainage canal were to become users of the society. In 1935, Juhan Uibopuu, the manager of the dairy at the time, wished to improve the quality of the milk and raised the requirements for the received milk. Yet, it was not possible to bring the milk quality to the level required for participating in the milk quality assessment competition held in Berlin in 1937. It is thought that an alcohol shop located right next to the dairy played its part in the failure to reach the target quality, since it influenced the work of the employees of the dairy.

During the time of the collective farms, the centre of Linte Village moved to the land of the Höörberg farm. Five large apartment buildings and a new shop building were built in Linte. Linte became a strong cultural centre when the house of the Höörberg farm became the local collective farm centre, since the barn of the farm was rebuilt as the local community centre. Amateur activists also came to Linte from more distant villages. In 1974, a cultural centre with room for 400 people was built in Linte. Life simmered in the Linte cultural centre, with people travelling there by bus and from remote areas. In order to promote cultural life, an active person was hired to organise different events in the Linte centre. There were theatre productions, concerts and dance evenings. During the Soviet period, Linte Village was an important and active cultural centre. On the stage of the collective farm’s community cultural centre many well-known Estonian artists of the time performed, along with many visiting theatre groups; and twice a week there was a cinema screening. The closing of the cultural centre following the restoration of Estonia’s independence and its sale to a furniture company was a significant blow to the cultural life of the whole village.

The beginning of the history of the current library dates back to 1921, when there was a youth association (formed in 1920) active in Naha Village, which also had a library. In 1957, the Naha library was brought over to Linte. In that year, the name of the library was changed to the “Linte library”. Even today, there are books in the library that carry the stamp of the “Naha public library”.

In 1994, an event was started in Linte that is still held to this day – Räpina motocross. It has become a popular tradition both amongst the local people and people coming from further away. The cross-country motor race track was built by NGO Kagu Motoklubi on the land of the former Tolsta farm. International motocross events take place there regularly twice every year.

Linte has been home to such well-known people as Hindrek Heering (1885-1973), the long-term school master, beekeeper and collector of old books, and well-known choirmaster Paul Krigul (1910-1980). Of the people known in present day Estonia, the most well-known is politician Margus Leivo. People in Linte Village are active in making wooden houses and furniture; also, many companies are active in agriculture. There is a shop in Linte providing the local people with basic commodities; for other goods the people still need to go to Räpina or even further.

The Linte library and village centre has taken it upon itself to educate and entertain the local people. The new building was finished in 2008.

In 2006, the people of Linte established a non-profit association called Lisje, which is active in writing projects and applying for funds for making dreams come true. Many of these projects have already been successful. With the support of non-profit association Lisje, a busy and active handicraft group was able to start its activities in the village centre as a place where local people can learn handicrafts or make them. The people of Linte are also proud to note that in 2007 the tradition of a day celebrating the villages of Räpina Rural Municipality was started, thanks to the active initiative of Linte Village.

Sights

On Maarjamäe there is a protected tree – the Maarjamäe sacred linden, which, according to Hendrik Relve, who measured the tree in 2001, is 19 meters in height and 385 centimetres in circumference. The local people use a dialect word for the tree: Maarjamäe pähn (the Estonian word for ‘linden’ is ‘pärn’).

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