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Mägiotsa Village

Mägiotsa Village is located in Põlva County, in Räpina Rural Municipality. Mägiotsa Village covers an area of 21.27 km2, only smaller in area than Kõnnu Village (8.00 % of the total area of Räpina Rural Municipality). According to the rural municipality register there are 54 people living in the Mägiotsa Village (as of 1 August 2012). Twenty-four households are in use all year round (as of 2006).

Present day Mägiotsa Village also covers the former Kureküla Village. Kureküla, as is the case with many other villages in Räpina Rural Municipality, was first mentioned in written sources during the second half of the 16th century. It is now known that the first time Kureküla was mentioned was in 1588, when it was entered into the register of the Tartu authorities: Kuro kyll – Polish warrior Cossack Gregory Niekrassi owns the whole village, 3 hooks in size – that is approximately the size of three farms. According to the Livonian revision scripts from 1601, there was one farm family and two cottagers in Kureküla. In the following revision scripts from 1627, 1630 and 1638 it has been marked that Kureküla is empty. What happened? Simply what happened to most of south-eastern Estonia – three disasters at the same time: the Polish-Swedish war, famine brought about by a bad harvest (in 1601 and 1602), and the plague. Of course the population of the Rural Municipality grew in time and during the Swedish period in Estonia, Kureküla was resettled. According to the register of socage holdings from 1670, there were 5 farms and 6 families in the Village. According to information from 1681, Kureküla was a village located between the fields, where houses were scattered, seemingly randomly, not too far from each-other. The former settlement has remained until today.

Although Kureküla has since become Mägiotsa, the local people still also use the name Kureküla.

Education came to Kureküla in the middle of the 19th century when the Kõnnu School was brought to Kureküla. In 1860, there were 55 students in the Kureküla School. On 2 March 1932, the national newspaper Postimees wrote: “/…/ Already for a longer period of time every Saturday and Sunday there have been public university lectures held in the former rooms of the Räpina Kureküla Primary School. All of which are always well attended. Usually over a hundred people participate. The lecturers are teachers Herman Otsman and Paul Heering.”

On 2 August 1934 Postimees wrote:

“Räpina Rural Municipality sells school plots. The Lokutaja and Kureküla primary schools in Räpina Rural Municipality area were closed. In these villages the rural municipality owned regular farms at the schools, approximately 12-17 hectares in area. The school farm houses also have good adjacent buildings. Since the rural municipality had nothing much to do with the farm houses and other buildings after the schools were closed, both school buildings were put up for auction. The plot of the Lokutaja School, with the buildings, was sold at auction to Samuel Keerd, a merchant from Räpina, for 4800 kroons. Since no offers were made for the Kureküla School plot, it will soon be put on offer again. Also, the rural municipality plans to remove the Kureküla school house and take it to Naha Village, where a school is operating, but the school building of which is becoming unsuitable for continuing studies. Since the Kureküla school house is in good order, then the rural municipality will conserve funds by moving it to Naha.”

At present, agriculture is practiced in Mägiotsa. Mägiotsa Village is surrounded by good mushroom and berry woods.

The former Kureküla is the birth place of literary scholar Abel Nagelmaa.


The Kureküla citadel was located on semi-arched terrain, the ridge of which was 185 m long, 18 m in width, and 6 m in height. Although we can be sure that the citadel was used as a place for retreat and shelter, it has no dikes or trenches, and lacks a cultural layer.