Pääsna Village is located in Põlva County, in Räpina Rural Municipality. Pääsna Village covers an area of 4.59 km2 (1.73 % of the total area of Räpina Rural Municipality). According to the Rural Municipality register there are 25 people living in Pääsna Village (as of 1 August 2012). Twelve households are in use all year round (as of 2006).
Pääsna Village was first mentioned in 1558. According to legend, Pääsna Village got its name as follows: “In the olden times there had been horse thieves in Soohara Village. They were chased and escaped over the Võhandu River, reached the hilltop on the other side and, looking back, saw the chasers far away and said: Now we have escaped! (Estonian ‘pääsema’ translates to ‘get away, escape’.) That is why the place was named Pääsna.”
According to a map from the 19th century, the village was densely populated. Previously, Pääsna Village belonged to the composition of Veriora Rural Municipality.
As with many of the other villages in Räpina Rural Municipality, the Võhandu River also flows through Pääsna. And since people have always tried to make the power of water work to their advantage, in 1895 Gustav Valdson built the Pääsna mill on his farm land. In addition to grinding, the power of the mill has also been used to cut wood boards and chip wood. At the time of the integrated industrial plants of Võrumaa and Räpina, barrels, wagons and sledges were prepared here. There was a smithy at the mill, where sledges and wagons were tired and repaired. Millers, especially bolters, came from Suure-Veerksu, Mikitamäe, Lepassaare and Setomaa. There were many fish in the mill lake and in its channels: pike, bream, perch, chub, ide, roach, burbot, rudd, bleak, etc. From 1963 the miller was Erich Tepaskind, who was also the miller in the 1980s.
In 1896, a boy was born in Pääsna Village to the family of Viido Ivand. He was named Jaan Ivand, and after completing his education in 1928 he started work in the Tallinn City Government as the inspector of power carriages and traffic, also working initially at the same time in the Tallinn Technical School. He was the first traffic inspector in Estonia and made an important contribution to traffic management and the development of corresponding regulations.
Aivo Parring was born in Pääsna in 1940. He is a docent of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Tartu, University of Tartu Pure Mathematics Institute, geometry lecturer, physics-mathematics candidate, having performed his research in differential geometry.
Sights and cultural heritage objects
Located on the Pääsna meadow, Viromägi was the celebration site for the Viluste Fire Fighting Society. Men from Pääsna also belonged to the Society.
Bunkers of the “forest brothers”. Ilmar of Kivisilla did not want to go to war, so he hid himself in the forest and lived there for ten years. He met Alfred of Trums in the forest. Alfred was sleeping and had made a fire under the large fir tree of Kusta Pint. Ilmar invited Alfred “in out of the cold” and thereby saved his life. Wise bunker inhabitants always noted how the branches were arranged on the bunker door. If these branches had been moved, the bunker was to be immediately abandoned. Another bunker was located in Haavapää forest, towards Kiisa. It was considered a good spot, since there was water coming from inside the hill. The bunker was heated with a large German stove.
Pääsna Village horse way is located on the edgeless headland of the Võhandu valley, on the territory of the former Palo-Pääsna. This was the horse way of the village, which passed behind the gates of the Järveotsa farm. But since the young master, Peeter Treier, born in 1874 did not like it, he dug a pond there.
The cultural events organised in Pääsna Village take place at the Maarjalille farm.