Raigle Village

Raigla Village is located in Põlva County, in Räpina Rural Municipality. Raigla Village covers an area of 12.32 km2 in size (4.63 % of the total area of Räpina Rural Municipality). According to the rural municipality register there are 143 people living in Raigla Village (as of 1 August 2012). Twenty-eight households are in use all year round (as of 2006).

Where there are now apartment buildings in Raigla, a manor named Raigla once stood (up until 1917), which was the auxiliary manor of Räpina manor. There were many adjacent buildings belonging to the main building of Raigla manor. The manor times are recalled by a small deciduous park (mainly maple, linden, and ash), which has a strong dominant effect on the flat landscape along Lake Peipus.

A school was once located in Raigla Village, e.g. in 1870 there were 70 students studying there. According to the recollections of Joosep of Kliimann, much importance was paid in the school to learning the catechism and verses from the Bible by heart. School teacher Kiudorf was apparently very stern and punished every instance of mischief with a beating. Whoever who did not have the catechism memorized, was beaten with a birch switch. Some of the children were so scared of the teacher that they were scared to go to school and instead escaped into the woods.

(http://www.folklore.ee/pubte/ajaloolist/rapina/2_suusonalist.html)

The most famous days of Raigla Village might still be ahead, and not too far off. In the autumn of 2001, Räpina Rural Municipality began construction of a modern port, which should, in the future, become a mecca for fishing and tourism, a meeting place for the people of the area, where they can enjoy the beach as well as engage in other recreational activities.

Sights

Räpina beach – 5 kilometres from Räpina Town, on the shores of Lämmijärv Lake, is just the place for active holiday makers, which the locals call Räpina beach. The beach offers good conditions for recreation and enjoying water sports. Fair winds have made Räpina beach a favourite spring and summer hangout for kite surfers and sailboarders.

There is a watch tower at the beach, with a magnificent view over the polder, the lake and even to Russia. At night, the beach is lit with lamps.

Räpina polder – A large part of the territory of Raigla Village is covered by the Räpina polder, the largest land improvement site in Estonia and the only polder area in Põlva County. It was constructed in order to drain the swampy meadows near Lake Peipus that had become overgrown with brush. Before the improvement, the meadows were, in the extent of 0.5-2 km, only slightly higher than the level of Lake Peipus. This caused a situation where in the case of a high water level the beach was covered with water for up to 1 km in width. At present, the polder is separated from Lämmijärv Lake by a protective dyke, approximately 10 km in length.

The Räpina polder is a bird area of international importance, where many birds live or stop over during their migration. Many of these species of birds are endangered or under protection. The most important birds, from the perspective of bird protection, are the corncrake, black tern and little gull, all of which nest in the area. The Räpina polder is the best area in Estonia for the named birds. The most important migrant birds are the Common Crane and the Greater White-fronted Goose. The polder is also an important stopping and nesting point for waterfowl and waders. During the migration period a total of up to 1.5 million birds pass through the area.

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