Obinitsa village

Obinitsa küla
Obinitsa küla

The yellow window in Obinitsa

You are in Obinitsa. From the intersection here you can continue on to Petseri, Võru, Vastseliina, Piusa as well as Riga. Obinitsa is an old Seto village, where people have lived for over a thousand years. Changing eras have left their marks on this village and its surrounds. The yellow window here is like a doorway to traditional Seto culture, as well as different eras and cultures, thus highlighting the continuity of life in the village.

In the village you can find 1,500-year-old barrows, church buildings built in the Tsarist Era and in the 1950s, a tsässon (Seto chapel) renovated in the 21st century, but also Soviet-era apartment buildings and collective farm production buildings.  The schoolhouse built in 1963 now houses Obinitsa Village Centre, and Obinitsa Holiday Centre occupies the former kindergarten. On the shore of the impounded lake you can find a Monument of Mother of Songs of the Seto People.

Several residential buildings built in the first period of Estonian independence boasting a colourful history are now in active use as community centres – the Seto Art Studio Gallery, Obinitsa Seto Community House and Obinitsa Seto Museum have given these buildings a new lease of life.

Time has battered the people of Obinitsa, but the natural surroundings of their homeland, Seto leelo (polyphonic singing tradition which is part of the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage), rich textile and jewellery crafts, and traditional Seto food are all valued to this day.