uus ja SUUR

Iisaku Parish Museum

Explore the history of poluvernik’s!

In the 17th and 18th centuries a unique ethnic group developed in the Iisaku region, whose ancestors were the Votic people. Their heritage is presented in the main hall of the museum. They were initially Orthodox and when they converted to Lutheran, they also preserved some Orthodox customs. That is why they were called half-believers or poluvernik. At the end of the 19th century, the poluvernik’s began to assimilate with Estonians but, even in 1930, the Postimees newspaper wrote about them that: ‘it is like their own country, Poluvernia, with their own language and beliefs, and their own ways of living.’

In the former school building, you can get an overview of life in the countryside, old farm work, the activities of local craftspeople, the history of the local fire brigade, and the special charm of the nature in the Alutaguse area. Two former teacher’s apartments on the second floor are home to an exhibition that introduces the life of the poluvernik people. The museum has two buildings with two floors and an outdoor area.