Torma dialect trail

It is difficult to classify and set the boundaries of the eastern dialect. In the case of the Peipsi coastal area, the Torma dialect can be mentioned in addition to the core area of the eastern dialect in Kodavere. The Torma dialect belongs to the northern group of the eastern dialects and is a transitional area with influences from the central dialect of Northern Estonia, the central dialects of Viru and the northeastern coastal dialect.

It is spoken in the northern part of Torma parish, in Avinurme, in the northeastern corner of Laiuse parish and in the southwestern part of Iisaku parish, especially around Tudulinna. This dialect also has many similarities with the Votic language.

Trail map

Museums and cultural heritage centres along the Torma dialect trail

Palamuse Museum - Palamuse Museum is the only museum dedicated to the history of parish schools in Estonia, researching, collecting and preserving school life from the 17th century until Estonian independence. It takes a deeper look at the parish schools in Estonia through “Spring”, a book by an Estonian author Oskar Luts. The museum also preserves local educational and cultural heritage for research and entertainment purposes, based on sustainable and environmentally friendly principles.

Other heritage sites along the Torma dialect trail

Avinurme Woodworking Centre - Avinurme is in Jõgeva County, in the middle of the Alutaguse forests. Honest woodworking skills have been preserved here. Handed down from father to son, mother to daughter. Avinurme Woodworking Centre is a place where tradition and the love of woodworking meet. The centre welcomes everyone who appreciates good food, Estonian handicraft and the charm of making things yourself. Avinurme Woodworking Centre offers Estonia's largest selection of wooden crafts, the opportunity to participate in workshops, catering for groups and everyday visitors and rides on a nostalgic railway. The centre is a unique place in Estonia where you can make your own chipwood baskets, paint on galoshes and taste the flavours of the forest.

Avinurme Lifestyle Centre - The Avinurme Lifestyle Centre is a great opportunity to understand the specificities of the handicrafts of the Avinurme region and its role in the development of a unique woodcraft culture. The Wood and Handicrafts Centre has a craft shop, workshops and a museum. Also catering for up to 100 people is available by reservation. The best of local food and game is served as a group lunch or in the party menu. The museum has two exhibitions: “A life born of wood”, which presents the cultural history of the region, and “Hunting as a way of life”, an exhibition on the Alutaguse forest. In workshops, master craftsmen will teach how to make traditional Avinurme handicraft products.

Avinurme train - Between 1926 and 1972, the narrow-gauge Sonda–Mustvee railway passed through Avinurme, creating the opportunity for freight transport in the area. Above all, timber and wooden vessels were transported. For the villages along the route, this was a real boom period that lasted for nearly 50 years. In the 1930s, the Sonda–Mustvee line had a rolling stock of 8 passenger coaches and 316 freight wagons, the only missing one being a restaurant wagon. There were normally five trains a day, the main task of which was to transport timber from the forests of the Alutaguse, later sugar, kerosene, salt, building materials, oil shale, herring, etc. to Mustvee. In the summer, the timber transport was reduced, but then sand trains were in operation.

The Avinurme station was the largest of the 57 km long railway branch. The station had three sidings, one cul-de-sac and a branch for loading sand. The station building was completed in 1928, but was burnt down in 1941, along with a large part of Avinurme village.

Torma Manor - Torma Manor (German Torma) dates back to the Middle Ages and was first mentioned in 1493. The original manor was located 2 km south of the later one and was called Padefest in German. Later, Torma-Vanamõisa was an outlying manor of Torma, of which a few fragments of outbuildings have survived as part of farm complexes. The manor was later moved to its present location and was extensively rebuilt, mainly in the 1830s–40s. The main building, erected at that time, is a single-storey, long and modest-looking stone structure, which is exceptionally located with its back facing the road.

Torma round stable - Torma round stable is in the Torma Manor complex in Jõgeva County, built in the mid-19th century.  

Torma sacrificial stone - Sacrificial stones are boulders that were found close to the settlement, mostly on hay, pasture or arable land, some of them in farmyards or gardens. Many sacrificial stones were in a sacred place, i.e., in a holy grove, and sacrifices have also been made on a stone near a sacred tree or spring. In most cases, the stone used as a sacrificial stone has a natural hollow, in some cases a larger circular artificial hollow with a smooth base has been made by man on the surface of the stone. According to folklore, sacrificial stones were believed to have miraculous healing properties, as indicated by their traditional names (doctor's stone etc.). Another part of the folklore relating to sacrificial stones associates them with mystical beings, where the sacrificer had a 'contractual relationship' with the stone or was associated with it.

Prophet's Pine - The Prophet's Pine is a protected pine in Jõgeva County, Jõgeva municipality, Liikatku village, Otsa farm area. The tree was taken into protection in 1959. The tree has a circumference of 307 cm (measured at 1.3 m) and is 14 m tall.

Tammispää observation tower - When hiking along the trails of the Torma dialect, it is worth checking out the Tammispää observation tower to see for yourself how far and to what extent you can see across beautiful Vooremaa.

C. R. Jakobson monument - Opposite the Torma schoolhouse is a monument to the famous writer Carl Robert Jakobson, who was born on 14 July 1841. His father, Adam Jakobson, was the vicar of the Torma parish school. He was particularly keen to teach singing and he spread his skills in various parish schools, where they started learning polyphonic choral singing.

Võtikvere Manor - Võtikvere Manor (German Wottigfer) was an outlying manor of Tähkvere Manor in Torma parish, Tartumaa. Nowadays the manor is located in Jõgeva County, Jõgeva parish.

It is believed that the manor of Võtikvere already existed in the 16th century when it belonged to the Laiuse Castle. Later, the manor became an outlying manor of Tähkvere Manor.

Tudulinna windmill - a Dutch-style limestone-framed windmill built around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and roofed over. Inside the mill, some of the furnishings have been preserved.

Tudulinna Old Church - The Tudulinna Old Church is an abandoned wooden church in Tudulinna, in the Alutaguse municipality of Ida-Viru County, and is listed as a cultural monument. The church was completed in 1766 and extended in 1863. The Tudulinna Church was originally an auxiliary church of the Viru-Jaagupi Church, but in 1744 the Pühajõe congregation and the Tudulinna congregation were merged with the Jõhvi congregation again. In 1867, Tudulinna and Iisaku were finally separated to form the independent Iisaku parish. In the 1930s, a 'religious quarrel' broke out in the local community: some members of the Tudulinna congregation did not want to listen to the sermons of Voldemar Kuljus, which they considered too secular. Therefore, a new church was built next to the old Tudulinna Church, which was completed in 1939.