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Rõngu- a place with gripping history

The borough of Rõngu, which arose as a church village at the end of the 19th century, lies at the crossroads of the Tartu-Valga and Otepää-Pikasilla roads, near which the road to Rannu branches off. The first reports about the village date back to 1582 (Ryngien).

The Rõngu vassal castle (Ringen), located 2 km northwest of the village, is considered to have been built in the 14th century. Due to Rõngu being located along the old war roads, both the village and the vassal fortress were severely damaged in the wars, especially in the Livonian and Northern Wars. In the years 1224-1558, Rõngu belonged to the diocese of Tartu, which later was an area under the influence of the Jesuits. There were fierce battles near Rõngu that took place during the War of Independence and World War II.

The oldest building and the only single-aisled church in Southern Estonia is the Rõngu St Michael’s Church. It was founded in 1413, its present appearance was obtained by reconstruction in 1901. Worthy of attention are the altarpiece (1901), the bell (1799), the organ (1874), stained glass windows (1900, the work of masters from Riga). The famous explorer Alexander Theodor Middendorff was the leader of the Rõngu Church a century ago.

The rectory of Rõngu is an ensemble of a church manor with many buildings, surrounded by a small freely designed park. The Baltic German scholar Ludwig Wilhelm Moritz (1770-1830), who was a lecturer of the Estonian language at the University of Tartu in 1817-1822, was born in the church manor.

There is the famous so-called crooked tavern (Kõver Kõrts) in the middle of the borough near a small park on the road. Unfortunately, its wing buildings have been demolished. In 1988 there was a shop-canteen in the building. In the years 1690-1693, Ignati Jaak who was the first Estonian school teacher, worked in the rectory school located above the factory office of Rõngu.

The parish school of Rõngu (founded in 1844) got a new building on the northeastern edge of the village in 1875. The composer Aleksander Läte, the head of brass bands Leopold Vigla, poet Peeter Grünfeldt and others have studied there. The building was destroyed by fire in 1983.

In Hiugemäe which is located on the moraine hill on the northern edge of the borough, near the new school building, there is an ancient gatehouse and burial place, which is also the burial place of the count C. Manteuffel of Rõngu, known from cultural history. Hiugemäe- the century-old park forest on the edge of primeval valley, also related to historical events is now a popular place for public events and concerts.



Rongu apteegimaja

From a historical building to a modern apartment

In 1884, Dr. Reichard opened a pharmacy in Rõngu. At first it was located in a green building next to the former municipal building. The next location was the current building. Firstly drugs were mixed in the wooden part of the building, which was built about 100 years ago, later in the stone part. At first, the pharmacy had one large room, the current partitions were presented in the 1960s.

It is characteristic that the oldest and most architecturally representative buildings are next to each other: the rectory, the church, the pharmacy and the “crooked tavern” building (Kõver Kõrts) .

Even today, Benu pharmacy operates on the lower floor of the pharmacy building.


Source: A. Tiideberg, Rõngu aastarõngad

Historical pictures are from webpage.