Lahemaa National Park: Community-based Creativity and 50 years of heritage protection

25th of August 2018

Duration: 9:00–18:00

Start of the excursion : 9:00, Tallinn University, Mare House parking lot, Uus-Sadama 5

End of the excursion : 18:00, Tallinn University, Mare House parking lot, Uus-Sadama 5

Minimum of participants: 15

Price: 45 EUR

The price includes excursion, transport and lunch

During this day-trip we are visiting the homes, villages and landscapes of the people of Lahemaa. The Lahemaa National Park was founded in 1971. Since establishment, Lahemaa National Park has been a fascinating and inspiring place for those keen on nature and cultural heritage. Lahemaa has given rise to many trends common in modern-day nature protection: for instance, the entanglement of nature protection and human activities, the holistic conception of the protection of cultural heritage, the empowerment of local communities, and the use of art and creativity in environmental education. The focus of this trip is on innovation that creates and maintains values.

The highlights of Lahemaa natural and cultural values are presented by the locals who carry the heritage. We start the day with most visited nature trail in Estonia – Viru Bog trail. Next, we are invited to Muuksi historical landscapes, were humans have been active since mesolithicum and biodiversity reaches its peak in seminatural alvars. We approach the Sea in the former Hara Soviet Military harbour and submarine base which is now conquered by the local villagers and young sailors. We have lunch in one of the best private Estonian Art collections in Viinistu Art Museum which is situated in former Viinistu village Fish factory. We continue our path in Käsmu peninsula forest and erratic stonefield, Käsmu village and maritime museum. The day ends in the Centre of the Lahemaa National Park that is located in the historical Palmse manor complex with its own pioneering history and the history of national park. The journey is guided by Ave Paulus, a specialist of cultural heritage.

Tour guide Ave Paulus has studied history and conservation, semiotics and theory of culture. She has a master’s degree from the University of Tartu and the Estonian Academy of Arts on the protection of vernacular heritage and local community rights. Her PhD studies in semiotics at the University of Tartu focus on the rights-based approach in cultural heritage protection in European National parks. Her research interests as well as professional activities are directly related to cultural heritage management in cooperation with heritage communities. Since 2003, she has worked in the field of cultural heritage protection in Lahemaa national park. She is the specialist for cultural heritage in the Environmental Board of Estonia, council member of Virumaa Museums, Spokesperson of intangible heritage, and a private enterpreneur. Ave Paulus is member of ICOMOS International cultural landscapes committee and RB working group, Estonian Heritage and Nature Societies.

Contact: Ave Paulus;; (+372)5239404


Photo: Triin Viljasaar  (Hara harbour, 1000 m of piers of former Soviet Military Base)


Photos: Toomas Tuul (Viru Bog, the most visited nature trail in Estonia; Käsmu Village and forest