Võru town was established on 1784 on the orders of Catherine II, empress of Russia. Unlike most Estonian county centres, Võru did not evolve organically around an existing village but was planned as a whole and built systematically. Most of its straight right angled streets and beautiful wooden architecture have been preserved in their original form and have undergone thorough renovations during recent years. Just take a walk around this cosy South Estonian town and you can see & feel the authentic history everywhere you go.
With similar passion, the people of Võru and Võru county have put a lot of effort in preserving their unique dialect. Their much softer and almost song-like dialect differs greatly from the “Northern official” Estonian language and is not fully understandable by most Estonians. Get a true ethnic experience and come to Võru during their biannual song festival; most choirs are dressed in the local national clothing and all the singing takes place in the Võru language.
In addition to a unique cultural background and scenic landscapes, Võru attracts visitors with its long tradition of organising culture festivals and sports events:
- Each year, one of the most beloved festivals in Estonia, the international and multi-cultural Võru Folk (folklore festival) takes place in July: join in the singing, dancing or learn new handicraft skills in public workshops
- The Võru culture house, Kannel, hosts Võru Town Theatre and town gallery as well as the movie theatre. Visit their permanent exhibition of local artists and check out the events calendar!
- The Karma antique shop is the biggest in Estonia – displaying and selling local antique furniture, art and other household items as well as rustic antique from all over Estonia.
Take a time out and go walking in Võru. Short distances, beautiful landscapes and authentic architecture make it one of the best ways to spend you time in this little town. St. Catherine (Katariina) church is unique in Estonia with its square facade of the tower bells and a little theme park surrounding the church. The newly renovated Tamula lake beach area is highly praised for its interesting architectural solutions, beautiful design and playgrounds and has a 100m long, romantic suspension bridge.
Active sports enthusiasts also have plenty to see and do in Võru. Sports centre with climbing walls, stadia and several outdoor running and skiing tracks await you, regardless of your current skills and shape. Enjoy swimming or go paddling in Tamula and the other lakes in Võru, take part in motor cycling races or go rollerblading, jogging or skiing in the well serviced and lit tracks in the Kubja Recreational centre.
Little Võru town in the heart of South Estonia is inviting and friendly. Enjoy its nature, wooden architecture and different events throughout the year.