After almost three months of voting, the public has decided: Estonian Wonder of the Year 2012 is Tuhala Witch’s Well in Harju County, which received more than a third of the votes in the final round. Edged into second placed was the Estonian Road Museum in Põlva County, while the lake that now fills the Kaali meteorite crater on the island of Saaremaa came in third.
Also vying for the title, and wonders in their own right, were the sandstone caves in Piusa, Estonia’s ice roads, Orissaare stadium and its oak tree and the Northern Courtyard of Hermann Castle.
The remaining thirty sites that were nominated for the title received a lot of praise and attention for taking part in the competition, with the spotlight shone on those who maintain them in the series of reports that appeared in the Eesti Päevaleht daily newspaper.
Ensuring that heritage prevails
Representing the winner, Tuhala Nature Centre director Ants Talioja admitted he was hopeful the well would be named Wonder of the Year.
“As the title holder, the well is one way of reminding miners of the huge public interest there is in this ancient natural wonder,” he said. “The way the water rises and pours out is the work of nature, and not something we can influence – except through mining, which could bring an end to it altogether.”
1. Tuhala Witch’s Well – the effervescent ephemeron: 1775 votes (35.1%)
2. Estonian Road Museum – the exceptional life of an ordinary road: 1033 votes (20.43%)
3. Lake Kaali – home of a big bang: 629 votes (12.44%)
4. Piusa caves – the underworld’s comeback: 598 votes (11.83%)
5. Ice roads – Europe’s longest: 590 votes (11.67%)
6. Orissaare stadium – a football field with its own oak tree: 230 votes (4.55%)
7. Northern Courtyard of Hermann Castle – the Golden Swedish Era: 202 votes (3.99%)
Source: Eesti Päevaleht