Introducing Lake Peipsi
In the 18th and 19th centuries Russian Old Believers, a sect of the Orthodox Church persecuted for refusing to accept liturgical reforms carried out in 1666, took refuge on the western shores of Lake Peipsi (Chudkoye Ozero in Russian), particularly in Kallaste. They founded several coastal villages, namely Kolkja, Kasepää and Varnja, and settled the island of Piirissaar.
About 37km north of Tartu lies the spectacular Alatskivi Castle(Alatskivi loss;
Four kilometres south of Alatskivi, in the hamlet of Rupsi, is the Liiv Museum (
From Alatskivi, it's 6km southeast to Kolkja, a village of Russian Old Believers with a dainty, green wooden Orthodox church, an Old Believers' Museum (
Kallaste (pop 1285), 8km north of Alatskivi, is where a settlement of Old Believers has existed since 1720, when the area was known as Red Mountains (Krasniye Gori) because of the red sandstone cliffs, up to 11m high, that surround this town. Nearly all the villagers are Russian-speaking. There's a large Old Believers' cemetery at the southern end of town, a sandy beach with small caves, and a lakeside café.