Otepää’s Gothic hilltop church dates from 1671, although it was largely reconstructed in 1890. Inside there’s intricate woodwork, low-hanging chandeliers and an impressive crucifixion scene (1880) above the altar. It was here in 1884 that the Estonian Students’ Society consecrated its new blue, black and white flag, which later became the flag of independent Estonia. Bas reliefs flanking the gates and doors celebrate the occasion; they were originally erected in 1934, destroyed during the Soviet era and re-erected in 1989.
Facing the church’s main door is a small mound with a monument to those who died in the 1918–20 independence war. The memorial’s top section was buried from 1950 to 1989 to prevent its destruction.