Rõuge ancient settlement

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Rõuge is located on the north-western edge of Haanja highland in Võrumaa with picturesque dome landscape with long and deep Rõuge primeval valley. The name of Rõuge is worn by small town, rural municipality and former parish. Rõuge primeval valley is 10 kilometres long and in its central part there is Rõuge central settlement. The meeting place Kiidi remains in the north-west, 2 km from Rõuge.

The valley has incurred millions of years ago, being once up to 60 m below today's sea surface. The surroundings of Rõuge has been very long time ago settled. The settlements were erected just near the water bodies, as water gave food and was the connection bridge with the rest of the world.

Archaeological data notify of the first residents in Rõuge at the first half of the first millennium. The ancient settlement has been in the cape between Liinijärve and Ööbikuorg. The small stronghold has been established in the higher part of the cape with the area of 850 square metres in about 8th century.

The stronghold built of soil and logs has been used as the living place and fortification up to the 11th century, this has been burnt down for six times and again rebuilt. During 1950s the thorough archaeological surveys were carried out near the stronghold and around the settlement.

From this date on the archaeologists use the typical terms as "Rõuge culture" and "Rõuge ceramics". The more unique findings include the Arab coins originating from the 8-9th centuries.

The area of contemporary Rõuge belonged to Vagatavalve parish of the historical Ugandi county which was one of the most densely settled territories on the current area of Estonia. In 1783 the current Rõuge parish was established, one of 8 parishes of Võru county.

The earlier records on Rõuge manor originate from the year 1544.




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