Pühalepa Tavern (Tavern Crossroads)
The ruins of Pühalepa Tavern are a beautiful example of the tradition to build a tavern close to the church. This Tavern was mentioned as early as 1529 but is probably even older.
The Tavern was established on one of the most important crossroads of Eastern Hiiumaa. The southbound road went by the church and manor to the southern part of the island, the northbound road went to Vahtrepa harbour, the eastbound road toward the villages of Valipe and Sarve and the westbound road, to Suursadama harbour and the neighbouring villages beyond. In time, the crossroad shifted to the manor and now it’s where the roads branch half a km east of the Vahtrepa crossroads.
The size of the tavern was quite remarkable – (length 37.5 m, width 14.7 m, total area 552 m²).
After the fire at the end of the 1500s, the bailiff of Hiiumaa occupied Pühalepa Tavern in the early 1600s. At the start of the 17thcentury, it became part of the church lands and used by the clergy. However, most of the time the Tavern belonged to the Suuremõisa manor, and provided income with its expansive distillation and sale of spirits to Russia – 22 barrels of vodka were produced there in a week during its glory days. The manor had 12 taverns on its combined territory but only the ruins of the Pühalepa Tavern have been preserved today.
The latest major renovation of the Tavern was in the 19th century with the last “adjustment” in the 1930s when the Tavern installed a wooden floor and large windows. In the corner of the main room, a kitchen remained with two rooms behind it.
The Tavern business ceased by the end of the 1930s at which time a hospital like an establishment was set up by the Germans during World War II. It was used for housing until 1956, after which it was vacant and then slowly and completely dilapidated.
It is a waypoint on the journey
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