Places of interests
Vaivara has been a perennial battleground, ravaged by countless wars. In places, its landscape has been changed beyond recognition by oil shale mining. Many traces of historical eras can still be seen today.
Vaivara’s Old Cemetery. The cemetery became a battlefi eld in 1944: The 1st Battalion of the 47th Regiment of the 20th Division of the German military was deployed here in a defensive position. The losses are remembered today by restored memorial plaques along the cemetery walls.
Vaivara Church had columns at its entrance and seats 425. The sanctuary was destroyed in the battles of 1944 and today the site is embraced by a sand pit. 5 The Vaivara parish school’s memorial stone to the school, located here from 1869-1931.
Vaivara’s New Cemetery was established in 1902. Including an annex belonging to the city of Sillamäe, it is the largest cemetery in the area. The older section of the cemetery is the site of a War of Independence memorial, which was opened in 1924, destroyed in 1940 and restored in 1991. At the southern fringe of the cemetery are two monuments to Soviet troops killed in 1944, which mark a mass grave.
The Perjatsi (also known as Vaivara) community centre was built in 1910. The hall, with a two-storey ceiling, could hold 300 people, and the stage was 10 metres long and 15 metres wide. A military hospital was located here during the 1944 battles. In the autumn Red Army troops freed from German captivity were quartered here; they burned the building down.
A memorial plaque to Secretary of State Karl Terras is located at his birthplace in Perjatsi. A lawyer, Terras was the Secretary of State of the Republic of Estonia from 1921–1940, and he was also a member of the State Council. Terras was executed in a Soviet prison camp in Kirov oblast in 1942. In the late 19th century, the entire coastline from Narva-Jõesuu (Hungerburg) to Sillamäe became dotted with summer homes. There were also summer homes in Mummassaare, which is a corruption of the French phrase Mon Plaisir. The name was used by guests from St. Petersburg and Moscow who stayed in Baron Korff ’s summer houses. During World War II, the Tannenberg line passed through the Mummassaare and the fi erce Sinimäed defensive battles took place here for three months in 1944. Today the summer properties have become overgrown and
the Lingu Lake under the terraced klint cliff s has dried up.
The Vanatare community building was built in Laagna manor grain drying building. Many crowned heads of Europe stayed here on their travels in Estonia and the Baltic States. Catherine II of Russia was one who made more than one trip.