Prangli island

Prangli is situated 9km north-east from Viimsi peninsula and is 6,44 km². Its extensive shores are low and stony on the west side and sandy on the east side. The highest point on the island is Kullamägi (“Golden hill” where in the old days pirates had dug up their gold) which is 10m above sea level. Prangli is 6km long and 2,5km wide. The pine forest and small bushes are the main vegetation on the island.

We can organize you excursions and transportation on the island. The island is small enough to have a pleasant walk, but it is possible to rent bicycles and receive accommodation, sauna and smoked fish. The island has no ATM, so take with cash you. During the summer time there are more people because some have their summer houses on the island. We have shop where you can have food, a place to eat called “Black hatch” (“Must luuk” in estonian) first aid medical service, post office, small hall for cultural events and elementary school.

The forest brings a good protection from the blowing winds. There are a lot of glacial boulders on the island too (The red stone, Eagle stone etc.). Prangli form together with Aksi and Keri a chain in the Gulf of Finland. Like many of the island in the Baltic sea and Gulf of Finland Prangli island was once inhabited by Estonian-Swedes (estonians call them “shore swedes”) 100 inhabitants live nowdays in 3 villages on the island permanently.

HISTORY:
Prangli island emerged from the sea around 3500 years ago.The island is mentioned for the first time in 1387 (Rango) it is considered that the island was populated by swedes at the end of 13. and the beginning of 14. centuries, later with finns and estonians who were fishermen and seal hunters. Prangli island estonified, in 17. century it was part of Kallavere manor from 1397-1549 it was part of Maardu manor and from then up to 1847 to Haljava manor. Merchants Girard de Soucantons managed Prangli and Aksi as half-manors from 1847- 1899.

The population of the island has declined nearly five times during the last century. According Gustav Vilbaste 700-800 people lived here in the beginning of the last century, in 1934 there were 469 people living on the island, 1994 there were only 146 inhabitants. Nowdays there are less than 100 people living all-year-round on the island of Prangli.

The ecology of the island has changed substantially because of the decline in population figures as well as farming animals.There were few trees in the beginning of the last century, nowadays there is a thick forest and juniper bushes covering most of the islands old meadows.

The northern part is under state environmental protection, on the east bank there is a memorial to those who died on the vessel “Eesti Rand”  which was sank nearby Prangli in 1941

LABYRINTHS:

Estonia has at least five, and maybe as many as nine, historic stone labyrinths documented. They are all situated on islands along the coast, in those parts of Estonia that were colonized by Swedish speaking farmers and fishers during the mediaeval. This pattern of distribution can be compared with Finland where most stone labyrinths are also found along the coast in areas where Swedish speaking farmers and fishers settled in the early mediaeval. The most reasonable interpretation of this pattern is that the idea of building and using stone labyrinths was part of the cultural heritage brought in from the west by Swedish settlers.

Karl von Löwis of Menar mentioned an Estonian labyrinth situated at Tahkuna, on the northern tip of Dagö, in 1912. In 1925 A.M.Tallgren mentioned two labyrinths: the one at Tahkuna and another on the little island of Viirlaid. Peter Mey wrote an article in the Estonian newspaper Päevaleht in 1931, where he mentions that there was a partly preserved labyrinth on the island of Aegna near the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

Mey also mentions that there were labyrinths on the islands of Aski and Prangli in the same area.