Võru (Est. Võru, German Werro, until 1917 Russian. Verro) is a city in Estonia, the administrative center of Võru County and Võru parish.


Võru is located on the plateau of an ancient valley in the extreme southeast of Estonia, on the northeastern shore of Lake Tamula. Distance to Tallinn is 215 kilometers, to Tartu - 57 kilometers. The area of ​​the city is 14.01 km2.

Number of inhabitants
According to the Department of Statistics, 12,022 people lived in Võru as of January 1, 2018, and 11,859 as of January 1, 2019.


City `s history

The official date of the founding of Võru is considered to be August 21, 1784, when the Governor General of Livonia signed a decree on the formation of a new city with the message that the location of the city being built will be the Verro Manor and the city will bear the name of the Manor. Catherine II personally approved the coat of arms of the new city and issued a number of orders about it.

The oldest archaeological find on the present territory of Võru is a randomly found female skull from the Middle Stone Age (dating from around 4000 BC).

In 1943, on the site of the ancient settlement of Tamula, the oldest treasure was found, which contained interesting amber pendants and bone objects. In a half-hour walk from the city center, through the park on a beautiful suspension bridge, you can reach the historical site of Tamula.

The first mention of the Kirumpäe castle mound, which was built to protect the eastern border of the Dorpat bishopric, dates back to 1322. A large settlement of traders and artisans, Kirumpää, arose around the stone castle. The modern city of Võru is located a kilometer south of the ruins of the Kirumpäe settlement, which was finally destroyed during the next Russian-Swedish war in 1656.


Kirumpää was a land trampled by wars, the castle mound and the adjacent lands belonged to the Livonian Order, then Russia, then Poland. Under the rule of Poland, namely since 1590, the first mentions of the neighboring property - the estate (manor) Verro (Veremoyza) - appear. After the Northern War, when the so-called. Russian time, then Queen Elizabeth Petrovna presented part of the fortress estates to Count A.P. Bestuzhev-Ryumin. Kirumpäe lands were sold and bought, during the ownership of the Müller family, one of the Müller daughters received the Verro estate. Müller sold the estate to von Mengden, from whom, in turn, the Verro estate was bought for the newly founded county center.

From that time on, the history of Võru itself begins, since neither the historical settlement of Tamula, nor the fort of Kirumpäe can be considered the direct predecessors of the modern city. In 1783, by order of Tsarina Catherine II, a new district was created from the southern and southeastern parts of the Derpt district, the center was to become the state estate of Vana-Koyola (Kirumpyah-Koikul). After some time, Catherine II gave permission to Governor-General Georg von Braun to buy a private estate of Verro for the construction of the city. The main building of the manor has survived to this day in a rebuilt state.

Võru was founded by order. In 1785, the city plan was approved, which provided for an orderly, full-angle network of intersecting streets. In the same year, the first ten families settled in the city, a pharmacy was opened. The historical network of streets has been preserved; single-storey wooden houses dominate in the old buildings. The network of streets and wooden architecture, interesting from the point of view of construction, are of unique value and originality. Lutheran (1793) and Orthodox (1804) churches resemble the early years of the city, both are dedicated to Empress Catherine II.

During the Second World War, several neighborhoods burned down in the center of Võru, and about 90 houses were destroyed. The first general plan of the city was ready in 1945 (architect J. Kuvasto). The second master plan was drawn up in 1971 (not approved) and the third, as a proofreading of the first, in 1974 (architect R. Riitsaar).

From 16 to 17 September, a session of the Supreme Council of the Estonian SSR was held in the city of Võru.

In 1950-1991 it was the center of the Võru region.