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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Valga Raion, Estonian SSR, situated in the Otepää Upland, 15 km from the Palupera railroad station on the Tartu-Valga line. Otepää is a junction of highways leading to Tartu, Valga, and Võru. There is a motor vehicle repair plant and a workshop of the Areng textile factory in the city. Nearby are numerous lakes, including Lake Pühajärv. Otepää has a house of rest and sports facilities.

The site of an ancient town has been found in Otepää on a two-level, steeply sloping hill, rising 30 m high. On the upper level there were fortifications; the lower level was a settlement. Excavations carried out under the direction of O. Saadre between 1950 and 1962 and between 1967 and 1973 have ascertained that the hill was first settled in the second half of the first millennium B.C. A new stage of settlement began in the fifth century a.d. During the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, Otepää was a major economic and political center of the southeastern Estonian lands. The city was mentioned in ancient Russian chronicles beginning in the 12th century under the name “Medvezh’a golova” (Bear’s head). Otepää became part of Kievan Rus’ and subsequently belonged to Novgorod. In the early 13th century, the city was an important stronghold of the Estonians in their struggle against the German feudal aggressors. In 1224 the Germans took the city. A fortress was built afterward by Bishop Hermann of Tartu. Situated on the upper level of the hill, the fortress was preserved until the 15th century. Only fragments of its walls remain today.


“Drevnie poseleniia i gorodishcha.” Arkheologicheskii sb. [vol.] 1. Tallinn, 1955.
Izv. AN Est. SSR, 1955, no. 1.
Izv. AN Est. SSR: Seriia obshchestvennykh nauk, 1956, no. 4.
Ibid., 1958, no. 2. Ibid., 1964, no. 3.
Istoriia Estonskoi SSR.vol. 1. Tallinn, 1961.
Mägi, H. Otepia-Kiariku. Tallinn, 1973.




an upland in southeastern Estonian SSR. The maximum elevation is 217 m. The terrain is hilly; the central part is dissected.

Otepää Upland was formed from morainic loam, clay, and sandstone-gravel deposits. There are outcrops of Devonian sandstone. The upland is the source of the Emajõgi River. There are numerous lakes in the area. The summits and slopes of the hills are under cultivation or covered with pine, fir, and mixed forests. At the base of the upland there are meadows and swamps. Otepää Upland is a popular tourist area.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
aastal juhatasin paastekaevamisi Otepaa linnamae alumisel platool ja sealt tuli valja uks kindlalt 15.
South Estonia, around Otepaa the ski-capital of Estonia, is where most ski fans head in winter.
The ice-shed line (Karukapp 2004) amid the glacier flows of the Gulf of Riga (Baltic ice stream complex) and Lake Peipsi-Pskov, starting between the junction of Salpausselka end moraine arcs in the north (Lundqvist 1987) and running along the Pandivere Upland, and the Otepaa and Haanja Heights and the Latgale Upland consecutively in the south, delimits a narrow NW-SE-trending area of a possibly thinner and inactive glacier that may have been more vulnerable to the Belling-Allered warming (GI-1; Lowe et al.
aastal Otepaa linnusel toimunud arheoloogiliste kaevamiste kaigus avastati uhtekokku 26 munti (AI 4036 (1)).
Paleogeograafilised rekonstmktsioonid naitavad, et mandrijaa taandudes Otepaa servamoodustiste joonelt Laeva-Piirissaare voondini toimus Peipsi jaapaisjarve ja Loode-Venemaal eksisteerinud ulatusliku Privaldai jaapaisjarve vahelise vaina sulgumine, samuti muutus uhendustee Peipsi jaapaisjarve ja Pohja-Latis eksisteerinud Strenci jaapaisjarve vahel.
In addition, the author's own reconstruction on Otepaa hillfort is described.
aastatest alates muinasaegseid soestunud teravilja ladestusi nii Latis kui ka naabermaades, tegi ta kindlaks mitmeid varasemaid ja uuemaid teraviljajaljendeid ning -proove, sh Asva, Iru, Kuusalu ja Otepaa asulakohtade ja linnuste kaevamistelt.
Meanwhile, Florence and Tabitha Lunn, from Kenilworth School, are this week competing for England at the World Schools Orienteering Championships in Otepaa, Estonia.
WINTERSPORTS: Alpine ski WOrld Cup, Zagreb - Eurosport 11am; Tour de Ski, Val di Fiemme - Eurosport 2 12pm; Nordic Combined World Cup, Otepaa - Eurosport 1 12.45pm.
Maps of Otepaa, Tartu, Pihkva (Pskov) do not open: '404: Page not found'.