The Russian Old Believers

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The villages of the old believers were established on the western coast of Lake Peipsi and Piirissaare probably in the first half of the 18th century.

There the religious rituals prior to the Orthodox Church reform were preserved by adjusting these in their own way. People subsisted on the fish caught from the lake and vegetable growing.

The Russians near Peipsi remained quite isolated national group, although at some place they lived together with the Estonians. Later the congregations were established also in the bigger cities, e.g. Tallinn and Tartu. The old believers have also not closely communicated with other Estonian Russians.

On the photo: chapel of the old believers in Piirissaare

Jüri Viikberg. Eesti rahvaste raamat. Eesti entsüklopeediakirjastus: Tallinn 1999

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