THE CONTRACT STONES
Location: N58° 52` 36.9", E22° 57` 17.9"
At the first sight it looks like a big heap of stones. But who would have cared to clean the 50- metre wide limestone base from soil in order just to gather some stones together? And not just some stones but big rocks that even many people together couldn't move. The diameter of the pile is 16 metres and it is 3 metres high.
Who? Why? When? Nobody knows the right answer. People have believed different stories. The place is called Otimägi or Contract Stones. The white sign near the site from Soviet times tells that it is a Bronze Age barrow. It is also thought that this is a holy place where pre-historic people worshipped their nature gods or a place to make holy contracts with the God – the place where seamen before their journey brought a stone to make an agreement with the God to arrive home safely. In old times the first churches were built near that kind of holy places and so was here. Pühalepa (Holy Contract) church was built here in 1251.
It would have been an ancient meeting square where local elders gathered and discussed their problems and made contracts and deals.
A lot of people like to think that this is a grave of Ingvar, the King of Sweden, who was organising a raid in Estonia in 1600, but he lost his life and was buried with his gold and arms by his army somewhere on the islands. These stones surely are a worthy grave to be king's.
Then there is a humorous story about the owner of Suuremõisa manor and the richest landlord on the island Otto Reinhold Ludvig von Ungern-Sternberg who decided to build a burial chamber following the example of Egyptian pyramids. Unfortunately, he killed one of his ship captains who was a free man, and the baron was imprisoned and sent to Siberia. So the work stopped at the site.
People lacking imagination think that the stones are collected here during famine. The stones were collected from the fields of the manor and peasants got grain for their work.
Some people consider the stones to be some kind of repentance of sin, some think the place had similar functions as the Stonehenge had in England.
So choose yourself which theory you like the best.