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LAKE RÕUGE SUURJÄRV

Location: N57° 43` 40.0", E26° 55` 19.9"

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Lake Suurjärv in Rõuge or Witch's Lake is situated in the deep primeval valley and forms a part of a chain of lakes in Rõuge. The chain consists of 7 lakes: Liinjärv, Valgjärv, Rõuge Siuurjärv, Kaussjärv, Ratasjärv, Tõugjärv, and Kahrila lake. The lakes formed at the end of the last ice age due to the eroding action of melting ice.  

Suurjärv (Big Lake) is the deepest lake in Estonia – 38 metres. It is 13.5 hectares in area with an average depth of 11.9 metres. The bottom of the lake is muddy and rich in springs. The colour of water varies from orange to light green. The flora of the lake includes 22 species. Plants can be found as deep as 8 metres. The most common fish are perch and roach. The lake provides living conditions to a freshwater crayfish. There is a well-maintained public beach by the lake and a hiking trail runs along the shoreline.  

The legend tells that the lake has come to its current place through the mountain near Viitina. The valley can still be seen at that place. During the war, the old and nice church having silver bells had sunk into the lake. Since then, in the evening before Michaelmas Day (September 29th) a beautiful bridge appears over the lake. A figure of a monk is walking on the bridge shouting: '' The time will come, the time will come when the church with its bells rises up again!''