Prangli, or in the old manner Big Wrangel (in honor of Baron Ferdinand (Fyodor) Petrovich Wrangel) is one of the most populated among the small Estonian islands. About a hundred people live here permanently. See Citypopulationreview for weather information.
On weekends, a mail boat doubles the population of sentient beings on Prangli Island, delivering tourists. The boat brings not only mail, but also products, and everything you need.
And Prangli is the closest inhabited island to Tallinn since ancient times, with unique nature and beautiful sandy beaches. The history of this place dates back to the 13th century, it is not surprising that you can enjoy the rich history and beautiful legends of Prangli, coupled with exploring its remarkable places, all day long, despite its miniature size.
It is correct to call not Prangli Island, but Prangli Islands, because this modest archipelago also includes the so-called “Small Prangli”, or Aksi Island, which we will talk about separately.
How to get there
The mail boat leaves for Prangli from the port of Leppneeme, the cost of a one-way ticket is about 6-7 EUR. In the summer, especially on weekends, it is worth approaching the ship in advance, 1 hour before departure, as there are enough people who want to go on an excursion to the island.
From the harbor of Prangli to the “capital” of the island – the village of Idaotsa (Idaotsa) is less than a kilometer. This is the center of the universe: a store, an information and nutrition center, a school, a people’s house.
There is a tavern on the island called the Black Hatch, the opening hours of which are very easy to find out: if the hatch is open, then the Black Hatch is working.
The inhabitants of the island are grateful to the border guards to a certain extent. The closeness of the territory made it possible to preserve not only nature, but also a peculiar way of life. The peculiarities of the life of the islanders must always be remembered. The islanders are somewhat naive compared to the inhabitants of the capital, but they do not give a descent when they unceremoniously interfere in their measured life. For example, when they bring a movie that they do not like. Filmmakers have to return to the city almost by swimming.
Natural gas has been found on almost all the northern islands, from Mohni to Prangli. Gas was found at Prangli in 1924, and the reserves were thoroughly studied in the 1940s from 1958 to 1962. The conclusion was made as follows: gas of good quality, high-calorie, but it is dangerous to give such a trump card as your own gas into the hands of the republic. The shutter was closed, but badly. For almost half a century, gas has been escaping into space.
There are about 30 islets and islets scattered around Prangli. The island has its own lake and swamp, so there are places to go and things to do.
Entertainment and attractions in Prangli
On Prangli, an old village street with buildings of the past, or even the century before last, has been preserved in almost museum perfect condition. Near the school building there is a plow almost from Swedish times. Forest roads are strewn with pine cones, and cars still have Soviet numbers (or without them at all). The border guards inherited a boiler house and a power plant.
In addition to man-made attractions, the island attracts tourists with a fresh sea breeze and the healing air of a pine forest.
The two main attractions are the Eestirand Steamship Memorial and St. Lawrence Church (1848). More recently, according to island traditions, the door of the church was locked with a stone. If it had been half a century ago, then he pushed the stone away and entered… Now is not the time. To the island “constipation” you also need a mechanical one. The spire of the church is visible from afar and serves as a guide for coaster captains. On the graveyard there are ancient iron crosses, under which lie the first Swede settlers who sailed here for the first time in the 13-14th centuries. Then the island was called Vrangö.
Saint Lawrence is considered the patron saint of all who are somehow connected with fire: firefighters, miners, bakers and cooks, glassblowers, for some reason, schoolboys, boys and students, as well as soldiers, the poor and librarians. The librarian was on the island even before the construction of the church. The church was built by sailors who miraculously escaped during a storm. And it happened on the day of St. Lawrence.
Eestirand – a steamer, on which the retreating Soviet troops were taken out in a hurry. BT-532 – under this code name this steamer was listed in the Navy – was raided by German aircraft off the island of Keri. On board the ship were three and a half thousand recruited to the Red Army on the territory of Estonia, and 40 top arrested Estonian officers. The captain took the ship out of the shelling and dragged it to shallow water off the eastern coast of Prangli. 2762 people descended on the island. Forty-four of the Eestirand dead are buried at Prangli. Until 1946, the hull of the Eestirand was still above the water.
The water near the southern shore, from which the Lasnamäe region is visible, is clear and the bottom can be seen to a depth of 4-5 meters. Around the island there are two shoals with funny names: Devil’s shoal and Orange. Local fishermen explain these names as follows: one ship was carrying oranges, ran aground and… bright orange fruits floated across the sea. Devils are harder…
Museum of the Prangli Islands
Address: Vanani talu, Lääneotsa küla, Viimsi vald, Harju maakond 74007
Phone: (+372) 606 6941
Opening hours: from May 1 to October 20 every day 11:00-22:00, the rest of the year by prior arrangement. Entrance: adult – from 1.5 EUR, child: 0.7 EUR, family ticket: 3.5 EUR.
The museum presents the life and work of the fishermen of the Big and Small Prangli (or Aksi) islands. In the exhibition house of the Vanani farm, you can see an exposition introducing the life of the inhabitants of the island. There are also fishing nets and artifacts related to navigation, as well as various household items, from a kerosene lamp to a tub of butter. But on the Mardi farm, you can see one of the main buildings of the fishing farm – a shed for nets.
We thank Andrus Koch for the materials provided.