Lääne-Nigula parish was established in 2013, when former Taebla, Oru and Risti municipalities joined.

Lääne-Nigula boasts the highest points in the county. Pikajalamägi Hill in Palivere, which stands at 51 metres above sea level, demarcates the coastline that existed in the area around 11,000 years ago. The peaks in this area make for the best skiing in the county, but attract visitors all year round. The nearby river has carved a distinctive valley through the local sand dunes, while Kuliste meadow with its ‘song oaks’ and ‘song stairs’ has been a popular site for midsummer festivities since the era of the first Estonian republic.

Oru municipality is home to the Salajõe landscape protection zone – a karst area in which a river is swallowed up by natural hollows before emerging from beneath the ground once again 600 metres further afield as the Tiberna spring. 

In the village of Vidruka you’ll find an eye-catching manor complex which also has a guesthouse.

Oru is dotted with archaeological monuments, including the grave of a Polish king in the village of Vedra; the Iiatsi stone burial mound, also in Vedra, 100 metres north of Männiku farm; the Uugla stone burial mounds; and Linnamägi hill fort in the village of Keedika.

Lääne-Nigula church, which dates back to the 14th century, marks out an important parish centre. It houses copies of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. The lands around Taebla were once crossed by the Northern Lääne County road – a key route that wound its way from Keila through Keedika and Uugla towards Ridala before turning off towards Haapsalu. The village of Koela, which sprang up along the road, is home to a farm museum which was established in 1987.

In 1917 Estonian painter Ants Laikmaa bought half of Tammiku farm in the village of Kadarpiku, where he began building a home in the 1920s. He closed his studio school in Tallinn and moved to Taebla in 1932, by which time his home – the only true artist’s home built in national romance style in the country – had been more or less completed. It was never truly completed, however, and Laikmaa died in November 1942. He was buried in the 7-hectare park he had established on his own land. The park today has more than 250 species of trees and plants, including nine oaks planted by the painter himself, dedicated to other Estonian artists – including poet Marie Under and author Friedebert Tuglas. Laikmaa’s house is now the Ants Laikmaa's Home Museum dedicated to the painter.

Anyone travelling through Võntküla in the direction of Haapsalu is bound to see the crane’s nest on top of the pole by the road. According to local tradition, it was to this post that newlyweds had to tie a wedding ribbon in order to ensure that they would have children. The more strapping the groom, the higher up the pole the ribbon was tied.

The Risti intersection and its shop, which dates from the period of the first Estonian republic, were immortalised in the opening titles of the film Keskpäevane praam or ‘The Midday Ferry’; while Toots, one of the main characters in the film Suvi or ‘Summer’, stepped down onto the platform of Risti railway station after a long time abroad; and Õmma bog, which comes right up to the main road, was the backdrop for some of the action in the Estonian version of the Sherlock Holmes classic ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Piirsalu was the summer holiday destination of famous Estonian author Anton Hansen Tammsaare, and it was here that he drew much of his inspiration for his trilogy of short stories entitled Rahaauk (‘The Money Drop’), Vanad ja noored (‘The Old and the Young’) and Kaks paari ja üksainus (‘Two Pairs and the One and Only’).

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European Union Regional Development Fund