Panga cliff

The Panga cliff is located on the northern shore of Saaremaa, at the end of the Kuressaare - Võhma road, close to Panga village. It is the highest of the Saaremaa and Muhu cliffs, reaching to a maximum of 21.3 meters. The entire cliff is approximately 2.5 kilometers long.

Standing at the tip of the cliff, one can clearly see another half-circular cliff under water. This is especially noticeable during storms, when the waves break against the underwater rocks, while the inside of the half-circle is calm.

During bird migrations in the spring and fall, this half-circular lagoon is a favorite stopover point for storks on their long trip to and from Egypt, where most of them spend the winter. Sometimes there are well over a hundred storks, as well as other waterbirds, resting in the calm waters of the lagoon.

Folk tradition ties Panga cliff as a place of worship and sacrifice for the ancient Saarlanders. It is known that until well into the 19th century, local fishermen poured libations of beer and whisky over the edge of the cliff, especially at midsummer eve, to ensure lots of fish during the coming year. There is a fishing spell that was chanted in Mustjala parish, and it says: "Come, come closer codfish to me. Bite my hook my dearest gray one. My hooks are silver, dipped in gold and slipped in lead."

It is not known whether the requisite virgin was ever sacrificed here, but it is known that the last animal sacrifice took place during the 1960's. Mustjala kolhoz had finally acquired a prize seed bull. The animal was let loose among the cows that were pastured on the cliff meadows. In a delerium of utter happiness and apparently following some ancient instincts, the bull soon made a beeline for the edge of the cliff and over it went. No doubt the fishing was good that summer.