Tartu

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Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia with a population of 100,000. It is a Hanseatic city and a university town. It is the oldest city in Estonia, dating back to 1030.

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Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Tartu

  • Main building of the University of Tartu.
  • Town Hall Square. The kissing students fountain is a symbol of Tartu.
  • Soup Neighborhood. Neighborhood where all of the streets are named after soup ingredients. Features charming old wooden houses.
  • Former Soviet Airfield (In Raadi, north of Tartu).

Museums

  • Tartu City Museum, Narva 23. Classicist style structure was built as a town palace in 1790. The building is popularly called Catherine´s House. The legend has it that Empress Catherine II made a short stay there. It is not true, though.
  • KGB Museum, Riia 15b,  7461717. This nondescript building was known as the Gray House and was the headquarters of the Estonian KGB. It tells the story of how the prisoners were treated there, and some stories about the Estonian resistance heroes, the Forest Brothers. The museum is small and does not have a very big sign, so look carefully.

Parks and squares

  • Botanic Garden of the University of Tartu, 38/40 Lai St..
  • Toome Hill. Many monuments, statues and historical buildings
  • Raadi Park (Located on cross of the streets Vahi and Narva maantee).
  • Barclay Park.

Churches

  • St. John's Church. 14th century church is famous for its thousands of medieval terracotta figures.
  • Cathedral ruins (on top of the Dome Hill). From the 13th century and were dedicated to apostles St. Peter and Paul. Today the choir part houses the Tartu University History Museum, and the towers are reconstructed to sightseeing platforms.
  • St. Paul's Church, Riia. An outstanding redbrick Finnish National Romanticist style building by the famous Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen.
  • St. Peter's Church, 104 Narva St. a Neogothic Lutheran church from 1903, is built on the grounds of the first general Estonian song festival which took place in 1869.
  • Roman Catholic Church, 1 Veski St. a beautiful neo-Historical redbrick building from 1899.
  • St. Alexander`s Orthodox Church, 19a Sõbra St. A two-story church, designed by architect V. Lunski, with cupolas inspired by the Old Russian church architecture. The congregation was driven out 40 years ago. The church was reconsecrated in summer 2003.
  • Uspensky Orthodox Church, 1 Magasini St. an early classical church built in 1783 with typical Russian classical elements. It´s located on the same place as the St. Mary Magdalene Church of a Dominican cloister founded before 1300.

Other buildings

  • Gunpowder Cellar. dug into the side of the hill in 1767 as part of the complex of the bishop’s citadel. It was used as a gunpowder cellar until 1809. Until 1982 it served as a storage room for many different enterprises, and was later developed into a eating place. Today, the building hosts a bar/restaurant of the same name.
  • National Court, 17 Lossi (Dome Hill). Construction of the building began in 1763 as military barracks. Onto its ruins was built the university hospital in 1808, which functioned until 1990. Since 1993, the national court is again in Tartu, which is Estonia’s supreme judiciary court.
  • Old Observatory, Lossi 40 (on the old castle ruins on the Dome Hill). The observatory, designed by university architect J.W. Krause, was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Working place of many famous astronomers including Struve.
  • Old Anatomical Theatre, 38 Lossi St (On the Dome Hill). One of the first buildings of the re-opened Tartu University which was built in 1803-1805 according to the drawings of university architect J. Krause. Today the visitors are offered an exhibition of the history of medicine with preparates.
  • Aristocratic dwellings and former teachers' college, Lai Street.
  • Barclay House, 18 Raekoja Square. late 18th century building. Duchess Barclay bought the house in 1819 after the death of her husband, Barclay de Tolly. The longitudinal wall of the building toward the river was built on the basis of the old town wall, while the other side was built on a new foundation. This is why the house is now askew and is popularly called the Tower of Pisa.
  • Remains of the Town Wall.
  • Tartu Centre for Creative Industries, Kalevi 13, 15, 17 (Kalevi St is the continuation of Ülikooli St after Riia St). Congregates several creative enterprises and creates therefore a creative atmosphere. The three buildings of the centre were built between 1830 and 1913 and represent different architectural styles: historicism and Art Nouveau.

Bridges

  • Angel´s Bridge (Toome hill). built in the 19th century and spans Lossi Street.
  • Devil´s Bridge. Built in 1913 in honour of the 300th jubilee of tsarist Russia’s Romanov Dynasty, which is memorialised on the bridge by the dates 1613-1913.
  • Arched Bridge (Stand in the main square and look towards the river). Stands on the site of the original stone bridge of Tartu which was built in 1784 and blown up by the Soviets in WWII. This new bridge is only for pedestrians and allows you to do one of the most loved cultural activities of Tartu, walk over the top of the arch after a big night in the club. Just don't let the cops catch you.

Modern architecture

During the last decade, Tartu has seen several interesting pieces of modern architecture being built. They are well worth a visit and give an insight of how people in modern Tartu think and live, in addition to traditionally history-driven image of the city. Some of them are right in the city-centre. See Yellow markers on official Tartu Modern Architecture map: [5]. The map is in Estonian only, but selected images speak louder than words.

University of Tartu

Tartu Town Hall

Inglisild

St. John\'s Church (Jaani Kirik)

Tartu Cathedral (Toomkirk)

Estonian National Museum

Tamme Stadium

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

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About Tartu

Background

Tartu is 185 km south-east of Tallinn, in the center of Estonia. The Emajõgi River, which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia, flows for 10 km within the city limits.

  • Tourist Information Centre +372 744 21 11, fax: +372 744 21 11, e-mail: tartu@visitestonia.com. Raekoja plats. . Hours: Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 10:00-16:00.

Talk

Being a student town, English is widely understood. As usual, the older people are more likely to only speak Estonian and Russian; however most can understand English if you speak clearly.

Activities

  • Cinamon. The biggest movie theater in Tartu.
  • Ekraan. A popular movie theatre. It has two movie screens and first-rate Dolby SR/DTS sound system.
  • Toy Museum and Theater House, Lutsu 2. Wed-Sun 11 a.m. - 6 p.m..
  • Tartu New Theatre (Tartu Uus Teater), Lai 37.
  • Athena - Conference and Incentive Centre, Küütri 1.
  • Vanemuine, Vanemuise 6.
  • Harbour Theatre (Sadamateater), Soola 5B.
  • Lodi River Cruises, Emajõe 3,  +372 551 8386. Offers various cruises for up to 30 people along River Emajõgi.
  • Soolakamber. Mõisavahe 21. Salt chamber has two separate treatment rooms. One chamber is for adults and the other is for children. Natural salt treatment has no harmful side effects and it stimulates body's immune and defense mechanisms.
  • AHHAA Science Center, Sadama 1,  +372 745 6789, e-mail: ahhaa@ahhaa.ee. Sun-Thu 10 AM - 7 PM, Fri-Sat 10 AM - 8 PM. Interactive and entertaining science center. 12€, discounts for students, families, etc.
  • Aura Center, Turu 10,  +372 7300 280. Pool: M-F 6:30AM-10PM, Sat-Sun 9AM-10PM. Swimming pool, water park, fitness center Pool: 4-5€; Water park: 6-7€.

Festivals

  • Hanseatic Days. Third week of July, exact dates vary from year to year. Medieval festival featuring fairs, festivities, exhibitions, concerts, dances, merchants and tradesmen. Most events are free.
  • tARTuFF. Film festival in August. Themes include love and tolerance.
  • PÖFF - Black Nights Film Festival. Film festival at the end of November.

Food

Budget

  • Opera Pizza, Vanemuise 26.
  • Pappa Pizza, Riia 7.
  • Ruuni Pizza, Rüütli 2,  (+372) 7433575 / (+372) 51929211. Mo-Th: 08:15-22:00. Fr-Sa: 08:15-23:00. Su: 09:15-22:00. Different pizza and pancake dishes (both as desserts and as main courses), soups, rise dishes, etc. Mostly €2-€4.
  • Taverna Restaurant/Pizzeria, Raekoja plats 20.
  • Spargel, Kalevi 13. M 11:00-21:00 T–S 11:00-23:00.

Mid-range

  • Asian Chef, Võru 2,  + 372 7 355 029 / +372 53 300 464. Su-Th 11.00 - 23.00, Friday and Saturday 11.00 - 01.00. Authentic Asian cuisine, good price soups and meals of the day.
  • Catwalk.
  • Gruusia Saatkond.
  • Pizzeria La Dolce Vita, Kompanii 10.
  • Püssirohukelder. built inside an ancient gunpowder cellar
  • Suudlevad tudengid.
  • Tsink Plekk Pang. Chinese food, also home delivery.
  • Yakuza Sushi Bar, Turu 2, Tasku Shopping Center. Japanese food.

Splurge

Drinks

Pirogov Park - small park where consuming light (<6%) alcohol is allowed between 15 March and 15 October. It's the only public place in the city where drinking is legal so in the evenings it's full of students and homeless.

Cafes

  • Café Crepp. French-themed, serves delicious pancakes

Bars

In a typical pub, a 0.5L beer usually costs €2. Almost all popular beers are near or more than 5% alcohol content.

  • Illegaard, Ülikooli 5. Jazz Club. Many sporting events (mainly football) are broadcasted.
  • Krooks, Jakobi 34. English style pub. Offers 40% discounts on any alcoholic beverages after 8PM.
  • Möku, Rüütli 18. M-Su 18.00-03.00. Located in a basement cellar with minimal seating, it can get crowded on the weekends. Popular among students and foreigners.
  • Underground, Küütri 7.
  • Zavood, Lai 30. Legendary meeting place for students and alternative fashion people. Popular among foreigners.

Clubs

  • Atlantis.
  • Club Rock & Roll, Tiigi 76A.
  • Club Tallinn.
  • Genialistide klubi, Magasini 5 (Between Magasini 3 and Lai 37). An alternative club with concerts, theater performances, seminars, etc. €2 per drink.
  • Illusion.
  • Maasikas (Strawberry).

Shopping

  • Tartu Kaubamaja (100 metres from the Bus Station). Department store with several floors full of fascinating things to buy. "Kaubamaja" belongs to Kaubamaja consortium.
  • Lõunakeskus (take bus no. 18 from the city centre.). Features a wide range of small boutiques, as well as a big department store Maksimarket.
  • Annelinna keskus (At Annelinn, a small suburb of Tartu. Take bus 1, 5, 15, 17 from the city centre, just opposite the Kaubamaja.). There is a Selver [6](big department store), as well as clothes shop, lots of small boutiques and other small shops.
  • Eeden (buses 1, 3, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16A, 17 stop Emajõe).
  • Selver (expressbus 33).
  • Loov Gallery, Kalevi 13. M-F: 12:00 - 18:00. Loov Gallery sells souvenirs produced by young Estonian artists, ranging from jewelry and accessories to paintings.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Tartu on Wikivoyage.

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