Tartu

Tartu Travel Blog

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The bronze sculpture, “Father and Son”, created by sculptor Ülo Õuna (1944-1988), was placed on Küüni Street, on Children’s Day (’childrens protection day’), 1 June 2004.

Tartu is, with its population of 101,246 in an area of 38.8 square kilometres, the second largest city of Estonia. Tartu situated 185 kilometres south of Tallinn, is also the centre of Southern Estonia. The Emajõgi River, which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia, flows for the length of 10 kilometres within the city limits and adds colour to the city. The first written records of Tartu date from 1030.

I have always enjoyed coming back to this little city. It is not that there is a lot to do, but maybe that why I like it. Tartu is an university city - it is actually besides being the cultural capital of Estonia its main activities.

Money for the bronze monument to Field Marshall Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly (1761-1818), who gained fame from the Napoleonic wars, was collected by officers who had served under the general. The monument was completed in 1849
The city is very green like most of the places in Estonia. The city square or the town square is very nice. Since ancient times Town Hall Square has been the centre of Tartu, the main trading area of the settlement between the castle on the Toome Hill and the riverside port on the Emajõgi. The tradition was upheld for centuries. In the Middle Ages the seat of municipal power The Town Hall was erected.

The present building is already the third one on the same site. In comparison with the long history of Tartu its buildings are relatively new: very seldom you can see buildings which date back to earlier times than the last quarter of the 18th century which can be explained by numerous devastating wars and fires. The Great Fire of 1775 ravaged almost the whole central part of Tartu. After the fire Tartu began to obtain its present configuration and the present Town Hall was also built.

Street leading in to the old city center of Tartu
The Town Hall of Tartu was designed by the then master ��" builder of the town Johann Heinrich Bartholomäus Walter from Rostock. The cornerstone was laid in 1782. Although the Town Hall was festively opened in 1786, the finishing touches were made until 1789.

The Town Hall of Tartu was built at the time when the style of Early Classicism reached  the Nordic countries, including Estonia, replacing the earlier styles of Baroque and Rococo. The contest between different styles is also reflected in the Town Hall of Tartu. The three-storeyed  building with a high hip-roof and a ridge tower follows the traditions of Baroque urban palaces in the Netherlands . The Town Hall of Narva, built in the 17th century, was inspired by the same example.

Flower decoration

The tower of the Town Hall of Tartu, which was completed in 1784, is in the Baroque style and it is accompanied by the Rococo cartouche on the tympanum of the main façade. In the design of the walls, especially the interior walls, the Neo-Classicist style, being most fashionable at the time, was prevailing.

The Town Hall had to perform several functions simultaneously and this is why its planning was extremely economical. In the vaulted cellar and on the ground floor of the left wing there was a prison together with the room for its guards. In the right wing  - where a pharmacy has been open since 1922 there was the city board of weights and measures.

When you are in Tartu you should visit Karlova, with its more than 400 wooden buildings. In big and wealthier cities of Northern Europe such settlements have given way to more modern stone buildings a long time ago but fortunately, they still exist in Tartu.

Farther and Son
The design of these houses will make you smile and I am sure that you will wish yourself back in time to when these house were new.

For all of you carrying around your laptop like all other Estonian cities Tartu is wonderful - thanks to techsavvy locals and the demand from the student crowd, downtown Tartu is absolutely covered with wireless internet zones (WIFI spots) and use at most of them is free. Just look for the WIFI symbol in this guide´s cafe´, bar, hotel and restaurant listings to see which palces have the service.

 

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The bronze sculpture, “Father an…
The bronze sculpture, “Father a…
Money for the bronze monument to F…
Money for the bronze monument to …
Street leading in to the old city …
Street leading in to the old city…
Flower decoration
Flower decoration
Farther and Son
Farther and Son
A park in Tartu
A park in Tartu
A park in Tartu
A park in Tartu
A train passing by with wood
A train passing by with wood
Entertainment in the rain - Tartu
Entertainment in the rain - Tartu
Tartu
photo by: polvandenwirre