Travel & Stay


Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia and is located in the southern part of the country. Oftentimes Tartu is described as the cultural and intellectual capital of Estonia. Tartu is also a river town, often known as the Athens of the Emajõgi River.

Historically, a castle was situated around the area of contemporary Tartu already in the 5th century. In text, the city of Tartu is first mentioned in the old Russian chronicles in 1030, when the troops of Yaroslav the Wise captured the city. These written sources make Tartu the oldest city in the Baltic states. In the 1280s Tartu became a member of the Hanseatic League and developed into a flourishing city along the trade path to Pskov and Novgorod. Tartu played an important role in the development of Estonian culture and national awareness – the national elite grew out of the local university and the first newspapers, cultural societies and the first national theatre were all founded in Tartu. The first Estonian Song Festival also took place in Tartu.

The University of Tartu

The University of Tartu was founded in 1632 by the Swedish King, Gustav II Adolf. It is one of the oldest universities in the Eastern and Northern Europe. The relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere of Tartu creates a perfect environment for scholarly conversations. The university encompasses all the classical academic fields, from theology to medicine, as well as more recent, but equally influential fields such as computer science and genetics.

See more:

Homepage of Tartu:

More information about Tartu:

The University of Tartu homepage:

The UT Institute of Cultural Research:

The UT School of Theology and Religious Studies: