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Tartu is known as a classicist city in the history of architecture. Thanks to the university which reopened in 1802, Tartu has been rebuilt into a spiritual capital, and all that happened at the peak of the classical age. However, time has not stopped, and now Tartu has undergone multiple fashion trends in terms of building art. During an architectural stroll around the heart of the city, one can find stylish and prestigious buildings through two centuries up to this day. Tartu is also a city of culture and education with strong traditions, and with a diverse literary life. Traditions are held in high honor, while there is room for new ideas. Since 2015, Tartu is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The literary route is designed for walkers with literary and cultural interests and is suitable in its full length for progression on foot or by bike. Open your mind and have fun discovering!

Tartu City Government 2017, Text: A. Paatsi, L. Kängsepp, Artwerk Photos: A. Andresen, T. Grihin, T. Haud, K. Ilves, K. Kaldoja, I. Kruusamägi, M. Lokk, L. Lukka, K. Paalits, I. Parik, M. Toom, A. Tralla, M. M. Vaabel; J. Voolaid, Artwerk: O. Helm, K. Kutsar, A. Pluum, L. Vuks,,, Tartu City Government Archive, Design: Artwerk

ARCHITECTURAL STROLL At the beginning of the route is Town Hall Square. The end of the route is Market Hall. 2 hours 7,6 km 10 000 steps Town Hall Square - Ülikooli Street - Jaani Street Lutsu Street - Jakobi Street - Veski Street a digression Kreutzwaldi 6 - Veski Street - Näituse Street Kastani Street - J. Tõnisson Street - J. Kuperjanovi Street Pepleri Street - Õpetaja Street - Vanemuine Street Riia Street - Era Street - Väike-Tähe Street - Tähe Street Lille Street - Kalevi Street - Soola Street - Sadama Street Väike-Turu Street - Soola Street - Vabaduse pst.

1. Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats 1a)

The early Classicist building with a high-pitched roof was completed in 1789 by the design of the construction master J.H.B Walter from Rostock. The three-story building with a vaulted ceiling has a classical decor in both exterior and interior design. The facade is divided by pilasters, lesenes, and cornices. The avant-corps protruding on the front is crowned with a gable with an oval window. The lower floor meant for the auxiliary service is separated from the upper floor by a stone cornice visible on the façade which highlights the different uses of floors. On the centerline above a high stone staircase, there is a classicist duplex front door, decorated with garlands and rosettes. On the third floor, there is a gorgeous council meeting room decorated with stucco decoration. As a legacy of the Baroque era, a large bell tower rises on the roof.

2. Town Hall Square

The square is lined by high stone houses, built after the devastating fire of 1775, like the Town Hall. The building

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on the north side of the square survived the devastation of World War II. Characteristic examples of the classical building style from the beginning of the 19th century are the buildings at Town Hall Square 8, 12, 16, 18. These facades feature all the details characteristic of the style: triangular and stepped frontones, pilasters and half-pillars, garlands hanging in the stucco decor, acanthus bas-reliefs, cornices, spiral meanders and double-winged front doors. Most of the buildings on the south side of the square were destroyed in World War II, and at the beginning of the 1950s Stalinist style houses were built to replace them.

3. The Leaning House (Town Hall Square 18)

The house is the strangest and most eye-catching building on the north side of the square. A representative classical dwelling built in 1793 finished the right-hand line of the building until 1877. The riverside longitudinal wall of the building built on a narrow plot was erected on the remains of a medieval city wall; the other side was built on a base made of piers. The old town, built on the marshy surface by Emajþgi River, is mostly based on wooden piers. The groundwater level, which has dropped over the centuries has left the wood rotting and so the house has sunk unevenly. The gradient of the house is 5.8°, which is more than the Pisa tower. On the side of the lean, the beautiful exterior of the house is often overlooked. On the narrow side towards the market, forged console balcony, pilasters with cannelures, and the triglyph frieze under the roof cornice, and dentels are classicist decorative elements. However, the main facade of the building is on the side of Kompanii Street, where triangular gables above the windows emphasize the central avant-corps. The balance of the house can also be experienced inside the house, since 1988, it has been housing the exhibition halls of the Tartu Art Museum.

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4. The main building of the University of Tartu

(Ăœlikooli 18) The main building was built in 1804-1809 according to the design of J.W Krause, a professor of the university’s civilian architecture. The great classicist piece of work is reduced from the street line and raised above the surrounding area, such as an ancient temple. A simple three-story building is made festive six Toscana pillars and a portico with a triangular frontispiece. Between the 2nd and 3rd floors, the outer wall is decorated by bas-reliefs with acanthus vines, which add even more grandeur. The building is a symbol of the city and the university, which strongly influenced the architecture of the early 19th century in Estonia.

5. University Cafe (Ăœlikooli 20)

The most prominent neo-renaissance building in Tartu has been reconstructed in the second half of the 18th century from the old baroque building. The building was designed by architect O. Mohr as a family city house in 1876, according to the wishes of E. fon Nolcken. The two floors and a mezzanine emerge from the socle, the roof has an exceptionally wide eave supported by consoles, round-arched windows designed as double windows according to the Renaissance style imitate facades of Italian Renaissance palazzos. The interior architecture has been substantially changed after the purchase of the building for a student house in the year 1924.

6. Ülikooli 21

In the corner room with a laconic façade and massive walls lived Fr. R. Faehlmann in the years 1843-1848. On the facade of the side of Ülikooli Street, there is one of the most stylish early classicist exterior doors, designed as pilasters, whose stems are adorned by amphoras-shaped urns.

7. Tampere House (Jaani 4) In the early classicist wooden house, the size and shape of the 18th-century building, somewhat later wooden staircases and interior doors of the so-called “Tartu type wooden ornaments” have been preserved. The exterior facade is highlighted by windows with shutters and a two-winged classicist front door, prepared by the carpenter A. Ph. Paul according to the example of French early classicist samples (as in the Town Hall). Each wing has a pilaster motif, and in the center, there is an urn on the socle.

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8. Courland Princess House

(at the corner of Jaani and Lüübeki Streets) The house belonging to the Treffner School building complex was built in 1772 and suffered relatively little damage in the big fire. For some time, from 1784 onwards the house belonged to the Curonian princess H.E Biron. Particularly richly is decorated the facade on the Jaani Street side, but also the side towards the church. Characteristic are classical details: wreaths, portrait medallion, the so-called gutta under the plaster frame of windows. The facade’s jewel is also a double-winged front door with a classicist design.

9. St. John’s Church (Jaani Street 5)

The oldest parts of the church building with a complex con-

struction history date back to the 14th century. The gothic basilic brick church is unique on a pan-European scale. The church is decorated with unique terracotta sculptures from the inside and outside. Initially, there would have been around two thousand of those, and at present nearly one thousand of 700 years old pieces of art are being stored in the repositories. A selection of cleaned and preserved figurines is on display in the side-aisle of the church. The church has suffered in the Great Northern War and has remained in ruins in the war summer of 1944, but has still been rebuilt. The most significant number of the terracotta figures were destroyed between 1820 and 1830 when the interior of the church was attempted to resemble an antique temple and protruding figures were cut off or immured.



10. Wooden houses on Lutsu, Jaani and Laial Streets

(Lutsu Street 2 and 8, Jaani Street 7 and 16, Lai Street 24) Tartu’s oldest wooden houses, built in the 18th century, remained untouched by the great fire of 1775. The buildings are simple single-story baroque houses with a hip roof or a half-hip roof or houses with old classicist layout in which also mantle chimneys have been preserved. In the theater basement of the Toy Museum (Lutsu Street 2) is preserved a medieval heater hypocaust oven which is also exhibited. The same house has the oldest original front door in Tartu.

11. Jakobi Street 25

The apartment building designed by HG Arhitektuur OĂœ is the best building in Tartu of the year 2015 and is well-suited to the historic environment.


12. Jakobi Street 52

On the slopes of Jakobi Street lords a historicist dwelling house, built in 1902 with a magnificent watchtower and a glass porch. The building is decorated with a rich saw cut ornament, and the facade is adorned with a perron with pillars. The driveway gate structure with an archivolt with a two-sided forging gate has been preserved.

13. Catholic Church (Veski Street 1a) The church was built from 1862 to 1899, following the example of one of Hanover’s churches. The church of the red brick is a late Neo-Gothic building in Estonia, with support columns and a mighty tetrahedral bell tower. 14. Veski Street 5

The late Heimatschutzstil villa completed in 1927 is a free layout building with a mansard floor, decorated with a curved porch and uniquely shaped windows with colored glass.

15. Villa Tammekann

(recommended digression, Kreutzwald Street 6) A house from 1932 designed by the famous Finnish architect A. Aalto for the family of A. Tammekann, a professor of geography at the University of Tartu. The primary emphasis of the functional building with an ascetic flatbed is to the impressive look and the interesting spacial solution of the interior rooms. Here, downstairs is an interconnected hallway-hall-living room-library-dining room and a unique wall-to-wall strip window with a fireplace located under it. The façade emerges from the interior rooms just like in case of other buildings by Aalto. The exterior is highlighted with balconies and a pergola.



The history of the building is complicated. The Tammekann family never actually managed to complete it, and for several reasons, they also deviate from the design of Aalto during construction. The family who fled from the war got their house back in a poor state in the 1990s. During the Soviet era, there were 6-8 families living in it. In 1998, the property was bought from the Tammekann’s children by the Turku University Foundation and the residential building was reconstructed following the design of Alvar Aalto as carefully as possible, to be a cooperation center of Turku University and the University of Tartu - the Granö Center.

16. Baer House (Veski Street 4) This residential building, which was completed in 1866 and owned by KE von Baer, which currently houses the Baer Museum and other institutions, is one of Tartu’s few surviving late classicist one-story wooden log houses with a knee wall floor. The facade is highlighted by a triangular gable midline avant-corps. On the side of Kassitoome, there is a beautiful veranda with four round pillars, which supports the upstairs balcony. The house is far from the street, and it has a circular entrance path characteristic to rural manor houses. 17. Fraternity Livonia House (Veski Street 13)

The house was one of the first of its kind and was completed in 1893 by the design of the university architect R. Guleke. This is a typical example of brick classicism and Guleke’s work. The building with a simple basic layout had triangular frontispiece midline avant-corps higher by one level. After World War II, the house was built entirely into a two-story building.






18. Veski Street 6

A Historicist villa designed by professor V. Schrรถter, an architect from St. Petersburg, in 1881, to be a residential building of the Baltic railway engineer P. Von Gรถtte. The richly designed main facade looks towards Kassitoome. The silhouette of the building is dominated by a voluptuous speer of a three-story tower. In the exterior, many seemingly eclectic construction elements have been used: balconies, niches, cornices, and half-columns with capitals.

19. House of Tartu Institute of German Culture

(Kastani Street 1) The house was built to be the Convention Center for the Fraternity Neobaltia according to the design of the architect R. von Engelhardt in 1902. The tradition of the German Heimatschutz style villa is adhered to: emphatically asymmetrical, decorative lattice structure, a tower with wide eaves, rich woodcut ornaments. The initial division of indoors premises has been changed, but the Art Nouveau style of the interior has survived.

20. Rental buildings on Kastani Street

(Kastani Street 3, 5, 9, 11, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25) The houses were built in the first decade of the 20th century. The two-story rental houses with rich wood decoration form a comprehensive collection in a small area. One must also peek into the courtyards, because all the houses are not on the street line, and amazingly well-preserved details can be found: beautiful Art Nouveau style exterior doors,


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perrons on columns, bay windows and glass porches supported by consoles, and, of course, saw cut ornaments decorating front and rear facades.

21. Estonian Students’ Society House

(J. Tõnissoni Street 1) “House as a symbol,” is how the architectural historian A. Hein has characterized this building. The convention building was built in 1901-1902, according to one of the first Estonian civil engineers G. Hellat, but the original design is the member of ESS K. Menning, later the head and the director of the Theater Vanemuine. The exterior facades of the building with a split primary layout and with a tall, multipart marquee roof are richly decorated. The red brick wall alternates with white plastered surfaces, the arched window, the variously grouped high windows, and the rounded main entrance create a restless but pleasant façade. Everything is crowned by red-whitepattern cornices based on the national belt pattern. In the 1920s, the hall wing and the courtyard side house section by Kastani Street were added. The building also has a spectacular interior.

22. Miina Härma Gymnasium Building

(J. Tõnissoni Street 3) The first building built for an Estonian-language upper secondary school was completed on the basis of final dra-

wings of G. Hellati just before the First World War. The Neoclassicist style schoolhouse is a symbol of national education history.

23. J. Kuperjanovi Street 9

The architect of the former Railroad Workers’ Club is A. Amjärv. The house was completed in 1962 according to the then design style as a cuboid with a large club hall and smaller exhibition rooms and lecture halls. In 1993, the clubhouse was given as an exhibition house to the Estonian National Museum suffering from lack of space until the completion of the new museum building in 2016.


24. The House of Fraternity Sakala (Veski Street 69)

The author of the design of Art Nouveau building is the famous Finnish architect AE Lindgren, co-author W. Lönn. They also designed the pre-war building of Vanemuine Theater and the building of Estonia Theater. The simple, elegant square-shaped building with a high mansard roof was completed in 1911. The building has a unique entrance in the one-story side wing, an arched terrace and a round extrusion with a balcony dominates on the garden facade. In the WWII, the house was hit by a bomb and burned. During the restoration, the layout of the building and the facade was changed, later the original roof shape and an Art Nouveau exterior were reinstated.

25. The House of Fraternity Ugala

(J. Kuperjanovi Street 16) A representative functionalist building, designed by the legendary city architect A. Matteus, was completed just before the war - in 1939. The simple appearance is highlighted by a stairwell with vertical windows and a row of slender hall windows on the street side, which have been tied into one unit with an upper cornice. A double-sided front door and a number of interior elements have been preserved.




26. Naerumaa (Land of Laughter) Kindergarten

(Pepleri Street 1a) The kindergarten building designed by the Boa architectural bureau is an almost zero-energy building built in 2017 with solar panels on the grass roof. The landscape architecture of the inner courtyard continues the exciting and child-friendly design of the rooms.

27. St. Mary’s Church (Pepleri Street 1)

The first church built for an Estonian congregation in Tartu is a late classicist style building with a gradually narrowing tower, was completed by the design of G.F.W Geist in the years 1836 to 1842. During the World War II, the church

burned, in 1961 it was turned into a gymnasium. The building has preserved arched windows and cornices. The church is expected to be rebuilt by Koko architects OÜ according to the NOA reconstruction project. Here, a tired stroller can turn a little way back and descend along Vallikraavi street to downtown where the stroll started. Anyone who is still interested can make a more extended round.

28. Water tower residential building (Õpetaja Street 9)

On the tallest plateau in Tartu is a beautiful engineering structure with a neoclassical façade, built in 1939-1940 by V. Tippel’s design. On the lower six floors, there are apartments and offices, the water tank starting at 23.5 m is surrounded by Corinthian half-pillars characteristic to the classicist style.

29. Institutes’ building (Vanemuise Street 46)

A large, rigorous, symmetrical Neoclassicist building is located on the street line opposite the former German Craftsmen’s Society garden (Vanemuise Park). The building was completed in the years 1912 to 1914 as an academic and museum building of the university. The facade of the building is decorated with central and side avant-corps, pilasters and a triangular frontispiece. On the back of the building, between the side wings, there is a circular auditorium with a sharply rising floor. In the building is the University of Tartu Nature Museum with the access by elevator from a spacious hall and the wall of which is decorated with the tremendous work “Serata Vitae” by I. Malin in secco technique.


30. Vanemuine Small Theater (Vanemuise Street 45a) The first proper theater building in the city, the former building of the Tartu German Theater, the largest Art Nouveau building in Tartu, was built on the basis of the winning works of an architectural competition works from 19141918 on the basis of the final design by the city architect A. Eichorn. The competition received 52 works! A stepped house with a classicist dÊcor and varied shaped stone roof characteristic to Tartu is well in sync with the adjacent park. The main facade is like that of a castle: a wide stone staircase, high pilasters between windows, that are crowned with capitals decorated with ears of corn. Characteristic of the Art Nouveau are small round balconies with forged railings, an arched gable with a round window and festoons. Almost perfection has been achieved in the architecture of the house after the repairs completed in 2014. Inside the house, the Art Noveau ornamental decorations continue and the blue-black-and-white color gamut has a magnificent look. 31. St. Paul’s Church (Riia Street 27) The monumental and magnificent brick building has been established in the Finnish folk romantic Art Nouveau style. The church was designed in 1913 by architect E. Saarinen, the most recognized Finnish architect at the beginning of the 20th century. Despite the difficult times, a church with a cross-shaped layout was completed in 1917 (interior decoration in 1919). The main facade reduced from the street line has a slightly heavyset look with its concrete sloping portal, a strong flared tower and hanging bay windows. Of the originally planned winged buildings, only the left side was completed in 1931. The church burned in World War II. Restoration of the church under the conditions of the




Soviet regime was complicated and time-consuming. The church was finally completed as a religious building in 2015.

32. Era Street 1 and Era Street 2

Heimatschutz style villas, built in 1912 (Era 1, engineer V. Kessler) and 1913 (Era 2, architect E. Grannts). Both houses have the broken hip roof and a busy façade.

33. Villa Margaretha (Tähe Street 11) A prominent historicist-Art Nouveau wooden residential building has a gorgeous tower with arched windows, a verandah with colored glass and a timber framing imitation. The corner building on Tähe and Väike-Tähe streets is older, built in 1911-1919. The street-side extension with a coffee shop was added in the following decade. The building with a complicated Soviet-era history was renovated to be a cozy small hotel with a poetic Art Nouveau interior.



34. Fraternity house (Tähe 3) The neoclassicist fraternity house was built in 1886 on the basis of the University architect R. Guleke and was commissioned by the fraternity Estonia. The building has a feel for Guleke’s handwriting: a clean seam brick building, a stepped central avant-corps and triangular frontispiece. Classicist accents include a central portal and a balcony with two round pillars. In the 1930s, the house was purchased by the fraternity Rotalia, who still owns it.

35. Tartu Environmental Education Centre

(Lille Street 10) The three-axle building with energy-efficient passive house elements has been designed by Karisma Architects OĂœ and built in 2012-2013. Well preserved and used ground relief - the house blends into a park. Robust and environmentally friendly materials and technologies were used in the construction process.

36. Tartu Center for Creative Industries

(Kalevi Street 13) The Heimtschutz stone villa was built according to the design of engineer V. Kessler in 1913 as a home for a medical family. High mansard roofs, a gorgeous stone staircase and a balcony looming above it supported by columns are borrowed from the Art Nouveau architecture. The building has



been an example for several buildings designed in Tartu in the same period.

37. Science Center AHHAA (Sadama Street 1) The building with a constructivist architecture was designed by KĂźnnapu & Padrik Architects. In a building with a monolithic reinforced concrete frame, there are multi-story exhibition halls of various shapes, hence the particular forms of roof construction (a dome, a half dome, and a box). A full sphere planetarium in a silver globe has been lifted out of the volume of the building.



38. Snail Tower (Väike-Turu Street 5) The Tartu landmark, the tallest building of the city, is a 23-storeyed monolithic concrete dwelling with a central plan following the structure of a snail shell. A three-story parking garage joins the tower. Together with the Science Center AHHAA, a friendly tandem is created, as the author is the same architectural bureau. The building was completed in 2007. 39. Emajõe Business Center and Tasku Center

(Soola Street 8 / Turu Street 2) The first “high-rise” building of Tartu, a 14-story pompous


office building, was completed as a development of AS Estiko in 1998, and due to its appearance, immediately was given a nickname “Plasku” (Flask). The business and leisure center Tasku was added in 2008; its extension was completed in 2012. The complex also includes the Dorpat Hotel. The large glass surfaces of the building created a magnificent city impression.

40. Kvartal (Riia Street 2)

The newest shopping and leisure center in the heart of the city was completed in 2016-2017. A seven-story building, the first three floors of which are underground, is spread over a one-hectare area. Different finishing materials and many doors divide the facade visually almost like into many houses. On the highest floor of the house is the largest spa complex in Tartu. The architectural solution of the building is created by Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid OÜ.

41. Market Building (Vabaduse pst 1)

The Market Building is a large functionalist communal building dating back to 1937 (architect V. Tippel). The Basilican building with Tuscan half-columns skilfully hides its simple function as an indoor market. There are two halls in the

building - a large high meat hall and a small fish hall connected to it. Lively trading goes on in the market, despite the supermarkets on the three sides of the junction. In 2008, in front of the market building was placed a sculpture “Bronze Pig” by M. Karmin on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Market, based on a poem by I. Hirv and a scheme of cutting a pig. The pig is a symbol of wealth and trade. The walker has made it back to the heart of the city and here looking at the peaceful waters of the Emajõgi River, may think about all the former generations that have created this beautiful city.


LITERARY STROLL IN TARTU The beginning and the end of the route: Town Hall Square. 1,5 hours 3,9 km 5200 steps Town Hall Square - Ülikooli Street - up the so-called professors’ alley to Toomemäe - from the tennis court to K. E. von Baer Street - Vallikraavi Street - Pepleri Street Vanemuine Street - W. Struve Street - Vallikraavi Street Poe Street - Vabaduse Blvd - Town Hall Square Kompanii Street - Gildi Street - Magistri Street Vabaduse Blvd - Town Hall Square.

1. Werner Cafe (Ülikooli Street 11) The Werner Café has through the ages been one of the favorite places of Tartu’s intellectuals and students, and especially of writers. In 1895, J. Werner, after whom the business has been called through the time became the owner of the cafe. In Werner, one could meet almost all the well-known writers of Tartu. For regular visitors, even letters were sent to the cafe. Fr. Tuglas did his editorial work at Werner. G. Suits had the habit of taking exams here. Werner was one of the favorite places of A. Alliksaar. M. Kõiv has written a play about Werner, called “Endless Coffee Drinking.”


2. University Cafe (Ülikooli 20)

The University Café was the center of Tartu spontaneous literary life in the 1960s-1970s and a glamorous place also later. In the cafe in the old days, there was a separate room for students and teaching staff, and it was generally puritanically adhered to. The exception was P. Ariste, who demonstratively invited the students to join him at his table. An overview of the club years of the old cafe was given in the feature film “Supernoova,” where a young man played by A.E. Kerge comes from Tõververe to swing in the student life of the 1960s.

3. Monument of Kristjan Jaak Peterson in Toomemägi

Kr. J. Peterson (1801-1822) was an Estonian poet born in Riga and studied in Tartu, who set himself the goal of creating an original Estonian literature and described himself as a singer of the people of the land. It is generally known that he once walked from Tartu to Riga. The monument is a


tribute to the pioneers of the modern Estonian poetry and to the Estonian language. Peterson’s work was never published during his lifetime, the manuscripts of poems were found in 1901 by V. Reiman from the archive of the Learned Estonian Society. The poet who deceased at a young age was raised to literary glory by G. Suits. The authors of the monument are J. Soans and A. Murdmaa; the sculpture was opened in 1983.

4. The stone marking the home of Juhan Liiv

(at the intersection of KE von Baer Street / J. Liivi Street.) The home of J. Liiv in Tartu in 1892, where he wrote his

most famous story “Shadow.” His former home is marked by the monument created by A. Starkopf.

5. KGB Cells Museum and Alexander Solzhenitsyn

(Riia Street 15b) In the building of the museum was located in 1940-1950 the Tartu Department of the Ministry of State Security of the Estonian SSR. Visitors have access to the basement of the building where the cells of the arrested were located. Among other things, visitors can learn about of the connection of the Nobel Prize winner A. Solzhenitsyn to Estonia. In the 1960s, Solzhenitsyn was in Estonia on a regular basis. It was in Estonia where the manuscript of the “Gulag Archipelago” was completed.

6. Tartu Literature House (Vanemuise Street 19) In the center of the literary city operate the Tartu Department of the Estonian Writers’ Union, the Estonian Literary Society, the publishing house Ilmamaa, the magazine


Värske Rõhk, the bookstore Utoopia, and the cultural bar Arhiiv. During the Soviet period, a KGB department was located in the building. The house was built in the second half of the 19th century in the Neo-Renaissance style as a nobleman’s house influenced by the so-called Berlin villa type and has belonged to well-known Baltic German families such as von Roth, von Knorring, and von Sievers.

7. Yuri Lotman’s sculpture

The long-time professor of the University of Tartu J. Lotman (1922-1993) was one of the most brilliant scholars in Tartu in the 20th century. Lotman studied Russian literary and

cultural history and the general laws of culture. He laid the foundations for cultural semiotics and was the founder of the Tartu-Moscow semiotics school. In the sculpture created by M. Karmin and A. Lunge Lotman’s abstract portrait is formed of steel tubes, from the ends of which water can flow. The idea of a sculpture of five 15-meter steel tubes is based on the Lotman’s self-portrait.

8. Library of the University of Tartu (W. Struve Street 1) The year of the birth of the University Library is considered the year 1802 when the University of Tartu was re-opened. The library was established on the collection of more than 350 volumes of Countess M.A. Von Lestocq and the library of Grand Duke K. Pavlovich (682 volumes), formerly belonging to Alexander I, that were both received as a donation and the purchased 1135 book library from the J.G von Loewenwolde of Ropka Manor and the collection of nearly 900 volumes of J.F. Ungern- Sternberg. The first director was J.K.S. Morgenstern (1770-1852). Until 1982, the library was located at Toomemäe, at the choir part of Tartu Cathedral, and then it was moved to a building at W. Struve Street 1. 9. Theater Vanemuine (Vanemuise Street 6)

In 1906, on the initiative of J. Tõnisson, and with the economic support of the Estonian people, a new theater building, one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in Tartu, was completed on the basis of Finnish architect A. Lindgren. From here with A. Kitzberg’s production “In the Whirl of Winds” began the history of Vanemuine, the first professional theater in Estonia. The sculpture of the legendary theater director K. Menning on the terrace of the café of the theater (Cafe Shakespeare) has been erected to mark the 100th anniversary of this event. The Vanemuine


Theater was also a significant venue for events prior to World War I. The current house was completed in 1967 instead of a theater house destroyed in World War II.

10. The monument of Eduard Vilde and Oscar Wilde (Vallikraavi Street 4)

The sculpture created by T. Kirsipuu at the corner of Vilde café depicts these two writers with a similar name sitting on one bench. The sculptor who modeled the figures of the men of letters on the basis of photos has noted that when creating the double sculpture, he had in mind the year 1890 when Vilde and Wilde could have indeed met with each other. Although Wilde did not really ever make to Tartu, the sculpture is also a sign that Tartu is expected to discover writers and readers from around the world.

11. Edgar Allan Poe’s graffiti at Poe Street

Excellent and witty graffiti enliven the city. A positive example can be considered a word game on the wall of one of the houses in Poe (Shop) street: Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe

12. The Leaning House (Town Hall Square 18) The Leaning house, which the people call the Pisa Tower of Tartu, was erected near the medieval city wall in 1793. The riverside of the house rests on the old city wall, the other on the base made of pylons. This is also the reason for tilting of the house. O. Luts, the writer who worked as a pharmacist in the same house at the beginning of the 20th century, loved to sit in front of the house on the stone bench, watch people and read. Currently at the same place is a sculptural group by M. Mikof “County women” (from the year 1974), which was placed there in 2013. The house is currently housing the Art Museum of Tartu.



13. Tartu City Library (Kompanii Street 3)

The founder of the Tartu City Library was the Public Library Society of Tartu, which opened the first public library on Raatuse Street on April 7, 1913. The library moved to the current premises in Kompanii Street, for the first time specifically adapted for the library, in 1936. From 1952 to 1986, the library bore the name of N. Gogol, since 1987 it is bearing the name of O. Luts. In the last home of Luts (Riia Street 38) in a functionalist style house is a museum dedicated to the writer. The monument dedicated to the writer is located near the library, near Kaarsild bridge by Emajõgi River.

14. A version of Edward von Lõngus of Anton Hansen Tammsaare

(literary street art on the wall of the city library) A version of A. H. Tammsaare who became unemployed after being redundant from the 25-kroon banknote, when the euro was introduced in Estonia on 1 January 2011, by the most well known Tartu street artist E. von Lõngus.

15. A version of Edward von Lõngus of Lydia Koidula (literary street art on Magistri Street)

A version of L. Koidula who became unemployed after being redundant from the 100-kroon banknote, when the euro was introduced in Estonia, by E. von Lõngus. Emerged in the street simultaneously with the A. H. Tammsaare version. In the spring of 2012, the work of Koidula and Tammsaare on the canvas set a record at the Tartu Young Art Auction, bringing the final price of 1200 Euros.



16. Monument of Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald

Fr. R. Kreutzwald (1803-1882) was the creator of Estonian national literature, writer, educator, and doctor. His significant works are the Estonian national epic “Kalevipoeg” and folklore-based “Old Estonian Fairy Tales.” The monument was erected near the Emajõgi River in 1952 instead of the sculpture of Kalevipoeg. In 2003 Kreutzwald’s monument was shifted to make room to place the restored sculpture of Kalevipoeg in its old place. The authors of the monument are sculptors J. Hirv, and M. Saks and architects are H. Karro, A. Mellik, and M. Port.

17. The sculpture of Kalevipoeg

The Kalevipoeg is an ancient warrior, the protagonist of the Estonian national epic. A. Adamson created the monument as the monument to the War of Independence for the soldiers who died during the War of Independence. The monument was opened in 1933, and it was destroyed by the Soviet power in 1950. Discussions on the restoration of the sculpture of Kalevipoeg started in the late 1980s, but it was not opened until 2003. Sculptor E. Väli rebuilt the monument on the basis of the surviving photographs.




TARTU VISITOR CENTER Town Hall, +372 744 2111

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