Estonian National Museum

The Estonian National Museum in Tartu is one of the most significant landmarks of the republic. Its exhibition space spans 6,000 square meters, making it the largest in Estonia. The museum’s exhibits introduce visitors to the history of the Estonian people through a journey in time from the present day back to the end of the Ice Age.

Estonian National Museum Exhibitions

The core of the museum’s exhibition is the permanent display titled “Encounters.” Through it, visitors embark on a temporal journey to explore the formation of the Estonian nation across different eras. It includes eleven thematic exhibitions, some of which were created with the help of the country’s residents.

Another permanent exhibition at the Estonian National Museum is “Echo of the Urals.” It is dedicated to the Finno-Ugric and northern peoples, offering insights into the language groups related to the Estonians and the indigenous peoples of Northern Eurasia without their own statehood.

Exhibition information is provided in English, Estonian, and Russian. Language barriers can be overcome using an exhibition language selection map, available upon request at the information point.

History of the Estonian National Museum

Founded in 1909, the Estonian National Museum initially featured a collection of antiquities from Jakob Hurt’s collection. The museum also aimed to assemble a library of books published in Estonian at any time.

Before World War II, the museum’s exhibits focused on traditional Estonian culture. After the war, parts of the collection were moved to the Estonian Literary Museum. However, the institution gained massive popularity in 2016 after moving to a new building.

The design process began in 2005, with the “Memory Field” project by an international association of architects winning the competition. The actual construction of the building started in 2013.

Mass Events

A modern approach to culture and history involves engaging with them through all available means. The Estonian National Museum in Tartu regularly hosts art and painting exhibitions. A restaurant also operates on the premises.

During the summer, the museum’s surrounding area occasionally hosts mass events. The most attended of these was a concert by the rock band Metallica in 2019, where they performed the hit “Insener Garini hüperboloid” by the Estonian band Vennaskond.

Location on The Map

Other Points of Interest