Arch Bridge

One of Tartu’s landmarks is the Arch Bridge over the Emajõgi River, also known as the Concrete and Pedestrian Bridge. Locally, it’s referred to as the Student Bridge, as many traditions of the students from the University of Tartu are linked to this place.

The History and Characteristics of Tartu’s Arch Bridge

The Arch Bridge in Tartu was built between 1957 and 1959 on the site of an ancient crossing previously served by the old Stone Bridge. Today, only a sculpture nearby and an informational plaque recounting the history of the vanished structure remain in memory of it. Interestingly, a bridge project resembling the current one was devised in 1870.

The Arch Bridge over the Emajõgi is made from reinforced concrete. It measures 2.25 meters in width and 57.4 meters in length. An arch divides the bridge into two parts, thus forming two pedestrian pathways. The arch’s maximum height reaches eight meters, with its width being constant at one meter. Banners with sketches from Tartu’s history are displayed in the spaces between the columns supporting the arch.

Traditions Associated with the Bridge

The bridge is very popular among Tartu’s students. For many, the arch rising above the city has become one of their favorite leisure spots. In the evenings, young people climb to the very top to enjoy the view. It’s not uncommon for two streams of students coming from opposite directions to meet at the summit.

Curious Incidents

The Arch Bridge in Tartu has been the site of some amusing incidents that have brought it worldwide fame. For instance, in October 2007, a couple of students were spotted making love on the bridge, and photos of them quickly spread online.

Another funny incident occurred in June 2010 when a man was found sleeping at the top of the arch. He was so drunk that he couldn’t climb down by himself. Rescuers were called to the scene and used a special lift to bring him down.

Map Location

Nearby Attractions

  • Not far from the Arch Bridge is a monument to Oskar Luts. Be sure to take a photo here for your memories.
  • The bridge is also close to the Tartu Botanical Garden. Here, you can enjoy a peaceful walk while admiring exotic plants.
  • An unusual experience awaits at the Upside-Down House. Everything here is turned upside down.