Old Anatomical Theatre

The old Anatomical Theater of the University of Tartu is one of the city’s landmarks. It was originally built to demonstrate the human body to students. Today the institution is not used for its intended purpose.

History of the Tartu Anatomical Theater

The building of the Old Anatomical Theatre in Tartu was built in 1803-1805 according to the project of Johan Wilhelm Krause. Inside the building there was an auditorium in the form of an amphitheatre, where eminent professors performed autopsies in front of students. In the immediate vicinity of the Anatomical Theater there was a crypt and a barn where corpses were stored.

Between 1856 and 1860, the building of the Anatomical Theater was slightly enlarged and took its present shape. Thereafter, only necessary current repairs were made here. The building was used for its intended purpose until 1999.

Scientists who worked in the Tartu Anatomical Theater

Among the famous scientists, surgeon Nikolai Pirogov, German anatomist and physiologist Karl Friedrich Bourdach, Professor Friedrich Heinrich Bidder worked and taught here. In front of the Anatomical Theater today is a small park with a green area. In one of the alleys there is a monument to another scientist, whose life is associated with the city of Tartu – Friedrich Robert Faehlmann.

Old Anatomical Theater on the map of Tartu

Address of the Old Anatomic Theatre in Tartu:
Lossi 38, Tartu

Museum in the Anatomical Theatre

From 1999 to 2011, the building of the Old Anatomic Theatre housed one of the expositions of the University of Tartu Museum. In 2005, when the institution celebrated its 200th anniversary, an exhibition entitled “200 Years of the Old Anatomy Theatre” was opened here. At the end of 2011 the exhibition was closed.

Other interesting objects

  • The Tartu Observatory is very popular city attraction. Here you can observe the celestial luminaries.
  • The building of the Dorpat Academy is of historical interest. It can be regarded as a monument of architecture and as an object of cultural value.
  • Opposite the academy building is the University Church.