The Tartu Cathedral is the largest sacral building in Estonia. It is also considered to be the only two-tower church in the country, preserved since the Middle Ages. Today the church is not used for its intended purpose, and there is a museum inside its walls.
History of Tartu Cathedral
Supposedly, the construction of Tartu Cathedral began in XIII century. Construction of the church continued up to XVI century. At that time the church was considered the largest building of its kind in all of Eastern Europe. In the same region it was considered the largest brick building of its kind. The church was destroyed during the Livonian War and since then no services have been held there.
In 1802 a new life began in the former Dome church building. In the choir section of the church a library was built according to the design of architect Krause. The History Museum of the University of Tartu moved here in 1981. The towers of the church were renovated and opened for visitors in 2005.
There is a viewing platform on the roof of the Tartu Dome Cathedral. It offers a view of both the old city and the new districts. To get to the tower one needs to buy an entrance ticket.
The ascent is carried out on fairly comfortable stairs. Along the way, visitors can admire the view of the church courtyard. They can also take a look into the preserved inner rooms.
Tartu University Museum
The University of Tartu Museum operates in the premises of the Tartu Cathedral. It regularly hosts exhibitions that familiarize visitors with the history and development of science, as well as touch upon the important issues of contemporary social life. In addition, the museum holds various educational activities for students of all ages.
The museum exposition occupies four halls:
- White Hall, in which you can learn interesting facts about the University of Tartu and view a digital gallery of portraits of its rectors.
- The Morgenstern Hall introduces the 400-year history of the university.
- The treasury contains treasures reflecting the history of the university’s figures, teaching process and scientific work.
- In the study of the mad scientist visitors large and small can engage in research and experiments with the help of interactive solutions.
Location on the map
Interesting objects nearby
- In the heart of old Tartu you will find the Püssirohukelder restaurant. It is located in the premises of a real medieval Gunpowder Cellar.
- Tartu – the only city in Estonia, where you can see the Egyptian mummy. It is located in the University of Tartu Art Museum.
- If you want to learn more about the city, see the section “sights of Tartu“. You will find a lot of interesting things there.