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Tartu City Museum

The city has its own story!

The Tartu City Museum tells the story about old and new Tartu and presents its history in timeline from the ancient Tarbatu fortress to the conclusion of the Treaty of Tartu. This is the best place to get acquainted with the versatile history of Tartu city.

The permanent exhibition Dorpat. Jurjev. Tartu provides visitors with a variety of reference points for understanding Tartu’s history. The exhibition features ancient utility items and samples of weapons from the siege of the Tarbatu fortress. The first mention of Tartu was in connection with the campaign of conquest of Yaroslav the Wise, the Grand Duke of Kiev and Novgorod around 1030, after which the conquerors named the fortress Jurjev.

When the crusaders finally conquered Tartu in 1224, it became the center of the diocese and was given the name of Dorpat (Derpt in Low German). The exhibition emphasizes the city’s extensive trade connections and handicrafts: you can see artifacts of wood, textile, leather, and metal work. You can also get acquainted with the story of Tartu in the War of Independence until the conclusion of the Treaty of Tartu between Estonia and Soviet Russia on February 2, 1920.

Located in a late 18th-century noble residence, the Tartu City Museum is definitely worth a visit for its interior alone. The most beautiful room in the city museum is an early neoclassical style hall.