Tartu Toome Hill - a historic highlight
Behind the town hall Lossi Street takes you to Toome Hill (Toomemägi). It is a historically important place in the centre of Tartu. Because of its strategic position, it has been used for military purposes for centuries. Later in history academic facilities were established on Toome Hill.
The park on the hill is an oasis of calmness and nature in the middle of the city. Buildings that were formerly used for military purposes now belong to the university.
Lossi Street separates Toome Hill in two. Two bridges that are situated above connect the eastern and western area of the hill, which is very practical because everything is always within reach.
The western part of the hill is clearly dominated by the ruins of the 13th-century cathedral (Toomkirik) that has been decaying since the Livonian War (1558-1583). The sanctuary, which is still in a quite good condition today, accommodates the University’s history museum. Here, you can get a broad overview of academic research and teaching in Tartu.
The ruins have been secured and restored in some places. Visitors can climb to a viewing platform on top of the cathedral and will be rewarded with a lovely panoramic view of a large part of Tartu.
In the eastern part of the public park you will find the Old Anatomical Theatre (Vana anatoomikum) and the time-honoured Observatory (Tähetorn), which was the most modern one in Europe in the 19th century.
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