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This second largest city in Estonia simply reflects the spirit of youth because there is the largest percentage of the population are students. The University was founded in 1632, during the time of the rule of Swedish King Gustav Adolf, when the venerable Johann Skytte, persuaded the King to open in Tartu, which was that time called Dorpat, the University in order to consolidate his power in these parts. Given that in the 1600s was generally very few higher education institutions in Northern Europe, this fact was almost equated with a feat.
Today, thanks to the university here, Tartu attracts visitors and surprises them by a lot of interesting things, youth activities and various attractions.
As already noted, Tartu, formerly known as Dorpat or Yuryev, a charming town with lots of interesting places inside and around. Its story and the foundation dates back to the sixth century and the later development of 1030. The city is places in the southern region, 185 km away from Tallinn, capital of Estonia. Disposition on the banks of the Emajõgi River gives the city a special mysterious charm.
The architecture of the old town has a classic design of the 18th century and keeps its great history, which cannot be erased. Tartu experiencing the severe period of soviet power, but still remained the intellectual capital of the country, where many cultural events are concentrated and preserved typical bohemian atmosphere.
Visiting Tartu you will certainly hear the story of the ghost of Tartu, the mysterious creature that does not allow you to leave the city and makes return again and again here. In fact, no one has seen this ghost, but his presence is felt everywhere: if you’re walking in the historic district of Supilinn, whether admiring the tow from the ancient hill Toome, resting there in the cozy cafes and corridors of the university, on the wooden benches of the ancient church, or in the dark corners of museums.
To explore Tartu certainly many are beginning from the Town Hall Square, which revives with the festive attire in Christmas days and at its center stands a huge fir tree, surrounded by forest animals life-sized figures.
On the upper side of the square stands the town hall edifice of the pale pink tones and on the opposite side you can see the interesting fountain with a statue, which depicts a young couple, kissing under an umbrella. The statue is called Kissing Students.
On the opposite side of the square you can see the bridge over the river Emajõgi, which hides an interesting story, or rather, superstitious ritual that if the students want to get a degree have to walk under the fine arc of the shoulder. It is obvious that this superstition is quite dangerous and the city authorities are considering whether to demolish it.
Is not easy to list all the beautiful places that can be seen in the Tartu and each of behind of each of them is hiding its fascinating history, as, for example Devil’s and Angels Bridge and many more. Better just to see everything with your own eyes!