Sites & cities that bear the name of Tartu


Today in : Estonia
First trace of activity : ca. 5th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Tarbatu, Dorpat, Юрьев, Yur′yev, Yuryev, Дерпт, Derpt, Tērbata, Tartto

Description : Tartu (South Estonian: Tarto) is the second largest city of Estonia, after Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn. Situated 186 kilometres (116 miles) southeast of Tallinn and 245 kilometres (152 miles) northeast of Riga, the capital of Latvia. The distance to Estonia's summer holiday capital Pärnu in the west is 176 kilometres (109 miles) and the fastest route there by car is through Viljandi and Kilingi-Nõmme. Tartu lies on the Emajõgi ("Mother river"), which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia, Lake Võrtsjärv and Lake Peipus. The city is served by Tartu Airport. Tartu is often considered the intellectual centre of the country, especially since it is home to the nation's oldest and most renowned university, the University of Tartu; Tartu itself is also the oldest city of Estonia and other Baltic countries. Tartu houses the Supreme Court of Estonia, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Estonian National Museum, and the oldest Estonian-language theater, Vanemuine. It is also the birthplace of the Estonian Song Festivals. Tartu is going to be the European Capital of Culture in 2024. Archaeological evidence of the first permanent settlement on the site of modern Tartu dates to as early as the 5th century AD. By the 7th century, local inhabitants had built a wooden fortification on the east side of Toome Hill (Toomemägi). Over the next centuries the settlement grew, and around 9th–10th centuries became an inland trading center. The first documented record of the area was made in 1030 by chroniclers of Kievan Rus. Yaroslav I the Wise, Prince of Kiev, invaded the region that year, built his own fort there, and named it Yuryev. Tartu remained under Russian control until 1061, when, according to chronicles, Yuryev was burned down by Estonian tribe called Sosols. Soon afterwards Estonians rebuilt the fort. In the 12th century Estonians on one side and Novgorod and Pskov on other side repeatedly raided each other. In those campaigns Russians captured Tartu in 1133 or 1134, and in winter of 1191–1192, but these temporary captures brought no lasting territorial changes.

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