Town Hall


Built between 1782 and 1789, this graceful building was designed by German architect JHB Walter, who modelled it on a typical Dutch town hall. The clear focal point of a cobbled square harmoniously lined with classical facades, it's topped by a tower and weather vane, and a clock was added to encourage punctuality in Tartu's students. As well as the council offices, it contains the tourist information centre and a pharmacy.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Tartu attractions

1. Town Hall Square

0.04 MILES

Tartu’s main square is lined with grand buildings and echoes with the chink of glasses and plates in summer. The centrepiece is the town hall itself,…

2. Tartu University


Fronted by six Doric columns, the impressive main building of Tartu University was built between 1803 and 1809. The university itself was founded in 1632…

3. Tartu Art Museum


If you've been socialising in Tartu's pubs and can't really see straight, don’t use this building to anchor your eye. Subsidence caused by the nearby…

4. Tartu University Art Museum


Within the main university building, this collection comprises mainly 19th-century plaster copies of ancient Greek sculptures, plus some mummies and other…

5. Tartu Old Observatory


Built as part of Tartu University in 1810, this intriguing observatory on Toomemägi is a must for fans of astronomy and the history of scientific…

6. Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum

0.17 MILES

Chronicling more than just Estonian Olympic excellence (although the glittering medal display serves that purpose admirably), this offbeat museum has a…

7. St John's Lutheran Church

0.19 MILES

Dating to at least 1323, this imposing red-brick church is unique for the rare terracotta sculptures placed in niches around its exterior and interior …

8. Rotunda

0.19 MILES

This pretty-as-a-picture rotunda serves as a summertime cafe.