With its population of about 101,000 in an area of 38.8 square kilometres, Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia. Lying 185 kilometres south of Tallinn, it is also the centre of Southern Estonia. The Emajõgi River, which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia, flows for the length of 10 kilometres within the city limits and adds colour to the city.
The first written records of Tartu date from 1030. This old Hanseatic city also calls itself The City of Good Thoughts and The Athens of the River Emajõgi, and a song claims Tartu to be the most beautiful town in Estonia!
Tartu is the intellectual capital of Estonia where national awareness and the culture
of Estonia was born,
a city of education, internationally known for its symbol - one of the oldest universities in North Europe, founded in 1632, as well as for some other institutions of higher education - the Estonian University of Life Sciences and the Baltic Defence College. It is also the seat of the Ministry of Science and Education.
Businessmen of Tartu are said to be the most innovative in the country - two thirds of Estonian biotechnology companies and the largest Estonian software companies are based here.
Almost entire city is covered by WIFI.
Historical sites can be enjoyed just within a few minutes' walk around the centre of the city.
UNIVERSITY OF TARTU
University of Tartu, first known as Academia Dorpatensis was founded in 1632, by King of Sweden Gustav II Adolph.
At present, it is the only classical university in Estonia, and includes nine faculties, five colleges and several regional development units in different parts of Estonia. The university has co-operation agreements with 48 partner institutions in 19 countries; it also is a member of the Coimbra Group.
Today, nearly 17,400 students are enrolled at the university, among them 500 international degree and exchange students.
Each year UT researchers publish more than 2700 research publications and lead more than 800 research projects, and about 100 doctoral degrees defended at the University of Tartu annually, or two-thirds of the total number in Estonia.
The University of Tartu is among the world's 600 best universities. In 2009 the University of Tartu joined the leading 5% of the world's universities in Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), there are 12 000 universities in the world. From among those 12 000, the top 5% are selected.