The Towers of Tartu Cathedral
Construction work on the Tartu Cathedral probably started sometime in the second half of the 13th century. The construction of the cathedral's impressive twin towers was completed by the beginning of the 16th century. During the Livonian War, the cathedral was neglected and fell into disrepair.
At the beginning of the 19th century, after the reopening of the University of Tartu, the cathedral choir was rebuilt as the university's library, according to design by the architect Johann Wilhelm Krause. The cathedral's middle part and its towers remained a majestic ruins rising above the trees on Toome Hill. At the end of the same century, a water tank was installed in the northern tower of the Tartu Cathedral to supply the university's buildings on Toome Hill and in the neighbourhood. In order to halt further decay of the ruins and to prepare them for visitors, conservation work started on the cathedral ruins at the beginning of this century.
The twin towers have been open to visitors since spring 2005. In addition to the breathtaking view over the city of Tartu and its nearest surroundings, visitors can also take a closer look at one of the most remarkable specimens of Gothic brick architecture in Old Livonia.
The Tartu Cathedral towers are operated by the University of Tartu Museum.
NB! From October 1st 2015 until April 30th 2016, the Towers of Tartu Cathedral are closed due to the renovation of the University of Tartu Museum.