Toome Hill

Tartu, Estonia

The Toome Hill, rising above Old Town, has always been strategic military position. Tartu's original settlement, Tarbatu, was established here in 600AD, and if you trace the hill's outline on a map, you can still see the shape of fortifications built here in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The western part of the hill is clearly dominated by the ruins of the 13th-century cathedral (Toomkirik) that has been decaying since the Livonian War (1558-1583). The sanctuary, which is still in a quite good condition today, accommodates the University’s history museum. Here you can get a broad overview of academic research and teaching in Tartu.

The old observatory of Tartu was constructed in 1811. It was the most modern one in Europe in the 19th century.



Your name


Lossi, Tartu, Estonia
See all sites in Tartu


Founded: 13th century
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Estonia
Historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (Estonia)


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

sarah a (2 months ago)
Tartu Cathedral ruins in winter are stunning! The red brick pops against the snowy background, making for epic photos. Plus, it's steeped in history - a former grand church now a cool, rugged landmark. Bundle up and explore, it's worth the chill!
Jimmy Jab (2 years ago)
An amazing spot. I rather stumbled upon it on an evening walk so I saw it in the dark and wasn't able to climb the tower. But that in itself was incredible: I had the place to myself for half an hour and it was beautiful, silent and a little haunting. I tried to imagine how it was built, how it fell into disrepair and how it would have been when it was an active part of a thriving city, holding weddings, funerals and other rites of passage.
Azar Safarov (2 years ago)
It’s a ruins of the building and there is a way to two remaining towers. Outside it’s free, but entrance for the towers is 5€, but if you will get ticket for museum as well, then together it will cost 7€. It was interesting our 6 years old son to climb to the top of the tower through narrow stairs.
lizzy 54 (2 years ago)
Stunning place, great for picture taking. You can also go up one of the walls. It will take just 5 minutes of your time but very glad I stopped here.
david howells (2 years ago)
Pretty cool church with a €5 euro entry fee to go up the tower. Very run down but in a nice part of town near the park.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

The Church of the Holy Cross

The church of the former Franciscan monastery was built probably between 1515 and 1520. It is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Rauma. The church stands by the small stream of Raumanjoki (Rauma river).

The exact age of the Church of the Holy Cross is unknown, but it was built to serve as the monastery church of the Rauma Franciscan Friary. The monastery had been established in the early 15th century and a wooden church was built on this location around the year 1420.

The Church of the Holy Cross served the monastery until 1538, when it was abandoned for a hundred years as the Franciscan friary was disbanded in the Swedish Reformation. The church was re-established as a Lutheran church in 1640, when the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed by fire.

The choir of the two-aisle grey granite church features medieval murals and frescoes. The white steeple of the church was built in 1816 and has served as a landmark for seafarers.