University of Tartu Main Building & Art Museum

  Ülikooli 18      +372 737 53 85     11 Apr 2024
Built in 1809 just after the Tartu University's reopening, this grand, neo-classical structure is the symbol of Estonia's biggest brain factory. The building holds three main attractions for visitors. Among Estonia's oldest museums, the University of Tartu Art Museum, displays plaster cast copies of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures as well as the not-to-miss 'Chamber of Mummies'.
The museum also offers tours of the fabulously decorated Assembly Hall (Aula) and the building's weirdest feature, the Student Lock-up where, in the 19th Century, students were incarcerated for minor offences. The punishment for returning a library book late was 2 days. Insulting a cloakroom attendant would get you 5 days, and duelling, 3 weeks. Cartoons and graffiti the students scribbled still cover the walls. You can experience a complete virtual tour of the university by logging on to  www.ut.ee/virtualtour.

Current and upcoming exhibitions:
The museum also has temporary exhibitions. Till May 18th visitors can enjoy the exhibition 'Transforming Literary Places' that seeks to explore imaginative connections between literature and other artistic forms, highlighting the way in which different media can shape, inspire, and transform physical spaces. In the middle of June the museum will open a new exhibition 'Wandering in the storms of the world. Art created in the shadows of war: Geislingen 1944 – Tartu 2024'. The exhibition tells a story of resilience and creativity in times of war, from the mass exodus of Estonians to Germany in 1944, to today's refuge sought by Ukrainians in Tartu. Highlighting the cultural contributions of Estonian and Ukrainian artists amidst adversity, it showcases the enduring spirit of communities in exile and the role of art in preserving identity and hope during tumultuous times.



Social Links:


Facilities for disabled




From May to September open 10:00-18:00, closed Mon. From October to April open 11:00-17:00, closed Mon, Tue.

Price/Additional Info

The entrance fee for the entire building is €7, for the Art Museum alone it is €4. You can purchase a combined ticket for the University of Tartu Museum, Old Observatory, and University of Tartu Art Museum for €15. More information about the tickets can be found on the website.


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