An exploratory open-air exhibition that tells fascinating stories about Tartu Cathedral and Toome Hill open for visitors

An open-air exhibition on the history of Tartu Cathedral and Toome Hill is open for visitors next to the historical dome church, the current University of Tartu Museum as of 6 June. Interactive displays featuring a wealth of historical material engage users and offer a lot to discover.

“Toome Hill is the heart of Tartu and the historical University of Tartu campus, which is why we should tell its story right here on the hill,” says Mariann Raisma, director of the University of Tartu Museum and author of the open-air exhibition. She added: “With the open-air exhibit at Tartu Cathedral and on Toome Hill, the museum brought the fascinating material of the 2018 monograph TOOMKIRIK. Katedraal. Raamatukogu. Muuseum (Tartu Cathedral. Cathedral. Library. Museum) into public space. We hope the open-air exhibition is of interest to the people of Tartu as well as visitors and helps Tartu guides to introduce the city and the heritage of the university.”

The displayed unique maps reflect the eras that shaped Toome Hill: the Middle Ages, 17th century and the establishment of the university. The display shows the role of Toome Hill in the history of the city, underlines its past importance and how it has changed over time. The displays reveal layers of city history that are visible in the various corners of Toome Hill but that should be talked about to better understand their emergence and development.

The displays on Tartu Cathedral tell the story of the largest Medieval cathedral in Estonia. Visitors can explore the story of its architecture and glory in various times. The former interior of the cathedral is also introduced. There is a separate display on the Tartu bishopric.

The open-air exhibition focusses on the development of the historical university campus on Toome Hill, with a special emphasis on the building of the erstwhile university library and current university museum. A story from relatively recent history when the towers of the cathedral housed a water reservoir is also featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition consists of seven displays in English and Estonian. The displays that are interactive allow visitors to actively engage with the exhibition to open various layers in the story of Toome Hill and the cathedral.

The open-air exhibition on Tartu Cathedral and Toome Hill was prepared by Mariann Raisma. Display design by Exporabbit. The project was supported by the city of Tartu and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Additional information: Mariann Raisma, Director of the University of Tartu Museum,, 522 1702