Good Thoughts Benches

The Good Thoughts Benches on Dome Hill introduce Tartu in a personal way. A thought, line of poetry, formula or other idea is installed on each bench that introduces a researcher or a thinker who has lived and worked in Tartu and left their mark there.

In 2015, the first good thoughts bench was dedicated to Peeter Tulviste, a professor of psychology, rector of the University of Tartu and a politician. A year later benches were set up for Johann Philipp Gustav Ewers, a political scientist and long-time rector of the University of Tartu; Johann Wilhelm Krause, an architect of the university; Juri Lotman, a semiotician, and Johannes Voldemar Veski, a  linguist.

In July 2017, five more benches were set up in the Dome Hill park, close to the museum, dedicated to Friedrich Menius, the first professor of history in the University of Tartu; Johannes Georg Gezelius, a theologian and promoter of public education; Henrik Koppel, a medical researcher and rector of the University of Tartu; Johan Kõpp, a theologian and rector of the University of Tartu, Alma Tomingas, a pharmacist.

To commemorate the centenary of the national university, new benches were installed on Baer’s avenue for Martin Heinrich Rathke, a medical scientist, anatomist and embryologist; Emil Kraepelin, a psychiatrist and founder of the classification of mental disorders; Edgar Kant, a geographer, economist, professor and rector of the University of Tartu; Hans Kruus, a historian, statesman and rector of the University of Tartu; Johannes Aavik, a linguist; Gustav Suits, a poet, literary scholar, professor of the University of Tartu; Moritz Hermann Jacoby, a physicist, electrical engineer and architect; Friedrich Puksoo, the founder of Estonian librarianship, director of the University of Tartu Library; Tullio Ilomets, a chemist, science historian, supporter of heritage conservation and initiator of the idea of the University of Tartu Museum, and Arno Rafael Cederberg, a historian, one of the founders of Estonian history as a professional research discipline.

Idea by: Mariann Raisma, Jaan Rosental

Project coordinated by: University of Tartu Museum