I added Tartu to my Estonia trip on a whim, solely based on two words: “medieval” and “university.” Of course, it was summer, so university was not in session and renovation work hid the historic Anatomical Observatory beneath wispy curtains of scaffolding as hammers rang out across Toomemagi. Instead, I enjoyed a lazy summer ambience of cafes and stately 18th century Neoclassical buildings soaked in sun. But beneath the imposing classical veneer of an age-old university world-renowned for medicine and physics lies a quirky side. Off-beat student drinking dens in flaking brick warehouses. Intricate little faces stare out from the sides of St. John’s Church, each one unique, watching you manuever the uneven cobblestones. And the annual summer Hansa Days, a weekend medieval festival that shook Tartu from her sleepy summer slumber into a riot of people, music, and dancing.
To view my photo slide show, click on the link below.