The Old Observatory was founded in the 19th century alongside the Imperial Tartu University. The first heyday of the Observatory was in the first half of the 19th century when its energetic Director F. G. W. Struve measured the meridian arc, observed binary stars and purchased expensive observation equipment for the Observatory. The Old Observatory has on numerous occasions broadened our understanding of space and kept the standards of Estonian astronomy high.
The current exhibition showcases valuable historical telescopes, geodesy equipment and numerous hands-on exhibits. The balcony of the Old Observatory offers a wonderful green view of Tartu.
Get the combined ticket for the full experience and visit the other University of Tartu museums as well. The different branches of the University of Tartu Museum form a whole: discover the history of the University in the Treasury and explore the Crazy Scientist’s Office in the Museum’s main building in Tartu Cathedral, enjoy the perfection of antique art in the UT Art Museum and the fascinating historical lock-up in the attic of the UT main building, marvel at the historical telescopes and achievements in Estonian astronomy in the Old Observatory!
Also check the guided tours of Toome Hill, which take you on a walk through the history of Toome Hill.
Plan your visit
University of Tartu main building and UT Art Museum 260 metres (5 minutes)
University of Tartu Museum in Tartu Cathedral 350 metres (5 minutes)
Old Anatomical Theatre 200 metres (2 minutes)
Devil’s Bridge 300 metres (5 minutes)
Angel’s Bridge 180 metres (3 minutes)
University of Tartu Natural History Museum 1 km (14 minutes)
University of Tartu Botanical Gardens 750 metres (8 minutes)
Town hall square and tourist information point 280 metres (3 minutes)
Tartu coach station 1.1 km (12 minutes)
Tartu train station 1.2 km (16 minutes)