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Town Hall

Information about the City Council and the City Government
Raekoda, 51003 Tartu
Phone 1789

Town Hall
Carillon of Tartu Town Hall
Summer concerts

The Town Hall of Tartu

Since ancient times, the Town Hall Square has been the centre of Tartu. It was the main trading area of the settlement between the castle on the Toome Hill and the riverside port on the Emajõgi. The tradition was upheld for centuries. In the Middle Ages the seat of municipal power – The Town Hall – was erected.

The present building is already the third one on the same site. In comparison with the long history of Tartu its buildings are relatively new: very seldom can you see buildings that date back to earlier than the last quarter of the 18th century, which is the result of numerous devastating wars and fires. The Great Fire of 1775 ravaged almost the whole central part of Tartu. After the fire, Tartu began to obtain its present configuration and the Town Hall was also built. The original Town Hall of Tartu was designed by the master-builder of the town, Johann Heinrich Bartholomäus Walter (1734-1802) from Rostock. The cornerstone was laid in 1782. Although the Town Hall was festively opened in 1786, the finishing touches were not made until 1789.

The Town Hall of Tartu was built at the time when the style of early Classicism reached the Nordic countries, including Estonia, replacing the earlier styles of Baroque and Rococo. The contest between different styles is also reflected in the Town Hall of Tartu.

The three-storeyed building with a high hip-roof and a ridge tower, follows the traditions of Baroque urban palaces in the Netherlands. The Town Hall of Narva, built in the 17th century, was inspired by the same example.

The tower of the Town Hall of Tartu, which was completed in 1784, is in the Baroque style and it is accompanied by the Rococo cartouche on the tympanum of the main façade. In the design of the walls, especially the interior walls, the Neo-Classicist style, being most fashionable at the time, prevailed.

The Town Hall had to perform several functions simultaneously and for this reason its planning was extremely economical. In the vaulted cellar and on the ground floor of the left wing there was a prison, together with the room for its guards. In the right wing – where a pharmacy has been open since 1922 – there was the city board of weights and measures.

To make access for the cart-loads possible to the public scales, there were gates in the back and side façades which, after being walled-up, are still noticeable.

The rooms for the Town Council were on the two upper floors which could be reached via the stairs directly at the main entrance of the building.

A traditional spacious foyer was not built because of the lack of space. On the first floor, there was a long corridor with court rooms and the Mayor’s office on either side. The most ceremonial room is the Hall of the Town Council, located on the second floor of the right wing. The Hall is decorated with rich yet unrefined stucco ornaments made in Walter’s workshop.

During its existence, the Town Hall has undergone several changes. The ground floor was fully rebuilt. In addition to the pharmacy, there were also temporary rooms for a bank. Smaller changes were undertaken on the first floor. Despite these alterations, the Town Hall has preserved its historical shape.

The Town Council and the Government continue to work in the Town Hall of Tartu, underscoring the idea that Tartu is a town of traditions.

  • The coat of arms of Tartu is based on the medieval seal of Tartu. The key and the sword above the gates are the attributes of the Bishopric of Tartu and Tartu’s guardian saints, Peter and Paul.
  • In the 16th century, Southern Estonia was ruled by the Poles. In 1584 Stefan Báthory, the King of Poland, granted Tartu its flag.

Tartu Town Hall

Last changed 07.12.2020

The Carillon of Tartu Town Hall

Since Christmas 2001, both locals and visitors have been enjoying the chimes of  the Town Hall, which until October 2016, were performed on 18 bells manufactured in the Karlsruhe Bell Factory. To mark the 15th anniversary of the carillon, 16 new bells were cast by one of the world’s most reputable bell-makers – the Royal Eijsbouts Belfry in the Netherlands – to complement the 18 existing bells. The smallest of the bells weighs 8 kg, the largest 96 kg.

To achieve the best harmony of the bells, the 18 old bells were returned to the Karlsuhe Bell Factory for restoration.  

The new carillon of Tartu Town Hall was opened with a show of beautiful music, fire and dance on the 28th October 2016.

With 34 bells, the carillon in Tartu is now internationally recognised as the biggest in Estonia. The new carillon makes it possible to offer more exciting musical experiences. The chimes have become one of the favourite attractions of tourists from around the world, and enhanced bell-ringing options are sure to bring more townspeople to the Town Hall Square to enjoy these beautiful sounds.

The production, delivery and installation of the 16 new bells cost €55,000  and tuning the 18 old bells required an additional €15,000. Private persons and companies donated €39,718 for the carillon during a fund-raising campaign.

Tartu is grateful to everyone who contributed to the beautiful bells of the city!

For further information, please contact: Carillon Project Manager, Merle Kollom, telephone: +372 521 6996.

 


June 2022

Daily program

  •    9 am: Olav Ehala "Tartu kellad" / "Bells of Tartu"
  • 12 pm:  Toomas Voll "Colorfoul Dreams"
  • 3 pm:  Martini il Tedesco "Plaisir d`Amour"
  • 6 pm: Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
  • 9 pm: Juhan Zeiger/Estonian Folk Song "Viire takka" / "From Behind the Horizon"

    Special program

    1 June - International Day for Protection of Children
     
  •    9 am: Olav Ehala "Tartu kellad" / "Bells of Tartu"
  • 12 pm:  Toomas Voll "Colorfoul Dreams"
  • 3 pm:  Martini il Tedesco "Plaisir d`Amour"
  • 6 pm: Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
  • 9 pm: Juhan Zeiger/Estonian Folk Song "Viire takka" / "From Behind the Horizon"

    4 June - 137th Anniversary of the Estonian Flag
     
  •    9 am: Enn Võrk "Eesti lipp" / "Estonian Flag Song"
  • 12 pm:  Enn Võrk "Eesti lipp" / "Estonian Flag Song"
  • 3 pm:  Enn Võrk "Eesti lipp" / "Estonian Flag Song"
  • 6 pm: Enn Võrk "Eesti lipp" / "Estonian Flag Song"
  • 9 pm: German Folk Song "My Fatherland Dear"

    14 June - Remembrance Day for Deportation Victims
     
  •    9 am: Juhan Aavik "Hoia, Jumal, Eestit" / "God, Protect Estonia"
  • 12 pm: German Folk Song "My fatherland dear"
  • 3 pm:  Heino Eller "Kodumaine viis" / "Home Melody"
  • 6 pm: German Folk Song "My Fatherland Dear"
  • 9 pm: Gustav Ernesaks " Mu isamaa on minu arm" / "My Fatherland is My Love"

    19 June - Day of Estonian National Anthem
     
  •    9 am: Olav Ehala "Tartu kellad" / "Bells of Tartu"
  • 12 pm: Fredrik Pacius  National Anthem on Estonia "My Fatherland My Joy and Happiness"
  • 3 pm:  Martini il Tedesco "Plaisir d`Amour"
  • 6 pm: Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
  • 9 pm: Juhan Zeiger/Estonian Folk Song "Viire takka" / "From Behind the Horizon"

    23 June - Midsummer's Eve
     
  • 9 am: Juhan Aavik "Hoia, Jumal, Eestit" / "God, Protect Estonia"
  • 12 pm: Peep Sarapik "Ta lendab mesipuu poole" / " Flying Towards the Hive”
  • 3 pm:  German Folk Song "My Fatherland Dear"
  • 6 pm: Peep Sarapik "Ta lendab mesipuu poole" / " Flying Towards the Hive”
  • 9 pm: Gustav Ernesaks " Mu isamaa on minu arm" / "My Fatherland is My Love"

    24 June - Midsummer's Day
     
  •    9 am: Olav Ehala "Tartu kellad" / "Bells of Tartu"
  • 12 pm: Karl August Hermann " Kungla rahvas" / "Kungla`s People"
  • 3 pm:  Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
  • 6 pm: Karl August Hermann " Kungla rahvas" / "Kungla`s People"
  • 9 pm: Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"

    29 June - Tartu City Day
     
  •    9 am: Raimond Valgre "Tartu marss" / "March of Tartu"
  • 12 pm: Raimond Valgre "Tartu marss" / "March of Tartu"
  • 3 pm:  Raimond Valgre "Tartu marss" / "March of Tartu"
  • 6 pm: Raimond Valgre "Tartu marss" / "March of Tartu"
  • 9 pm: Raimond Valgre "Tartu marss" / "March of Tartu"

Last changed 02.06.2022

Summer concerts are taken place from June to August on every Friday 8 pm 

3 June

Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“
Georg Riedel „Idas Sommarvisa“ / "Ida`s Summer Song"
Léo Delibes „Vals de Coppelia“ from the ballet „ Coppelia“
Camille Saint-Saëns „The Swan“ from the suite "Carnival of the Animals"
Arne Oit „Mis värvi on armastus“ / "What Colour is Love?"

10 June

Pjotr Tšaikovski „Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy“ from the ballet „The Nutcracker“
Toomas Voll „Värvilised unistused“ / "Colorful Dreams"
Martini il Tedesco „Plaisir d`Amour“ / "The Pleasure of Love"
Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“
Martini il Tedesco „Plaisir d`Amour“ / "The Pleasure of Love"

17 June

Anton Rubinstein „Melody“
Johann Abraham Peter Schulz „Der Mond ist aufgegangen“ / "The Moon Has Risen"
Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“
Bent Fabricius-Bjerre „Matador“
Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"

24 June

Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“
Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
German Folk Song "My Fatherland Dear"
Peep Sarapik "Ta lendab mesipuu poole" / " Flying Towards the Hive”
Karl August Hermann „Kungla rahvas“ / "People of Kungla"

1 July

Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
Michał Kleofas Ogiński Polonees "Farewell to Homeland“  (Pożegnanie Ojczyzny)
Toomas Voll „Värvilised unistused“ / "Colorful Dreams"
Pjotr Tšaikovski „Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy“ from the ballet „The Nutcracker“
Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“

8 July

Martini il Tedesco „Plaisir d`Amour“ / "The Pleasure of Love"
Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“
Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
Anton Rubinstein „Melody“
Léo Delibes „Vals de Coppelia“ from the ballet "Coppelia"

15 July

Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“
Franz Liszt „Liebestraum“ / "Love Dream"
Johann Sebastian Bach „Menuet“
Arne Oit „Mis värvi on armastus“ / "What Colour is Love"
Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"

22 July

Ludvig van Beethoven „Ode an die Freude“ 
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov „Chanson Hindoue“  / "Song of India"  from the opera  „Sadko“
Merle Kollom`s fantasy about the Estonian lullaby "Viire takka" / "From Behind the Horizon"
Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“

29 July

Martini il Tedesco „Plaisir d`Amour“ / "The Pleasure of Love"
Raimonds Pauls „Manai Dzimtenei“ / "My Birthplace"
Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“
Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
Anton Rubinstein „Melody“

5 August

Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“
Anton Rubinstein „Melody“
Léo Delibes „Vals de Coppelia“ from the ballet „ Coppelia“
Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
Camille Saint-Saëns „The Swan“ from the suite "Carnival of the Animals"

12 August

Pjotr Tšaikovski „Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy“ from the ballet „The Nutcracker“
Georg Riedel „Idas Sommarvisa" / "Ida`s Summer Song"
Ludvig van Beethoven „Ode an die Freude“ / "Ode to Joy"
Joaquin Rodrigo „Tema del Concierto de Aranjuez“ 
Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“

19 August

Mykola Leontovych „Carol of the Bells“
Toomas Voll „Värvilised unistused“ / "Colorful Dreams"
Karl August Hermann „Kungla rahvas“ / "People of Kungla"
Johann Sebastian Bach „Menuet“
Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"

26 August

Eeva Talsi "Kaugel külas" / "In a Distant Village"
Georg Riedel „Idas Sommarvisa“ / "Ida`s Summer Song"
Léo Delibes „Vals de Coppelia“ from the ballet „ Coppelia“
Martini il Tedesco „Plaisir d`Amour“ / "The Pleasure of Love"
Arne Oit „Mis värvi on armastus“ / "What Colour is Love"

Last changed 03.06.2022