Monday, November 07, 2011

The leaning tower of ... Tartu, Estonia

I visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa as a child, and I'm pretty sure if you'd asked me then about a country named Estonia I would have told you it was a made-up name, stuck inside the USSR as it was at the time. These days Estonia is one of my favourite destinations and among the many, many things to see, one of them is reminiscent of that tower in Pisa: the Tartu Art Museum.
The Tartu Art Museum by night and day
It's largely filled with Estonian art and is apparently quite safe - in fact the art gallery only moved in to this building relatively recently. Locals refer to it as the "Leaning House" and it's easy to find (I didn't come across any other crooked buildings in Tartu - just this one had some hiccups!).

Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia after the gorgeous capital, Tallinn, and it's a great place to visit because it's a university town, full of life and vibe. Beyond the leaning art gallery, there is the famous (well, famous in Estonian terms) statue of two students kissing - it's become the symbol of the town, and a pretty joyous symbol it is!

But my favourite part of Tartu was exploring the old student prison in the University of Tartu. Going back many decades the lock-up was used to punish students who had committed various "university"-style crimes - including not returning library books on time! When I saw this small cell and the crimes that could land you there, I was rather grateful that my university days came too late, because I definitely would have landed in the lock-up.

2 comments:

  1. Hm, I dunno. I might feel a little strange in it. I have never made it to Tartu. I rather fell in love with Parnu.

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  2. Ah - I never made it to Parnu! For no special reason I chose Tartu and Saaremaa instead. I'll have to go back and try Parnu next time.

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