I recognise the energetic, economic and humanist effort that Tallinn is investing to compete like a modern European capital, having strong competitors in the surrounding countries: St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Riga, and others. I specially would mention the drastic urban change in the main port and the outer boundary perimeter; both positions are palpitating with manifestations of new and renewed architecture. Being a Baltic port that has connected Estonia with the Baltic Sea countries and central Europe, the essential culture of the marital city is maintained and reinterpreted in modern manifestations of material traditional like the restaurant Paat (translates: the Boat) in Viimsi, earlier fishermen-populated area.
Tartu is the University City, and because of its inland position it is protected in all directions. The lifestyle in Tartu is nice and gentile. The relevance of urban development and construction is not as strong as in Tallinn, and there is a generic good lifestyle. The scale of Tartu is walkable, thus proper for university students. It is remarkable how revitalizing it is to walk in Tartu in the springtime, when all the flowers start to appear; beautiful young ladies change the nondescript winter suits to colourful skirts and dresses; people start to smile; the members of sororities and fraternities appear again more frequently in their representative traditional colours; and on sunny days all the city is blooming with happy young people.
I especially recommend walking in Tähtvere neighbourhood, where you will appreciate the ambience of the lifestyle of low-density family-houses with plenty of gardens and low perimeter division walls. Walking Tartu is an experience full of life, because of all the open space you can always find a new route to get to a destiny. The density in Tartu is fairly low; there is always a green area in all the properties. I’m especially amazed on the interaction between flowers and lifestyle in Tartu; there is commonly a front garden close to the sidewalk or in the back-yard, and the little old ladies are enjoying gardening in springtime mornings, which reminds me a lot of my grandmother, one of the most active flower culturists of my past home country. The main buildings of University of Tartu are supreme with a neo classic style; the University Cafe is elegant and fashionable, being historically a high-class familiar space that has been remodelled to Italian-style palazzo and later adapted for the academic spheres. I highly recommend visiting the Tartu University Library; or for immersing in the intellectual activity I recommend the lecture room in the Estonian History Archive.
Something unique for me, being from quite different university culture, are the fraternities and sororities here, maintaining special traditions running back to first European universities, national identity and elements of academic nobility. I recognize it like patrimonial heritage, something which should be considered by UNESCO World Heritage.
The building of EÜS, the first fraternity for Estonian students
Tartu Art Museum
Tartu, smaller building of theatre Vanemuine
Tartu University main building
Tartu St Alexander Church
Tartu, Siili street (riverside)
Tartu railway station, renovated old beauty
Tartu, Universiity of Life Sciences, sports building
Tartu, Kastani street: beautiful old
Tartu, Kastani street: beautiful new