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Toomemägi Revisited

Toomemägi, central to the city of Tartu, comes to life with light, culture and science. You can walk around among the ruins of the cathedral and witness an extraordinary lighting artwork of the Tartu Cathedral. You will get to experience a surprising installation that showcases the cultural heritage of the University of Tartu. Toomemägi is truly a place worth exploring.


The local distinctiveness of Toomemägi has evolved over the centuries. The heart of the medieval town and the historic centre of the university have both been located on this hill. Today Toomemägi is a peaceful park in the centre of Tartu. Yet very few people end up here. We are adding a new layer of interpretation to the heritage of this hill and welcome people from Tartu, Estonia and all over Europe to wander around here.

The University of Tartu, located next to Toomemägi, has been one of the symbols of Estonia for four centuries. But just like the story of Toomemägi needs to be opened up more loudly, so too does the story of the University of Tartu. Our science and minds deserve to be rediscovered.


If you happen to walk around at Toomemägi in the dark, you will see the illuminated ruins of the cathedral, as well as the tower, the choir and the wall. You get to sense the beauty and the power of this place. The new lighting artwork was created by Light To Light, a Belgian lighting design agency with strong pan-European experience, represented by Fiorenzo Naméche, in collaboration with lighting designers Chiara Carucci (Italy) and Alfred Sà (Spain). The new Tartu Cathedral lighting design allows to explore the ruins of the 800-year-old Tartu Cathedral at and invites visitors to decipher cultural heritage in a new light, literally.

You’ll also see an installation “Lifesaver” which will showcase the scientific heritage of the University of Tartu. The purpose of “Lifesaver” is to open an important field in modern science – genetics – in the symbiosis of art and science. The artist of the ‘Lifesaver’ project is Valdek Laur, who works in the fields of digital media, jewellery and metal art and is interested in scientific communication and the visualisation of complex concepts and data sets. Through the artist’s work, you’ll get to experience the importance and the essence of scientific achievements.


After 2024, both Toomemägi and the University of Tartu will be even greater gems than they are now. Thanks to the electrical infrastructure created for the lighting project, it will be possible to comfortably organise events on Toomemägi in the future as well.

Valuing and remembering the scientific achievements of the University of Tartu is the basis for more of such achievements, scientific ones precisely, not cuckoo!

In the end, however, intelligent romance will win! That is what you will get from Toomemägi and the University of Tartu.

People looking at the Tartu Cathedral ruins.