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Tartu

Tartu (tärˈtō) [key], Ger. and Swed. Dorpat, city (1994 pop. 105,844), E Estonia, a port on the Ema River. The second largest city of Estonia, it is an important industrial and cultural center and a rail junction. Food processing, metalworking, printing and publishing, and the production of leather footwear and agricultural machinery are the leading industries. Tartu's university was founded in 1632 by Gustavus II of Sweden, suppressed in 1656, and reopened in 1802. The city was founded in 1030 as Yurev by Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev. Named Dorpat after its capture by the Livonian Knights in 1224, it developed as a trade center of the Hanseatic League. After the dissolution (1561) of the Livonian Order, the city was contested by Poland, Sweden, and Russia. Gustavus II secured its formal cession in 1629 after a Polish-Swedish war. Captured by Peter I in 1704, during the Northern War, it was ceded to Russia by the Treaty of Nystad in 1721. The name Yurev was revived in 1893, only to be changed (1918) to Tartu when Estonia became independent. In 1920, Soviet peace treaties with Estonia and Finland were signed in the city. Tartu is built around a hill topped by an old fortified castle and a restored 13th-century cathedral (the site of the present university library). The rest of the city dates mostly from the 18th and 19th cent.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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