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St. John's Church, Tartu

4.3
#2 of 7 in Historic Sites in Tartu County
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Visit the red-brick Gothic St. John's Church, famous for a large number of small terra-cotta figurines in its exterior niches. Founded in the 14th century, it has been destroyed and reconstructed several times. Visit the medieval structure and look for faces built into the outside walls: they represent either average citizens or the royal persons of Estonia. Originally, there were more than 1,000--today you can see about 200 decorative clay faces, as well as a selection of preserved sculptures. Although carefully reconstructed from the outside, the interior parts were left in ruins. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to St. John's Church and many more Tartu attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Tartu trip builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
90 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Old church (1200-1300). Free to enter. A euro to take photos. Interesting terra-cotta sculptures throughout. All brick structure which is just beautiful. You can see how the ground has settled as some...  more »
  • This church is the oldest one in Tartu. Built in the 13th century from red bricks. Famous for its unique terracotta sculptures. Has been restored well after world war II and is still a actively servin...  more »
  • Saint John's church is the main architectural monument in Tartu. Probably the most interesting medieval building in Baltic.  more »
Google
  • From September to May it's closed on Sunday and Monday. Heard the organ player rehearse, but couldn't say hi to a fellow organ player. Golden tip: avoid Tartu on Mondays and Tuesdays like the pest, because it's as dead and void of life like the moon.
  • The tower is definitely worth of claiming up 135 stairs. It costs 2 euros for adult and 1.5 eur for pupil.
  • Nice organ music, but they ask 1 euro for photos.
  • This gothic style church is built in 14 century and is unique in hole Europe thanks to it's terracotta sculptures mounted to the walls. Afther WW II a lot of them were destroyed but aproximately 1000 of them still remain still complete.
  • A very historic church with interesting pieces of history.

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Where to stay in Tartu

As a university town, Tartu can get rowdy in the evenings. To ensure a quiet night's stay, look for more economical lodging outside of the center. That said, if you want to be in the thick of the nightlife, the center itself has quite a few budget accommodations catering to the youthful population. Unfortunately, this also means that those looking for luxury hotels in this area may be more hard-pressed. The most populous neighborhood in the city is Annelinn, bordering the Emajogi River, where you will find a variety of accommodations. Alternatively, Kesklinn, a smaller quarter, has plenty of mid-range hotels and budget guesthouses.
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