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Tartu, or Dorpat, is the second largest city of Estonia.


The city was founded in 1030 by Yaroslav the Wise, Prince of Kiev, on the site of the former fortress of Tarbatu. It was a commercial centre of considerable importance during the later Middle Ages and a member of the Hanseatic League. The establishment of new universities in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries was motivated by the rivalry between Protestantism and Catholicism. This was also true of the Baltics. In the 16th century, the question of establishing a high school for training priests was raised. When Livonia (Latvia and Southern Estonia) came under Polish rule, a Jesuit grammar school was established in Tartu in 1583. In addition, a translators' seminary was organized in Tartu. The activities of both the grammar school and the seminary were interrupted by the Polish-Swedish war (1601). The first university in Estonia, the Academia Dorpatensis was founded by the Swedes in the city 1632.

See also: University of Tartu