'The Bridges of Emajõgi' by @sketchingpaas — from 'How to Tartu'

The Bridges of Emajõgi


Artwork 'The Bridges of Tartu' - a map of river Emajõgi and its bridges in the city of Tartu

'The Bridges of Emajõgi'

A river shapes a city’s character and history. Tartu is where it is and what it is because of Emajõgi. The river valley is the narrowest here, and this has been an invitation to people, goods, wars, and ideas.

Emajõgi and its bridges keep on shaping us. In Tartu you go to places not how you want, but how the bridges allow you. This, I think, teaches us humbleness as well as perseverance, and both are shades of what could be called the Spirit of Tartu.

Yet Emajõgi is also a blind spot for us. We have only recently started to (re)discover the riverbanks as places for culture and creation.

Tips for Explorers


a ship and go for a city cruise. Pegasus departs by Hotel Dorpat. Alfa and Signild by Turuhoone. Trips are usually around 1.5 hours, and ships pass all the bridges except for Ihaste sild.

Lodi - the wooden barge - starts trips from different places, but its home port is Lodjakoda, centre for the construction of historic ships, operated by Emajõe Lodjaselts.


a canoe! If the big boats are too big and too boring, you can experience Emajõgi in a canoe. For example, Jõematkad.ee organize sunset or night time canoe trips in the upstream outskirts of the city.

Or Explore...

the bridges on foot. Bus line nr 7 stops nearby all the bridges on the southern side of the river. Board the bus in Tartu city center at 'Palmihoone', 'Raeplats' or 'Soola II', and get off at 'Rebase' to explore Sõpruse sild, or at 'Turu ring' to explore Ihaste sild.

 Please check the official websites of the sights, institutions, or service providers for the latest information. Be respectful of the surroundings, stay safe, and have a happy exploring.



When Kaarsild met Kaarsild.
I announced 'The Bridges of Tartu' artwork with special stickers.


Under Sõpruse sild.
It's a great photo spot with spatial depth, concrete and street art.


On top of Emajõgi.
The pic's taken on Ihaste bridge, which is the most downstream.

© 2023 Kalle Paas (@sketchingpaas)