Monday, March 9, 2009

ESTONIA - Tartu / Observatory. Old Anathomic Theatre. Botanic Garden of the University of Tartu

Tartu Observatory is on the UNESCO WHL as the part on Struve Geodetic Arc. The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. This helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping. It is an extraordinary example of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries, and of collaboration between monarchs for a scientific cause. The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points. The listed site includes 34 of the original station points, with different markings, i.e. a drilled hole in rock, iron cross, cairns, or built obelisks.
Old Anatomical theatre was one of the first buildings of the re-opened Tartu University which was built in 1803-1805 according to the drawings of university architect J. Krause. The first part to be built was a low-domed rotunda in the classical style. Narrow, tall windows with balusters at their base and smaller mezzanine windows at the top add life to the rotunda. The Old Anatomical Theatre occupies a position of considerable importance in the history of Estonian medicine, having served the UT Faculty of Medicine since 1803. Visitors are offered an exhibition of the history of medicine, displaying among other things the historical collections of the Faculty.
The Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu was founded in 1803, near what is now the Vanemuine Old Theatre House. In 1806 the garden was relocated to more suitable site, on the ruins of the ancient city wall and fortifications near the river and ponds. The first director of the garden was Prof. Gottfried Albrecht Germann and the first chief gardener in duty was Johann Anton Weinmann. The first master plan of the Garden was made by Weinmann and it serves till nowadays. In 1811 Prof. Carl Friedrich Ledebour was nominated the director. Under his active leadership, the collections of the Garden were enriched by many new species, collected from Siberia and other unexplored regions of the Russian Empire, and firstly described by Ledebour. Most of them reached Western Europe via our Garden. Many other famous botanists as Trautvetter, Maximovicz, Bunge, Russow, Kuznetsov, Lippmaa have contributed to the development of this marvelous Garden. The Garden contains several monuments gratefully reviving the memory of our forerunners contribution.
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