"Kartser - the Student Lock-Up" Top 5 Page for this destination Tartu Things to Do Tip by Kathrin_E
Tartu Things to Do: 101 reviews and 208 photos
In earlier days the university had strict rules concerning the behaviour of the students. Breaches and offences were punished with imprisonment in the lock-up between a day and several weeks. Such offences included, for example, being drunk, fighting in the streets, leaving the town unallowed, missing lectures, ofending professors.
This punishment was not as bad as it sounds, though. The prisoner had his room to himself with a desk and bed, an oven and a toilet cabinet. Food and heating were provided by the caretaker who also did the cleaning. Every day the inmate was allowed out for one hour to have lunch. To many, this was about the only period during the semester when they actually studied and wrote papers. Otherwise student life consisted mostly of drinking, fencing and other activities with their corporation.
Vivat Sequens - Long Live The Next
(Inscription over the door)
It seems students were rather proud than ashamed to have been in there. Many left drawings and verses on the walls which are now the main attraction. Around 1900 the main language was German, but we also find inscriptions in Latin, Italian etc. I have not seen any in Estonian, though.
The Kartser is located in the attic of the main university building. It can be visited; ask at the cash desk of the university art museum.
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