Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia, following Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn, Tartu is often considered the intellectual centre of the country, especially since it is home to the nation's oldest and most renowned university, the University of Tartu. The city also houses the Supreme Court of Estonia and the Ministry of Education and Research. Situated 186 kilometres (116 miles) southeast of Tallinn, Tartu is the centre of southern Estonia and lies on the Emajõgi ("Mother river"), which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia. The city is served by Tartu Airport.
The ancient Estonian fortress of Tarbatu was founded in the 5th century AD. Historical names for the city include German Dorpat (from the 13th century) and Russian Yuryev (Юрьев, from 1030) and Derpt (Дерпт).
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