Friday, 7 August 2015

Helping to Rebuild Tartu's Stone Bridge

On the 16th September 1784 a new landmark graced the city of Tartu and was officially opened to the public, the Stone Bridge. It was built under the orders of Catherine the Great who wanted to present the city with a gift after the devastating fire of 1775. The Stone Bridge was once a famous landmark not only for its appearance but also because it was the first stone bridge ever to be built in the Baltic region. The bridge took two years to construct and was made from over 3000 granite blocks.

The bridge stood for nearly 160 years before being tragically destroyed during the ravages of World War Two. In 1941 the retreating Red Army blasted the centre of the bridge then in 1944 the German Army completely destroyed it and left it in ruins. The destruction of the bridge was a great loss for the city but today, the good citizens of Tartu hope to restore the bridge to its former glory.

In 1992 under the initative of Patrick von Glasenapp the Stone Bridge Foundation was created. This community initative aims to bring back Tartu's beloved Stone Bridge in this new modern era. von Glasenapp once famously said: "Let's restore the Stone Bridge! Because bridges connect not only two banks, they also connect people!"

It would be wonderful to see this bridge reconstructed in Tartu but it needs your help!

The site of the bridge today.
A replacement bridge made from concrete was built during the Soviet occupation of Estonia.

If your family is from Tartu or you have a love for Tartu and its surrounding area then you might want to contribute to this worthwhile project. I intend to make a donation soon in memory of my Estonian grandmother. As a young woman she would have walked across this bridge every day to get to work from her home in Kivi Street.

Donations can be made into the following Swed Bank (formerly Hansa Bank) account. Stone Bridge Foundation, account  number 221005140786. For enquries or further information, please contact