University of Tartu to celebrate traditional Gustavus Adolphus Day

On Thursday, 4 November, Tartu will host Gustavus Adolphus Day celebrations to mark the 389th anniversary of the founding of the University of Tartu. The programme includes laying flowers on monuments, a book presentation, a concert and a film premiere.

Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus signed the foundation decree of Academia Dorpatensis (Academia Gustaviana) in 1632. The day dedicated to this event begins on 4 November at 15:20 with the laying of flowers on the monuments of Gustavus Adolphus and the University of Tartu’s first chancellor Johan Skytte.

Honorary Consul of Sweden in Tartu Madis Kanarbik said that Gustavus Adolphus Day holds a special place in the cultural calendar of Tartu. In Estonia, the king is known as the promoter of education and above all as the founder of the University of Tartu. “It is only natural and appropriate for Tartu to commemorate Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus in the beginning of November and celebrate the day with festive events at the University,” says Kanarbik. “Additionally, Swedish flags can be seen around the city, and this year, Swedish hymn ‘Bereden väg för Herran’ can be heard from the Town Hall tower.”

At 16:00, the University of Tartu Art Museum will host the launch of the book Johan Skytte. Suurvõimu arhitekt. David Lindén’s book was translated from Swedish by Ivar Rüütli and published by Ilmamaa Publishing House. Director of Ilmamaa Mart Jagomägi noted that there are few people in Swedish history who are as important as Johan Skytte, but it is even harder to find those who are as significant as him in the birth of the University of Tartu. Skytte was King Gustavus Adolphus’ teacher, Governor-General of Swedish Livonia, Ingria and Karelia and Sweden’s first real educational politician. “This book is the first thorough Estonian-language account of this great man whose legacy has almost been forgotten in both Sweden and Estonia outside academic circles,” says Jagomägi.

At 17:30, the University’s Assembly Hall will host ‘Muusika viivuks’ (Music for a While), a free concert by early music ensemble Hortus Musicus.

At 19:00, Swedish film ‘Run Uje Run’ will premiere at Elektriteater. The film is screened as part of Nordic Film Autumn held in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the University of Tartu Department of Scandinavian Studies and the 10th anniversary of the Swedish Language Centre.

Gustavus Adolphus Day is organised by the University of Tartu, the University of Tartu Department of Scandinavian Studies, the Swedish Embassy in Estonia and the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia.

Participants in the events will be checked to ensure safety. Participants in the indoor events are asked to present a COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate. Wearing a mask indoors is mandatory.

Further information:
Madis Kanarbik, Honorary Consul of Sweden in Tartu, 504 6570, (in Estonian, English and Swedish)
Mart Jagomägi, Director of Ilmamaa Publishing House
Kady Sõstar, Senior Specialist for Protocol at University of Tartu, 511 9188,