Yuriev - Encyclopedia

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YURIEV (formerly Dorpat, also Dorpt; Russian, Derpt; Esthonian, Tarto and Tartolin; in Lettish, Tehrbata), a town of W. Russia, in the government of Livonia, situated on the Embach, 158 m. by rail N.E. of Riga, in 58° 23' N. and 26° 23' E. Pop. 42,421. The principal part of the town lies S. of the river, and the more important buildings are clustered round the two eminences known as the Domberg (cathedral hill) and the Schlossberg (castle hill), which in the middle ages were occupied by the citadel, the cathedral and the episcopal palace. Owing to a great fire in 1777, the town is almost entirely modern; and its fortifications have been transformed into promenades. Besides a good picture gallery in the Ratshof, and the 13thcentury church of St John, Yuriev possesses a university, with an observatory, an art museum, a botanical garden and a library of 250,000 volumes, which are housed in a restored portion of the cathedral, burned down in 1624. The university was founded by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in 1632; but in 1699 teachers and students removed to Pernau on the advance of the Russians, and on the occupation of the country by Peter the Great again took flight to Sweden. In spite of the treaty of 1710 and the efforts of the Livonian nobles, it was not till 1802 that its restoration was effected under the patronage of Alexander I. Down to 1895, in which year it was thoroughly Russified, the university was German in spirit and in sentiment.. It is now attended by some 1700 students annually. The astronomical department is famous, owing partly to the labours of F. G. W. von Struve (1820-39), and partly to Fraunhofer's. great refracting telescope, presented by the emperor Alexander I. There are monuments to the naturalist K. E. von Baer (1886) and Marshal Barclay de Tolly (1849), and the town is the headquarters of the XVIII. army corps.

The foundation of Dorpat is ascribed to Yaroslav, prince of Kiev, and is dated 1030. In 1224 the town was seized by the Teutonic Knights, and in the following year Bishop Hermann erected a cathedral on the Domberg. From that date till about 1558 the town enjoyed great prosperity, and the population reached 50,000. In 1558 it was captured by the Russians, but in 1582 was yielded to Stephen Bathori, king; of Poland. In 1600 it fell into the hands of the Swedes, in 1603 reverted to the Poles, and in 1625 was seized by Gustavus. Adolphus of Sweden. The Russians again obtained temporary possession in 1666, but did not effect a permanent occupation. till 1704. In 1708 the bulk of the population were removed to the interior of Russia.

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