The Bank of Estonia has officially launched (19th November) their second commemorative two-euro coin for 2019 which is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the re-establishment of the University in Tartu. As part of the official launch, a special strike was presented in the White Hall of the Tartu University Museum at 12:00 pm on the day. Established in the early days of the Republic of Estonia, the Estonian-language University of Tartu laid the foundation for higher education in its own language and created a national intellectual community, which today plays a significant role in the development of the Estonian state, society, and culture. This year marks the 100th anniversary of this establishment.
The coin is designed by Indrek Ilves, who is a graphic designer based in Tallinn and is primarily known for designing stamps. He graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in graphic design and is currently working as a stamp artist for Estonian Post. Over 18 years, he has designed over 100 postage stamps for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania. Ilves also designed a pure silver stamp issued in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia last year.
The design includes a stylised illustration of the university’s main building, along with the commemorative year date of 1632, under the inscription UNIVERSITAS TARTUENSIS. The year of minting is shown to the right of the coin’s primary design. The reverse design is that of a standard €2 coin, found throughout all countries of the euro-zone. The face value €2 appears in front of a map of Europe.
|Two euros||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm||Uncirculated||982,500|
|Two euros||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm||Brilliant Unc.||17,500|
The Eesti Pank will issue a total of one million two-euro commemorative coins for circulation. Included in this mintage will be 17,500 pieces struck in Brilliant Uncirculated quality and are presented in a blister-pack coin card. For additional information about this coin and other coins issued by the Bank of Estonia, please visit the website of Omniva — Estonian Post, who are the official distributors.
The University of Tartu (or Tartu Ülikool) is a university in the city of Tartu, Estonia. It is the national university and the only classical university in the country and also the biggest, most prestigious university in Estonia.
Founded in 1632 by Baron Johan Skytte, then governor-general of Swedish Livonia, Ingria, and Karelia from 1629–1634, it was known initially as Academia Gustaviana, the institution being named in honour of Swedish King Gustav II Adolf. Owing to fighting during the Russian-Swedish war of 1656-1658, the university was moved to Tallinn. By 1665, the university was closed entirely. It wasn’t until 1690 when the University was re-established as the Academia Gustavo-Carolina, and Tartu was once again a university town. However, due to the coalition against Sweden, which involved Russia, Denmark-Norway, and Saxony-Poland-Lithuania, as well as the Great Famine of 1695–1697, the university moved from Tartu to Pärnu but was closed once again by 1710.
It was the Baltic-German community which re-established the university once again with a new name, the University of Dorpat, and with a curriculum in German and Russian. As Estonia was now firmly within the Russian Empire, the German language was omitted from the University by 1898, and the name was changed to that of the University of Yuryev until 1918. Political and territorial circumstances changed greatly for Estonia with the outbreak of fighting in 1914. The Great War lead to the abdication of Russian Czar Nicholas II in 1917, and it was at this time that Estonia took this opportunity to assert its independence in 1918. The next year, the University of Tartu was established as an Estonian-language institution.
As the aggressionist policies of the Third Reich took their toll in Europe, The university was named Ostland-Universität in Dorpat during the German occupation of Estonia in 1941–1944. With the end of the Second World War, Estonia found itself once again under occupation and was incorporated into the USSR against its will. As a consequence, the Tartu State University was placed under government control from 1940 to1941 and again from 1944 onwards. The Estonian language remained the principal language of instruction, though some courses were taught in Russian, with several Russian curricula. The situation remained in place until 1989 when it became clear that Estonia would once again re-establish its independence, which it did in 1991. The full recovery of academic autonomy of the university was achieved in 1992. Presently, no courses are taught in Russian. Today, the university includes an academic faculty of 1,700 persons and nearly 14,000 students, of which 1,300 are foreign. According to the QS World University Rankings, the University of Tartu is ranked 301st in the world in 2018, and is the top-ranked university in the Baltics (which is the only university in the Baltic countries to place among the top 200 universities in Europe).
The University of Tartu was previously depicted on Estonian coins. Silver two-krooni coins were issued back in 1930 on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the university’s establishment. The second occasion was in 2002 when silver Proof 10-krooni coins celebrated the 200th anniversary of the university’s reopening.